The month of April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse has been defined as mistreatment and neglectful behavior towards children. More than 4 million cases of child abuse/neglect are reported each year, with the higher number of those cases involving babies under one year old. Issues such as poverty, mental health (stress, depression), family history, substance abuse and domestic violence are some factors that could contribute to child abuse and neglect within families. Child abuse may not be easy to recognize. Additionally, children may not always be able to tell anyone that they are being abused. But there are signs to look for such as physical signs (unexplained injuries, etc.) or sudden changes in behavior. If you or someone you know is being abused or neglected, seek help immediately with a medical professional or with the local Child Protective Services. Child abuse is preventable. Education, developing coping skills, two-communication and staying involved with your child, are a few valuable tools that can be used to help prevent child abuse and neglect.