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2006 News from Mecklenburg County


January 5, 2005

PROTECT A CHILD, SAVE A LIFE!

Charlotte, NC - Since September 2004, Mecklenburg County has seen three infant deaths related to inappropriate sleeping arrangements. In the week following Christmas 2005, there were three gun-related incidents involving children. At the beginning of this New Year, the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) is asking citizens for their assistance with safeguarding the children of our community.

County social workers and child protective workers are sharing some tips with parents and caretakers of children in hopes of preventing child deaths and injuries due to abuse, unsafe sleeping arrangements and unsecured guns. Note: North Carolina laws of confidentiality prohibit DSS from discussing specific details of any case.

Steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of deaths related to sleeping arrangements.

• Always place healthy babies on their backs for nighttime sleep and for naps.
• Make appropriate sleeping arrangements for your child like a crib, bassinet or playpen designed for babies - do not sleep with the baby.
• Never put your sleeping baby on pillows, cushions, sofas or loose bedding.
• Keep excess bedding, toys, stuffed animals and pillows out of the crib while the baby sleeps.
• Do not cover the crib or your baby's face with blankets.
• Make sure your baby breathes smoke free air.

For more information call Carolinas Center for Injury Prevention at 704-355-7098 or visit www.carolinasinjuryprevention.com, www.nchealthystart.org, or www.usa.safekids.org.

Do you have a gun in your home?

• Always keep the gun unloaded and locked up. Gun locks are available FREE of charge for all permitted guns. Locks can be obtained at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Gun Permits Office, 715 East 4th Street or at your Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department location.
• Lock and store the bullets in a separate place and hide the keys to the locked boxes.

This gun safety information is provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg SAFE KIDS Coalition. For more information call 704-336-SAFE or visit http://www.safekidscharmeck.org

Citizens interested in additional information and resources can refer to the following County resources.

- The DSS CARE Line: A citizen who has the suspicion that a child is being abused or neglected is required by law to report their concern to Mecklenburg County’s 24 hour child protection line at 704-336-2273.

- Citizen Information and Referral (CIR): A FREE service that connects callers to community resources, volunteer opportunities and community-based programs that offer assistance through DSS, United Way 2-1-1, and Just1Call (J1C), a referral service for senior adults and their caregivers. Contact the CIR by calling: DSS at 704-336-3150, J1C at 704-432-1111, or United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-866-744-7778 (24 hours).



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