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Notice to Readers: National Parent Leadership Month --- February 2005

February is National Parent Leadership Month, dedicated to recognizing the important role of parents in raising healthy families in their homes and communities. The event is sponsored by Parents Anonymous® Inc., which is supported by private and government agencies, including CDC. Throughout the month, events across the United States will present information on how parents and foster parents can become active leaders in promoting positive behaviors and preventing childhood injuries.

Each year in the United States, hundreds of thousands of children and adolescents are at high risk for injuries, some involving child abuse and neglect, that can lead to death or disability (1). During 2002, according to data collected from state child protective services agencies, an estimated 896,000 children were determined to have been abused (2). Children who experience maltreatment are at increased risk for adverse health effects and behaviors as adults, including smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, physical inactivity, severe obesity, depression, suicide, multiple sex partners, and certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes (3).

During National Parent Leadership Month, parents, community leaders, teachers, health-care providers, and others can become informed about effective strategies to prevent childhood abuse and neglect. These strategies include behavioral parent training and home visitation programs, which can reduce the rate of child maltreatment (4,5). Additional information about activities to prevent child maltreatment is available at


  1. CDC. Fact sheet: injuries among children and adolescents. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2004.
  2. National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. Child maltreatment 2002: summary of key findings. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2004. Available at
  3. Felitti V, Anda R, Nordenberg D, et al. Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults. Am J Prev Med 1998;14:245--58.
  4. CDC. Using evidence-based parenting programs to advance CDC efforts in child maltreatment prevention: research brief 2004. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2004. Available at
  5. CDC. First reports evaluating the effectiveness of strategies for preventing violence: early childhood home visitation. Findings from the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. MMWR 2003:52(No. RR-14):1--9.

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