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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 12:42 am | Fair 50º

 
 
 
Your Health
A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

Cottage Children’s Medical Center Conference Focuses on Child-Abuse Prevention, Assessment

Sessions were aimed at people who work with children or in health care about preventing, identifying and evaluating child abuse.

Karen Kay Imagawa, chief of staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, spoke Friday in Santa Barbara about how to recognize the signs and symptoms of child neglect and abuse. Click to view larger
Karen Kay Imagawa, chief of staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, spoke Friday in Santa Barbara about how to recognize the signs and symptoms of child neglect and abuse. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Cottage Children's Medical Center hosted a multi-disciplinary conference on Friday that provided educational information for people who work with children or in health care about preventing, identifying and evaluating child abuse.

Approximately 160 attendees — including physicians, nurses, social workers, emergency personnel, teachers and law enforcement — gathered at UC Santa Barbara's Corwin Pavilion for the day-long seminar.

“It takes vigilance of an entire community to recognize and prevent child abuse,” Cottage spokeswoman Maria Zate said. “Our goal of the event was to bring together people who work with children across different areas in the community.”

The focused on a medical workup and follow-up for a kid who is suspected to be a victim of abuse. It provided information about the legal details of child abuse and neglect.

Other topics including evaluating the role of parental substance abuse and mental health in child abuse and neglect, as well as how to spot risk factors to prevent abuse in vulnerable situations. 

“We are committed to children’s health and wanted to offer an opportunity for knowledge sharing with a panel of experts,” Zate said. “One of the event’s goals was for those who work with children to better understand how to prevent abuse and provide the appropriate intervention when abuse is recognized.”

Karen Kay Imagawa, chief of staff at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, spoke at the seminar and discussed on how to recognize the signs and symptom of neglect and abuse.

“How many people have seen the television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation?” Imagawa asked the crowd. “Everything happens in one day and an hour — that’s not how it happens.”

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, left, with pediatric hospitalists from Cottage Children’s Medical Center, Christophe Le Renard, Adrienne Macdonald and Morgan Leafe. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, left, with pediatric hospitalists from Cottage Children’s Medical Center, Christophe Le Renard, Adrienne Macdonald and Morgan Leafe. (Cottage Health photo)

The No. 1 cause of trauma related death in children victims is head injury-related. Abdominal injuries are the second most common cause of death in child abuse, Imagawa said.

She also showed images of burn victims and children with bite marks on their bodies.

An estimated 1,670 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States in 2015, according to the National Children's Alliance.

Other guest speakers included Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley; James Benzian, a radiologist at Santa Barbara Radiology Medical Group; Carol Hubner, with Kelly & Hubner, LLC; and Colleen Friend, a professor at California State University Los Angeles' Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services.

The conference closed with a networking event at Beachside Bar-Cafe in Goleta.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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