Not Just Blowing in the Wind

Linda Burton posting from Carson City, Nevada – The blue and silver flashes caught my eye as I drove down Carson Street. Hundreds of pinwheels on the Legislative lawn were spinning wildly in the afternoon breeze. Of course I had to know — why were they there? Inside, I learned it is an annual thing, this Planting of the Pinwheels; as April is Prevent Child Abuse month in Nevada, part of the national effort, Prevent Child Abuse America.

Statewide, people are encouraged to plant a pinwheel garden in a public place, display pinwheels at home and at work, and attend local events; but especially to spread the word about child abuse prevention.

Carson City’s event was yesterday, attended by over 150 people who helped First Lady Kathleen Sandoval and daughter Marisa plant pinwheels on the Legislative Lawn. Mrs. Sandoval kicked off the event with a speech promoting a healthy and safe environment for the children of Nevada. The Carson City Board of Supervisors and the Governor’s Office proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention month.

With the core belief that healthy child development is the foundation for community and economic development, Prevent Child Abuse Nevada states “Everyone has a role to play in preventing child abuse and supporting families. We need to do what we can to ensure that children live in safe and nurturing environments.”

In 2010, according to Child Welfare League of America, 4,947 children were victims of abuse or neglect in Nevada, a rate of 7.3 per 1,000 children, representing a 5.1% increase from 2009. Of these children, 76.2% were neglected, 32.8% were physically abused, and 7.5% were sexually abused.

Strengthening community resources, increasing public awareness, and influencing public policy are necessary activities to further the cause of child abuse prevention. The silver-blue flashes on the Legislative lawn are an eye-catching sign of a larger effort for the children, and families, of Nevada.

Twitter topics I noted are “Mothers, Choose Your Partners Carefully,” and “Parents, Choose Your Children’s Caretakers Carefully.” See how you can get involved: