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On Page 4C of today's newspaper, we have a story about how the COVID-19 pandemic has masked the ongoing tragedy of child abuse in this country.

We hope you take time to read it. It's an especially appropriate time to run the story because Thursday not only marks the begining of April, but also the start of National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.

The program, coordinated by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, part of the Children's Bureau of Administration for Children and Families in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is designed to increase awareness about child abuse and neglect, as well as helping to strengthen families, improve parenting and spurring community support for strong and healthy families.

Right now instances of child abuse are even more difficult to detect and report.

Teachers and school officials are the top reporters of suspected abuse. But with schools out in many places, along with remote learning, that task is harder than ever. It's one reason reports of abuse are down nationwide.

That's why it's important we all know the signs of child abuse and resolve to take action if such abuse is suspected.

The Child Welfare Information Gateway offers tips on how to recognize the signs of possible child abuse. Understand that these signs do not prove the existence of abuse, but they are things to look out for. You can find out more at the childwelfare.gov website.

Child abuse is a national tragedy. Hopefully, all of us will take this month to remember that and to evaluate what role we can play in helping our nation's youngest and most vulnerable citizens grow up safe from harm.

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