By James A. Mercy, NCIPC, Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Imagine if today.... the Surgeon General announced that a newly diagnosed
disease is attacking our country's children.
He predicts that if the disease is allowed to spread unchecked, it will soon
infect almost 3 million children a year, making it more widespread than any
other health problem for children.
If a vaccine cannot be developed, he says, the country will have to spend
billions of dollars each year in treatment efforts to combat the effects of the
Many children will carry the scars of the disease for the rest of their lives,
and may well pass the infections on to their own children.
If the Surgeon General made this announcement today, wouldn't we
immediately assign the best minds in our country to research ways of
preventing the spread of such a devastating disease?
And, if someone discovered an effective vaccine, wouldn't we be willing to
spend whatever it cost to vaccinate every child in our society?
Isn't that just what we did when polio was first diagnosed?
There is such a problem attacking our country's children: Its name is child
abuse and we have a responsibility, for the sake of our children to protect
them from it.
That's why we are here today! To talk about what we can do to
prevent child abuse before it happens!