Tuesday, February 5 2013, 07:40 PM CST
CPS: Child abuse up, child deaths down
JEFFERSON COUNTY - by Ashley Gaston - They are helpless, vulnerable, at the mercy of parents and loved ones to protect them.
Too often, babies and young children are not protected, but hurt even killed.
KFDM News has learned the number of reported cases of abuse or neglect has increased in the area covered by Child Protective Services in Southeast Texas.
Last year, nearly 2500 Southeast Texans called the child abuse hotline number to report suspected abuse.
That's an increase of about four hundred phone calls from 2011.
Child Protective Services believes the increase is due to its effort to increase awareness and get people to pay attention.
A phone call is often the first step in finding help for a family and either stopping or limiting child abuse.
661 children suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of a loved one or friend. That’s up from 2011.
The number of child deaths is down across the state and locally.
19 fewer children in Texas died from abuse or neglect last year.
One of the child deaths in this region was in Jasper County.
Angel Bryan is facing capital murder charges for the death of her 19 month old daughter.
In September of last year, CPS says Bryan's daughter suffered severe injuries to her head and died of shaken baby syndrome.
Child Protective Services is urging family, friends or neighbors to call Investigators if they suspect abuse.
“That is the only way we can get involved with these families. We want to be proactive; we want to help these children before they get into this situation," said Shari Pulliam. Pulliam is the Public Information Officer for Child Protective Services.
Babies and children should always sleep alone. Parents should remember babies sleep alone, on their back, in a cool and smoke free room.
If you suspect abuse or neglect of a child, call the CPS hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child.