Keeping Children Safe

Protecting Sleeping Infants

The safest place for an infant to sleep is in a crib or a bassinet. For your child's safety be sure to keep sleep surfaces free of soft, cushioned surfaces that have been found to suffocate infants. That means that there should be nothing in the crib beside your baby...no blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, bumpers, etc., and baby should always lay on his/her back. Find out more information about the safest place for infants to sleep in the corresponding PDF document. 

Safe Sleep Recommendations

To find out the safest way for your baby to sleep read baby BEAR's recommendations in the attached PDF document. 

Child Car Seat Safety

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, found that there is a 72.6% combined rate of misuse of car seats and booster seats, including: 

  • Improper recline 
  • Loose car seat installation
  • Improper lap belt position 

These kinds of misuses of car seats can reduce the protection of the seat in the event of the crash and lead to injury or death. Find out more information on child car seat safety here.  

The Child Passenger Safety Laws in New Jersey have changed effective September 1, 2017. For more information on these changes, view these changes in the attached PDF.  

The NJ Department of the Attorney General has also published some Child Passenger Safety information that can be found here. Find additional information in the NJ Law Update for Car Seat Recommendations for Children brochure

For more Child Safety Seat information visit the Union County Child Safety Seat Inspection Center's webpage. 

For additional information on how to keep your child safe in the car, check out this website on how to find the right car seat for your child here

Recommended by our Readers: More websites about car safety: Child Safety SeatsKids HealthNHTSA

NJ Programs that Strengthen Families and Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

Every county in the state now provides Early Childhood Services that are geared to prevent child abuse and neglect by educating parents and getting them the assistance they need to take care of their children. These services fall under three main headings:

  • The Home Visitation Program provides services to families challenged by complex health-related and/or social problems. This program focuses attention on pregnant women and children up to age five.
  • Early Care and Education Centers work with families to build the life skills and protective factors that have proven to be effective in preventing child abuse and neglect. 
  • The Children’s Trust Fund supports a variety of child abuse prevention programs in local communities.

Find out more about these programs and locate community resources.

Reporting Child Abuse

Child Abuse is Unacceptable - If you suspect abuse dial 877-652-2873 day or night.

The Division of Child Protection and Permanency - DCP&P (formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services or DYFS) is New Jersey's child protection and child welfare agency. Its mission is to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and to support families. Each year, DCP&P contracts with many community-based agencies throughout the state to provide services to children and families. Such services include counseling, parenting skills classes, substance abuse treatment, in-home services, foster care and residential placement.

DCP&P is also responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and, if necessary, arranging for the child's protection and the family's treatment. The Child Abuse Hotline (State Central Registry) receives all reports of child abuse and neglect 24-hours a day, 7-days a week Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or acts of abuse should report this by calling the Hotline at 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873). If the child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 as well as the Child Abuse Hotline. A concerned caller does not need proof to report an allegation of child abuse and can make the report anonymously.

Each year, DCP&P contracts with many community-based agencies throughout the state to provide services to children and families. Such services include counseling, parenting skills classes, substance abuse treatment, in-home services, foster care and residential placement.

Find the contact information for your local DCP&P office here.

Sources for this page include

http://www.state.nj.us/dcf
http://www.aap.org
http://familydoctor.org
https://one.nhtsa.gov/
https://usinsuranceagents.com/
https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/child_passenger_safety/cps-factsheet.html
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/child-safety/fatalityfacts/child-safety
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2011/03/21/peds.2011-0215.full.pdf