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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 besides your baby...no blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, bumpers, etc., and baby should always lay on his/her back. Top Ten Safe Sleep Recommendations (in Spanish)
Understanding the developmental milestones in a child’s life will make it easier to care for them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide an overview of what you can expect your child to be capable of doing as he or she goes through the preschool years. Learn more
While “accidents will happen”, many are avoidable with proper planning. Over the years a great deal of thought has gone into keeping babies safe. Before bringing babies and toddlers into your home, spend some time looking around and remember that children have a keen sense of curiosity. They love to put things in their mouths; will poke their fingers into electrical outlets without a thought; climb stairs without any notion of the power of gravity; etc… Create a safe environment for your child. Be sure to baby-proof your home and never travel in a car without fastening your baby securely into a car seat.
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 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 of your local DCP&P office here.