How to Keep Your Patients Safe From Violence

October 27, 2007

Robert D. Sege, MD, PhD gave his colleagues life-saving information Saturday on guidance and resources pediatricians can use in keeping their patients safe from violence. Sege, an associate professor of pediatrics at Tufts-New England Medical Center's Institute for Medical Research and Health Policy Studies, explained the background and basics of implementing AAP's Connected Kids: Safe, Strong, Secure project. Connected Kids was developed by VIPP - The Violence Intervention and Prevention Program.

Robert D. Sege, MD, PhD, gave his colleagues life-saving information Saturday on guidance and resources pediatricians can use in keeping their patients safe from violence. Sege, an associate professor of pediatrics at Tufts-New England Medical Center's Institute for Medical Research and Health Policy Studies, explained the background and basics of implementing AAP's Connected Kids: Safe, Strong, Secure project. Connected Kids was developed by VIPP - The Violence Intervention and Prevention Program.

Sege says that when treating a patient who's been the victim of violence, it's not enough tojust focus on a single incident. Look instead at the condition of the patient's life. The ConnectedKids program breaks the information up into three age groups, from birth to age 21, with print andonline resources that pediatricians can use in their day-to-day practice to counsel parents andchildren.

He outlined the "3 Rs" of youth violence prevention: Resilience, Responsibility, and Respect.The tools the AAP provides helps practitioners offer adults help with their parenting/caregivingskills, including alternatives to corporal punishment, tips on discipline, and television violence.They also counsel children in finding alternative behaviors when presented with difficult situations,such as fighting and bullying.

Sege also discussed the fact that there are many wonderful community-based "pro-social"programs that pediatricians can use as a resource to steer patients and their families toward ways toreduce or prevent violence. Some of these programs include Artists for Humanity, City Year, andsports leagues.

Information on the Connected Kids program can be found online at www.aap.org/connectedkids/default.htm