In Romulus, MI, Kalijah Arlboro, 11 month-old, died on August 16, 2008. She was mortally injured from injuries she sustained as a victim of child abuse. Doctors pronounced her brain dead on August 14, 2008. News stories report that Kalijah’s father’s girlfriend, LaTonya Goodlow, is allegedly responsible for the abuse. Ms. Goodlow is charged with first degree felony murder, first degree child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. Ms. Goodlow faces possible life in prison if convicted. She will be arraigned in Wayne County Circuit court on October 8, 2008. 

Feelings of stress and frustration are normal while caring for infants and children, however acting out in a harmful way towards the infant or child is not acceptable and dangerous. The caregiver should focus on developing an abuse-prevention plan for dealing with feelings of stress and frustration that may emerge in the presence of the infant or the child. The abuse-prevention plan should include a cooling off period and developing an effective coping behavior that prevents physical abuse from occurring. It is best for families to be proactive and make an effort to provide a supportive environment for caregivers with children by assisting with childcare and allowing the caregiver respite. And the caregiver should not hesitate to ask family members and friends to assist with childrearing. It takes more than one person to care for an infant or raise a child. If you or someone you know has difficulty managing anger than utilizing community programs may be necessary if the family is not supportive. Please don’t hesitate to contact an organization in your community to assist you with childcare and respite issues. Please seek assistance if you feel overwhelmed by stress. If you know someone that has expressed frustration and is feeling overwhelmed, reach out and assist in any way that you can. Communication is essential to preventing child abuse. Remember approximately four million children are abused annually. Less than half of those cases get reported (http://rad.usuhs.mil:80/rad/home/peds/pedindex.html). Seeking assistance before an injury occurs is not a crime.    

Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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