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Idahoans Ponder Boise Baby Death Case

March 20, 2008

Boise, ID – A Boise man admitted this week that he killed his infant son because he was under stress and unprepared to be a parent. Child abuse prevention expert Margaret Hower with the Idaho Children's Trust Fund says frustration is a common feeling for any new parent, and society needs to teach parents that it's okay to reach out for help. Raising kids successfully, Hower says, takes more than intuition.

"You go to school to learn to be a journalist, a teacher, an accountant -- so take a class to learn to be a better parent."

Hower says some programs around the state play "Super Nanny," checking in with high-risk families to help them troubleshoot stressful issues. A few hospitals offer baby-calming tips before parents go home, and others staff a "Warm Line," a number parents can call when they feel they've had enough.

Making sure children grow up healthy and safe takes extra sets of sensitive eyes and ears, Hower adds. It will be a major topic of discussion at an upcoming conference in Boise, called "Strengthening Families to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect."

"There is something that every single one of us adults can do to prevent child abuse and neglect. One of those things is be being aware of, and supportive of, families in stressful times."

The conference will take place the first weekend in April, and is sponsored by the Idaho Children's Trust Fund, which also provides grant funding and training to programs that work to prevent child abuse and neglect.

For more information on the conference, visit idahochildrenstrustfund.idaho.gov.

Deborah Smith/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - ID