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WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita police say four children were taken into protective custody Thursday evening.
It happened when an officer spotted several children fighting in a car near Pawnee and Broadway. Police stopped the car.
“The officers were talking to the kids and notice there were several bug bites that appeared to be from insects that were over these children,” says Lt. Doug Nolte with WPD. “The officers were uncomfortable just to let them go, so they decided to transport and check out the living conditions of the family.”
Inside the house, officers found several concerns.
“They noticed the house had poor living conditions,” says Nolte. ” There was trash everywhere. There was no food for the children and there were several animals living in the house, domesticated animals, that also were not being cared for. It was at that time they made the determination to take the children into police protective custody.”
The 33-year-old mother and two other adults lived in the home.
While no arrests were made, advocates for children say the cops made the right call.
“Neglect is actually the highest form of abuse reported nationally and in the state of Kansas,” says Samantha Cotton of the Kansas Children’s Service League.
Cotton is not talking about the case on Thursday night, but says this serves as a reminder to parents and neighbors to keep an eye on kids and how they are doing.
“We see and hear of all kinds of kids being abused,” says Cotton. “And, yes, the public can help prevent it.”
“Take action. Report. Even if you have reported in the past. It’s important to continue to report if evidence or situations occur. ”
Cotton says signs of abused kids can include everything from poor hygiene and lack of clothing, to bite or burn marks on kids.
Cotton also says there is an easy way to report abuse, or suspected abuse.
The Kansas Children’s Service league has an 800 number, and it’s anonymous.
The “Parent Helpline” is 1-800-CHILDREN.
In extreme cases, Cotton says you should not hesitate to dial 911.