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Avoiding Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken Baby Syndrome can be avoided.
June 4, 2012
Twin Tiers (WENY) - It's a story we hear too often. A young child dies after being shaken by a parent. A young mother now faces more charges in the death of her 16 month old son. State Police arrested Nicole Freeman, also known as Nicole Sager of Van Etten for shaking her son causing a serious brain injury. This morning, State Police notified us the child has died. He's Identified as 16 month old Jason Shappee. Police say the child was taken to Robert Packer Hospital, then air-lifted to Geisinger Medical Center on Friday. Investigators originally charged Freeman with Reckless Assault of a child. The D-A is reviewing the case and is expected to bring more charges now that the boy has died.
It only takes a few seconds of violent shaking to hurt a baby, but the damage is irreversible. It's estimated that between 1 and 3 thousand children in the U-S suffer from shaken baby syndrome every year, and its not always caused by abuse. Its important to realize, it takes a lot less movement to hurt a baby than you might think, but the damage will last forever. Babies are extremely vulnerable to shaking or violent movement because their neck muscles are not strong enough to control the motion of their heads. Shaken baby syndrome occurs typically in babies less than 8 months old, but can happen in children up to five. When holding a baby always support its head. Melissa Klossner the Clinical Services Director for zxthe Chemung County Health Department says if a baby has been shaken, signs of damage are not always evident right away.
“Until you get some real symptoms like seizure activity changing pupils mood changes or blood in their eyes or actual bruising its hard to tell the baby has been a victim of shaken baby syndrome.”
If you suspect a baby has been shaken you should call 911 or take the baby to the hospital right away.