There’s nothing quite as distressing as the sound of a crying child. Perhaps it’s an instinctive reaction within us as human beings that help to ensure that a baby’s needs are met. An infant may cry if it’s in pain, needing to be changed, or if it’s hungry. However, what happens when you’ve done everything you can think of, and the baby continues to scream? What happens when the feelings of hopeless and frustration become unbearable?
All too often, a crying child and an adult losing emotional control result in the baby being shaken. The adult may be so carried away that they don’t even realize the damage that can potentially result from shaking a baby. If you could see what happens inside of a child physiologically when it’s shaken, you would see the brain bounce back and forth against the skull. You may then notice bruising, swelling, and bleeding within the brain. The large veins along the outside of the brain might be seen to tear, resulting in even more bleeding, swelling, and increased pressure. This could easily lead to brain damage and death. Other injuries, such as damage to the neck, spine, and eyes would also be noticed.
The Never Shake a Baby Program Arizona (NSBAZ) was created to give parents the education and skills that they need to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome. New parents discharging from the hospital who volunteer for the program are provided with tips on how to handle a crying baby, an opportunity to view a video on Shaken Baby Syndrome, a document to sign stating that they were educated on the dangers of shaking babies. They also create a plan for handling their crying child, which they then share with care providers and families.
If you’ve ever felt the helplessly frustrating distress of a crying baby, know that you’re not alone. Please, contact us for more information on this project.