Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson: Program helps parents prevent shaken baby syndrome

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by DR. WENDY SUE SWANSON / Pediatrician

KING5.com

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Head trauma is the number one cause of child abuse death in the country. It's often caused by vigorously shaking a baby who won't stop crying. The tragedy is that it's completely preventable.

April is Child Abuse Prevention month. There are groups across the country working to improve injuries to children that occur from abuse.
 
Facts about abusive head trauma:
  • Results from shaking the head of infant or small child
  • Cases are up 55 percent since 2007 (recession), to 17/100,000 births
  • 68 percent of babies who suffer abusive head trauma will have long-term neurologic impairments 
  • 52 percent of abusive head trauma patients will have behavioral problems
Preventing abusive head trauma:
  • Inconsolable crying is #1 trigger for shaking
  • Remember crying is normal
  • Education on normal crying
  • A statewide Abusive Head Trauma Task Force was created in 2010
  • Use of PURPLE Crying Prevention 
What parents need to know:
  • All babies cry, and some will cry up to 5-6 hours a day
  • Crying peaks around 6-8 weeks of age
  • Support new parents, take turns caring for infants
  • Read about PURPLE, which seeks to help parents
More information:

More about Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson: Facebook | Twitter: @ | Read Her Blog

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