Hurley doctor starts effort to combat Shaken Baby Syndrome
by Elizabeth Shaw | The Flint Journal
Tuesday December 09, 2008, 5:52 PM
FLINT, Michigan -- It was only 10 seconds.
In October, police testified in Genesee County Circuit Court that Paul D. Powell II, 17, shook his 8-month-old daughter Takyra Rene Banks "for a period of about 10 seconds" because she would not stop crying. Powell is now awaiting trial for murder and first-degree child abuse in the July 17th death.
It's something Hurley Pediatric Chief Resident Dr. Faisal Mawri has seen too often -- and never wants to see again.
Flint Journal extras For tips on soothing an unhappy baby:
What to do with a crying baby:
• Make sure all the baby's needs have been met and there is no physical or medical cause that requires attention.
• Put the baby in a safe place (crib, bassinet or play pen) and leave the room for a few minutes to calm down.
• Take several deep breaths and count to 10.
• Say the alphabet out loud, read a poem or close your eyes and think of something pleasant.
• Do housework or another task to distract your attention.
• Create a noise to get the baby's attention such as a blender or vacuum cleaner.
• Hug and cuddle the baby. Wrap the infant in a blanket and carry him or her around.
• Call someone to ask for help.
Source: Genesee County Health Department
"I went into pediatrics because I love children. It is very difficult to see a baby fighting for its life with a tube in its throat, trying to breathe, and to know it was caused in an instant when a mother or father was simply upset because the baby won't stop crying," said Mawri. "What has surprised me in talking to parents here is how many do not know that shaking a baby could cause these fatalities."
Mawri hopes to change that with a $3,000 grant he received from the American Academy of Pediatrics' Community Access to Child Health to launch "Never Shake Your Baby.
It's a good thing Dr. Mawri is doing. I just wish there was more collaboration among advocates, so we could all work more efficiently and effectively. There is a peculiar tendency among advocates to reinvent wheels.
For example, there is a regional SBS prevention coordinated by DeVos Children's Hospital. And in Saginaw, the Child Abuse Council is using Baby Think It Over dolls (OK, infant simulators) to increase awareness.
It's a big world, with lots of parents to educate. Let's collaborate...
And I just have to say that there doesn't seem to be a compelling need to spend money develop a new prevention video. Let's hope that part of the plan got transmogrified by the reporter.