Sunday, May 02, 2010

Economic Conditions Affect Incidence of SBS

Articles in US News and World Report, USA Today and TIME cover a new study showing a significant correlation between abuse head injuries, such as Shaken Baby Syndrome, and the economy...

From the TIME article...

Presenting May 1 at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Vancouver, a team of researchers led by child abuse expert Dr. Rachel Berger at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh reported a significant increase in cases of shaken baby syndrome, in which youngsters are shaken violently by an adult, since the start of the current recession. Researchers analyzed data on 512 cases of head trauma in the children's centers of four hospitals in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Columbus and Seattle, and found that the number of cases had increased to 9.3 cases per month since Dec. 1, 2007, compared with 6 cases per month prior to that date — a rate that had held steady since 2004.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Survivors: Adam Carbajal, Part II

Three First Five counties joined to bring the story of Adam Carbajal, and the remarkable campaign of his grandparents for legislation that creates serious consequences for those who inflict injuries on young children, to video - via YouTube...

More on Adam's story.

More on the effort to enact Adam's Law, sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Villines:
Adam's Law: Shake, Hit or Hurt a Child Severely = 15 Years-to-Life

In November of 2004, a young resident of our Fresno community, Adam Carbajal, became a victim of devastating child abuse by being subjected to shaken baby syndrome resulting in severe head trauma. Although Adam was initially given only a five percent chance of survival, he lives today with permanent brain damage and is paralyzed on the right side. Adam cannot walk, talk or do anything most little boys his age can do.

Adam's perpetrator was charged with two counts – corporal injury to a child and willful cruelty to a child under the age of five. After skipping bail and being on the run for months, then harassing Adam's family and insisting he fell on his own, only to later plead guilty, Adam's assailant will only serve seven and a half years in prison.This is because current California law does not take into consideration the consequences or the end result of an incident of child abuse when determining the sentence for the crime. Even if Adam's injuries only resulted in a broken arm or leg, the child abuser's punishment would remain the same.

When I heard about this family's story from Adam's concerned and loving grandparents, I knew action needed to be taken to correct this glaring deficiency in the law. To put an end to this, next year I will be authoring ''Adam's Law'', a measure that will result in longer prison sentences for perpetrators who cause severe and permanent damage to children.

If the child abuser shakes, hits or hurts a child severely, the punishment would be 15 years-to-life. I believe we should stop at nothing to protect our children from harmful and dangerous abusers like Adam's assailant.

I'm proud to stand by Adam's family and work with the Legislature to correct this loophole in our system, bringing justice to more families and most importantly, preventing this from happening to any more children.

To find out more information about Adam Carbajal and learn how you can help the efforts of his family, send an email to

Thursday, April 22, 2010

SBS Awareness Week 2010 - Senate Resolution

Another bit of good news from Congress: despite all that's going on (or not) with financial reform, Senator Dodd again sponsored a Senate resolution recognizing SBS Awareness Week 2010.
April 22, 2010


WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) designating the third week of April 2010 as National Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) joined Dodd in authoring and introducing the resolution.

Last year, nearly 95,000 children under the age of 1 were victims of abuse and neglect, said Dodd. One form of this abuse is Shaken Baby Syndrome, which often results in severe injury, lifelong disability, and even death. By proclaiming the third week of April to be National Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week, the Senate is doing its part to raise public awareness about this preventable and devastating form of child maltreatment.

In recognition of the need to eliminate child abuse and to raise awareness about the issue, the month of April has been designated National Child Abuse Prevention Month, an annual tradition that was initiated in 1979 by former President Jimmy Carter.

In February, Dodd, along with Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) in the House of Representatives, introduced the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Act, which would establish a national public health campaign to raise awareness about Shaken Baby Syndrome, encourage prevention programs, provide support to both families affected by abusive head trauma incidents as well as preventative support for parents and caregivers, and review data collection on Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The SBS Prevention Act of 2010

S.3003: A bill to enhance Federal efforts focused on public awareness and education about the risks and dangers associated with Shaken Baby Syndrome. [link to bill]

Sponsor: Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] (introduced 2/4/2010)
Cosponsors: (4) Sen Bayh, Evan [IN], Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH], Sen Cochran, Thad [MS], Sen Johnson, Tim [SD]
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Major Action: 2/4/2010 Referred to Senate committee.
Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

H.R.4642: Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Act of 2010 [link to bill]

Sponsor: Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] (introduced 2/22/2010)
Cosponsors: (None)
Latest Major Action: 2/22/2010 Referred to House committee.
Status: Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pepsi Refresh Project: Fund Prevent Child Abuse Iowa

Good News: Prevent Child Abuse Iowa is still in the running for Pespi funding of a statewide SBS prevention initiative.

Not So Good News: PCA Iowa is still ranked #45. What better way to celebrate SBS Awareness Week than voting - and you can vote once a day, until April 30.

Link to PCA Page -

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ohio Reflections: Jada Ruiz, Aiden Stein and Bill Spicer

The Akron Beacon Journal reports on Jada Ruiz, a six month old girl in intensive care at Akron's Children's Hospital.

Her injuries are so severe that her mother wants to release her from life support, but her father, who is accused of inflicting the injuries, is battling to keep Jada on life support.

A sad story, and one that brought to mind the case of Aiden Stein, and the legal battle about whether he should be allowed to remain on life support. When the petition to remove life support is heard by Judge Bill Spicer, it will undoubtedly remind him of Aiden Stein: he was also the judge in that case.

Despite dire predictions, he survived. In 2009, a follow up story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported he was alive and responsive to stimuli. There are no good consequences when a child is shaken: cases such as these simply emphasize the importance of prevention.

Whatever happened to Aiden Stein, who was in a coma in Akron after being assaulted by his father?

The Mansfield boy will celebrate his sixth birthday Oct. 27.

Aiden was supposed to be deaf, blind and in a permanent vegetative state after his father severely shook and abused him in 2004 when he was 5 months old. Experts thought he would require life support -- including breathing tubes -- for the rest of his life. And they thought he wouldn't live long.

"This is the kid experts said was deaf, blind and would remain in a permanent vegetative state," said Dale Musilli, the child's court-appointed lawyer. "He responds to sound, he responds to light."

aiden-stein-shaken-baby-123004.jpgAiden Stein)

"This kid has had some serious medical episodes. He's a tough little guy and has pulled back each time," Musilli said.

Friday, April 16, 2010

IL: Mentos, Guinness and SBS Awareness

The Danville Commercial News reports on a school board meeting that involves Mentos, Guinness and SBS Awareness. Sounds like these middle school students in Danville and Reagan's Rescue are doing a great job of raising awareness!

So, how often do you get a chance to support a Guinness world's record AND increase awareness of SBS...

Board members also heard from a long line of student Problem Solvers from North Ridge Middle School. One by one, students told of their “I Will Prevent It” campaign for Shaken Baby Syndrome, which was awarded first place in state competition.

The students announced they would have another fundraiser for Reagan’s Rescue with a second attempt to break the Guinness World Record for Mentos geysers. An attempt at the 1,900 person record failed in January as 500 showed up in poor weather, but the students have taken their second try a step further by aiming for 2,500 geysers.

Students said in January they were disappointed they didn’t make the record but were buoyed by the fact they had raised awareness for their cause.

Geysers are created when a Mentos tab is dropped in a soda bottle with the ensuing fizz directed 10 feet into the air through a tube.

Organizers hope to employ area school districts to help with the record and the cost has been dropped from $10 to $2 in the second go-around due to leftover supplies from the first attempt.

The new world record attempt will take place at 1:30 May 13 at the WDAN radio station, 1500 N. Wabash St. Participants are asked to arrive at least an hour early and a rain date of May 17 has been set.

The Problem Solvers are also hoping the community supports a fundraiser to help the group attend an international competition in June.

To make a donation or participate in the geyser event contact sponsor Lori Woods at or 444-3456

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

VT: Incidence of SBS rising (Vermont Public Radio)

Vermont Public Radio interviewed the coordinator of the SBS Prevention Program sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse VT...

Link to listen to interview

Officials aren't quite sure why, but cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome are on the rise in Vermont. Prevent Child Abuse Vermont started keeping track of cases in the fall of 2007. Since then, there have been 19 cases. Six have resulted in the death of an infant.

Kay Shangraw is a registered nurse and she's also the program's Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Coordinator. Shangraw visited us in our VPR studios to speak with Mitch Wertlieb.

Shangraw described the injuries seen from abusive head trauma-the medical term for what can happen from less than ten seconds of shaking.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Iowa: Pepsi and Shaken Baby Prevention

Google brought this announcement from the Denison Bulletin our way today.

There's no moment like the last by ,March 31 April 30 (voting was extended) [link to voting page] to help Prevent Child Abuse Iowa meet an interesting Pepsi challenge:

Help the Iowa Child Abuse Prevention Program stop shaken baby syndrome

Published: Friday, March 26, 2010
The Iowa Child Abuse Prevention Program submitted an idea to the Pepsi Refresh program, which is awarding more than a million dollars in grants to deserving programs chosen by popular vote.

Amber Russell, ICAPP manager as part of Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, explained that the grant would be used to purchase and distribute 10,000 copies of the Period of PURPLE Crying DVD. The educational DVD was developed by The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome to help new parents understand the characteristics of their baby’s cries.

The ICAPP program is designed to help prevent shaken baby syndrome in Iowa. Only the top 10 vote getters in the $25,000 class will be awarded a grant and the ICAPP project is currently ranked 45th.

To vote for the project visit Voting ends March 31 April 30.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Under 5: Abusive Head Trauma

Overall, the Fourth National Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect reports that the incidence of child abuse seems to be decreasing (an interesting take from Baltimore on those statistics - link)

Unfortunately, a recent report by CDC researchers estimates that 400 childen a year under age 5 still die from abusive head trauma - and half of the children who die as a result of child abuse are younger than 1. Link to abstract

Child maltreatment fatalities in children under 5: Findings from the National Violence Death Reporting System.

J Klevens and RT Leeb - Child Abuse Negl, March 19, 2010.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway,
Mailstop F-64, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the distribution of child maltreatment fatalities of children under 5 by age, sex, race/ethnicity, type of maltreatment, and relationship to alleged perpetrator using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS).

STUDY DESIGN: Two independent coders reviewed information from death certificates, medical examiner and police reports corresponding to all deaths in children less than 5 years of age reported to NVDRS in 16 states.

RESULTS: Of the 1,374 deaths for children under 5 reported to NVDRS, 600 were considered attributable to child maltreatment. Over a half of the 600 victims of child maltreatment in this age group were under 1 year old, 59% were male, 42% non-Hispanic Whites, and 38% were non-Hispanic Blacks.

Two thirds of child maltreatment fatalities in children under 5 were classified as being due to abusive head trauma (AHT), 27.5% as other types of physical abuse, and 10% as neglect. Based on these data, fathers or their substitutes were significantly more likely than mothers to be identified as alleged perpetrators for AHT and other types of physical abuse, while mothers were more likely to be assigned responsibility for neglect.

CONCLUSIONS: Among children under 5 years, children under 1 are the main age group contributing to child maltreatment fatalities in the NVDRS. AHT is the main cause of death in these data. These findings are limited by underascertainment of cases and fair inter-rater reliability of coding.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The findings suggest the need to develop and evaluate interventions targeting AHT to reduce the overall number of child maltreatment deaths in young children. These interventions should make special efforts to include fathers and their substitutes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Brain Injury Awareness Month: CDC Reports TBI is Rising

It's Brain Injury Awareness Month... a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and reported on MedPage underlines why awareness is important...(link to study)

A couple of facts leap out:

Boys aged 4 and younger have the highest rates of TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths combined (a statistic supported by a recent study that appears in the Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect: reseachers looked at deaths from child abuse in child under age 5, and found more than 50% of the victims were under age 1, and inflicted head injuries were most likely to be the cause of death...)

Assaults cause about 10% of traumatic brain injuries. They accounted for 2.9% of TBIs in children 14 and younger.

CDC Brain Injury Awareness Month - link
Brain Injury Association - link
Brain Injury Awareness Month - activity calendar - - link
Brainline Brain Injury Awareness Month video - link
March 17, 2010 was Brain Injury Awareness Day on the Hill - link
Membership Congressional Brain Injury Task Force (2009)
CDC Study Examines Rising Incidence of TBI
By Cole Petrochko, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: March 19, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) account for 1.7 million hospital visits and 52,000 deaths each year -- almost a third of the nation's injury-related fatalities, the CDC reported.

The agency's study found that the incidence rate of TBI-related emergency department visits and hospitalization increased by 14.4% and 19.5%, respectively, during the 2002-2006 survey period. About 75% of those injuries were classified as concussions or other mild forms of TBI.

Its report, entitled "Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Death," CDC found that TBIs tend to be concentrated among the young and old.

Children under 5, teens 15 to 19, and adults 65 and older are most likely to experience TBI.
* * *
Falls were the most likely known cause of TBI (35.2%), with the highest rates among children under 5 and seniors 75 and older. ... Among all age groups, the next leading cause of TBI was traffic accidents (17.3%), which accounted for the highest proportion (31.8%) of TBI deaths. Striking or being struck by objects accounted for 16.5% of TBIs, while assaults accounted for 10%. CDC could not determine the cause for 21% of the injuries.

The study is part of the CDC's "Heads Up" program to provide information to healthcare professionals and patients on preventing, recognizing, and managing TBI.

TBI may have short- and long-term consequences and can affect thought, perception, language, and emotions. Understanding the dangers of TBI are essential, the CDC said in a statement, because "consequences may not be readily apparent."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

SBS Education: Central New York

A short video from Central New York on educating parents about Shaken Baby Syndrome, including an interview with the mother of Fajo Edwards, who was shaken in 2006.

It shows how simple prevention education can be...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shaken Baby Awareness Stroll - April 10 Birmingham - April 25 Boston

Spring is coming (at least to the US Northeast - it may never have left Alabama).

What better time for a stroll with a few young children to raise awareness about Shaken Baby Syndrome? Boston (April 25) or Birmingham (April 10)

April 25 - Boston --Massachusetts Citizens for Children and WCVB-TV/Channel 5 announce Boston's 4th Annual Stroll for Shaken Baby Prevention on Sunday, April 25.
Babies and toddlers will be the stars of the event, as they are pushed in strollers or carried in baby carriers and slings along Boston’s historic streets by moms, dads, grandparents and other caregivers. Link to event page.

A brief pre-Stroll ceremony will include highlights of the organization's prevention efforts, remarks from families affected by SBS, and the releasing of blue and white balloons to remember infants who have died or been injured from shaking. Strollers will meet at Christopher Columbus Park in the North End, walk through portions of the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the Freedom Trail, and then wind their way through the North End back to Christopher Columbus Park.

Other sponsors joining with WCVB-TV include Boston Parents Paper, Isis Maternity and Kohl’s, the event's original sponsor whose Massachusetts stores will be contributing funds and volunteers to support the event. Uppababy Strollers, Baby Banz, BabyLegs, and Warm as a Lamb will also provide prizes and free products to strollers again this year.
April 10 - Birminghan - UAB to Host Inaugural Shaken Baby Prevention 4K Stroll and Education Fair
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Pediatrics will host its inaugural Shaken Baby Prevention Program 4K Stroll and Education Fair Saturday, April 10 on the UAB Campus Green, University Boulevard, between 14th and 16th streets South. Link to brochure.

The fundraising walk will support the UAB Shaken Baby Prevention Program in its efforts to provide child-abuse prevention education in all birthing hospitals, licensed daycares and appropriate community settings across Alabama.

Early registration is $20 per person or $100 per team for up to six people and ends March 31. After that day, walk registration will be $25 per person or $125 per team for up to six people. Kids under 12 walk free. For more information or to register go to or call 205-975-5659.

There will be a sidewalk stroll path along the UAB Campus Green for families with stroller-age children and a walk path around the perimeter of the Campus Green for fast-pace walkers. There also will be a kids zone with free games, crafts and activities for kids of all ages, an education fair featuring nonprofit agencies working to prevent child abuse and merchants and vendors with products and services to sample.

The UAB Shaken Baby Prevention Program is a hospital-based maternity education program within UAB Hospital, Cooper Green Mercy Hospital and UAB Medical West designed to decrease the number of child-abuse and shaken baby syndrome victims in Alabama.
Through a partnership with the Children's Trust Fund of Alabama and the Alabama Child Death Review System, parents are educated on the dangers of shaking small children and taught healthy ways to respond to infant crying before they leave the hospital with their new baby.
* * *
Along with the hospital-based work, the Shaken Baby Prevention Program is active in the community. The program administers community and school education events plus training sessions for nurses, social workers and child-care providers to increase awareness of the dangers of shaking an infant and to teach safe and effective methods to calm a crying infant.

Monday, March 08, 2010

AMCHP Conference: The Zen of a SBS Presentation without a Presenter

Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the 2010 AMCHP Conference, but I did do this presentation that's available via the magic of Scribd.

If you're lucky to be there, check out the presentation by Dr. Richard Volpe of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation's SBS Prevention Project (and check out "Preventing Inflicted Infant Head Trauma: Best Practices") , and Sally Fogerty and Sally Kerschner of the Children's Safety Network, on "Going to Scale" with injury prevention programs (and sample some of the CSN webinars on violence and injury prevention)

Great opportunity to learn about two regional collaborations to prevent SBS and ATV injuries while discussing the challenges in expanding successful initiatives.
11:00 AM Tuesday.

Session ID: H5 - Workshop
Taking Injury Prevention to Scale: New Approaches at the State and Community Levels

To reduce injury deaths in rural areas, the Children’s Safety Network formed a community of practice (COP) consisting of six states that met monthly to learn about rural injury issues, share resources, and develop prevention strategies. The COP offers a model of multistate, cross-agency collaboration to address the disparity in rural and urban injury rates, focusing on four key injury issues: teen motor vehicle crashes, teen suicides, ATV injuries, and farm injuries. This workshop describes the COP and explains how each participating state developed and implemented an action plan to adapt evidence-based interventions for use in rural communities.

Since it was implemented at Children's Hospital of Buffalo, the Upstate New York Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) Prevention Project has reduced the incidence of SBS and other inflicted head injuries by more than 50%. It has been adopted and extended to culturally diverse settings such as the Ontario SBS Prevention Project, which is part of Ontario's provincial injury prevention initiative, and the Centers for Disease Control, which have funded statewide prevention projects in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. During this workshop, participants will learn to 1) develop effective strategies and coalitions to reframe and support prevention initiatives; 2) develop, implement, and support hospital-based prevention education for new parents in MCH settings; 3) respond to common challenges and obstacles to adoption of prevention initiatives; and 4) use advocacy tools and techniques in the legislative process to support adoption of prevention legislation.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Free - "Are You Tough Enough" SBS Awareness Poster

Just in case you’re not on the email list from the Center, thought you might be interested in this offer… I’ve highlighted the operative term…FREE (well, S&H).Kudos to the National Center for making this Gentle reminder for parents available in time for April.Please pass it along to anyone else who might be interested.

April is Prevent Child Abuse Month

Free “Are You Tough Enough” Posters

From the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shipping and Handling Not Included

Sizes Available: 18 x 25

Place your order online at or

by phone at 801-627-3399



Hurry -Offer Expires 4/30/2010

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Mind Hacks - Baby Brains

In the blog roll, you'll notice Mind Hacks.

It's an always engaging blog that looks at a fascinating variety of things psychological.

For example, a recent post covers two articles related to baby (and mommy) brains.

All aboard the baby brain:

The March edition of The Psychologist has just appeared online and has two freely available articles: one article investigates whether women really suffer a reduction in mental sharpness during pregnancy, and another interviews baby psychologist Alison Gopnik about her work.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Prevention: North Carolina

The McDowell News has a great story on efforts to increase awareness in North Carolina. Link

The Carolina Hurricanes recognized the work of Carrie Price, a nurse at Rutherford Hospital, to educate new parents. And even better, the Hurricane's team captain, Eric Staal and his infant son appeared in a PSA to increase awareness. Link

By Britt Combs The McDowell News
Published: February 9, 2010

What with the recent snowy weather, many in McDowell have seen more than ever of the inside of their homes.

But not Carrie Price.

When nearly a foot of snow blasted North Carolina, she and her husband, Patrick, drove to Raleigh to take in a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game.

The team invited Price, a registered nurse from Rutherford Hospital's Birth Place, to take part in an event designed to prevent child abuse and raise awareness of some of the frustrations faced by parents of young babies.

"We had to drive there in the falling snow," she said. "What's normally a 3 hour trip took seven hours. We had a great time and it was very exciting to see the Hurricanes play."

Adding to the fun was the excitement of seeing the Hurricanes defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. The trip was a blast and the Prices were glad to have an excuse to spend the night and make a
romantic weekend of it.

She said she would have made the trip without the hockey game if it helped prepare parents for that difficult stage of their new babies' lives. She has seen more than enough to make her aware just how confused and powerless parents can feel when their babies are inconsolable.

"They used to call it 'colic,'" said Price, but, she explained, that gives the impression the tendency of some babies to cry for extended periods is a disease. In fact, she said, many babies go through a stage of crying for no discernable reason.

"That's why we call it 'The Period of Purple Crying'; because it's just a normal stage."

Price works to prepare new parents for this frustrating process. Hopefully, with information and tools ready, the parents will be better prepared to deal with the situation that has been cited as a aggravating factor in "shaken baby syndrome."

The mission to spread that awareness has become a favorite cause of Hurricanes Captain Eric Staal. He, his wife, Tanya and their infant son, Parker filmed a PSA to encourage parents to be cool when the screaming starts.

"We all know it's normal for babies to cry, but it can be really frustrating when they cry for hours and nothing we can do makes the crying stop," Staal explained in the message.

"The most important thing is what we do with that frustration. You just have to stay cool and know that this normal crying period will end."

Price, a mother of three, has been working in the maternity department at Rutherford since 2003. She said the Purple Crying campaign has enabled her to get a lot of information across to new parents very quickly -- at a time when they are exhausted and want to go home. And that, she said, has been key to having a lasting impact.

"None of my babies went through that stage," she said, "and not all babies do. But it is very normal." She said babies can cry for hours on end and the parents feel completely powerless to
comfort their babies.

In the noise and chaos, combined with the frustration and helplessness, she said, a parent may be tempted to shake the baby -- a hasty decision that can leave the child with devastating, disabling injuries, and the parent with a lifetime of regret.

The best coping mechanism, she said, is to "simply put the child down in a safe place and get away until you can calm down." The injuries the child can sustain, often called shaken baby syndrome,
include blindness, seizures, learning disabilities and death.

Lyn Jackson, of the group Keeping Babies Safe in North Carolina, said the Hurricanes' involvement has been very effective in changing what is considered "normal behavior" in infants.

She said the Price and the Purple Crying campaign have been successful in reducing child abuse because they take a positive approach, helping parents feel more capable, better prepared and better about their babies.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Update - 4 Cosponsors for Shaken Baby Prevention Act 2010 (S.3003)

A bit of good news from Congress.

Despite all that's been going on (or not) with financial reform and health care, Senator Dodd reintroduced the Shaken Baby Prevention Act of 2010.   So far, it's picked up four sponsors in the Senate.

S.3003 A bill to enhance Federal efforts focused on public awareness
and education about the risks and dangers associated with Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Sponsor: Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] (introduced 2/4/2010

Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 2/22/2010
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] - 3/8/2010
Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] - 3/8/2010
Sen Bayh, Evan [IN] - 3/16/2010

(As of 3.29.2010)

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2010 Referred to Senate committee.
Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Congresswoman Lowey introduced a counterpart bill in the House (HR.4642).  To date, the House bill awaits its first cosponsor...

SBS Prevention Act 2010

Senator Dodd and Congresswoman Lowey have reintroduced the SBS Prevention Act.  

In the Senate, it's S.3003.  Note that cosponsors are needed...
S.3003 A bill to enhance Federal efforts focused on public awareness and education about the risks and dangers associated with Shake Baby Syndrome. 
Sponsor: Sen Dodd, Christopher J.[CT] (introduced 2/4/2010) Cosponsors (None
Latest Major Action: 2/4/2010  Referred to Senate committee.
Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
In view of Senator Dodd's decision not to seek reelection, let's hope the second time will be the charm...

Below, Senator Dodd's introductory remarks in the Senate...with far too many names.


[Page: S495] GPO's PDF
By Mr. DODD: 

   S. 3003. A bill to enhance Federal efforts focused on public awareness and education about the risks and dangers associated with Shaken Baby Syndrome; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

   Mr. DODD. Mr. President, today I rise to introduce the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Act of 2010, important legislation that promotes awareness and prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma, a devastating form of child abuse that results in the severe injury, disability or death of hundreds of children each year.

   Child abuse and neglect is a well-documented tragedy for some of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, NCANDS, 794,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in 2007. Babies are particularly vulnerable; in 2007, children aged 12 months or younger accounted for nearly 40 percent of all child abuse and neglect fatalities and children aged 4 years and younger accounted for almost 77 percent. Yet even these disturbing statistics may not paint an accurate picture; most experts agree that child abuse is widely under reported.

   Abusive head trauma, including Shaken Baby Syndrome, is the leading cause of death of physically abused children, in particular for infants younger than one. When a frustrated caregiver loses control and violently shakes a baby or impacts the baby's head, the trauma can kill the child or cause severe injuries, including loss of vision, loss of hearing, brain damage, paralysis, and/or seizures, resulting in lifelong disabilities and creating profound grief for many families.

   Far too many children have experienced the horrible devastation of Shaken Baby Syndrome. A 2003 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that as a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome, an average of 300 U.S. children will die each year, and 600 to 1,200 more will be injured, of whom 2/3 will be infants younger than one. Medical professionals believe that thousands of Shaken Baby Syndrome cases are misdiagnosed or undetected, as many children do not immediately exhibit obvious symptoms after the abuse.

   Prevention programs can significantly reduce the number of cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome. For example, the upstate New York SBS Prevention Project at Children's Hospital of Buffalo has used a simple video to educate new parents before they leave the hospital, reducing the number of shaken baby incidents in the area by nearly 50 percent.

   In Connecticut, a multifaceted prevention approach involving hospitals, schools, childcare providers, and community-based organizations in awareness and training activities, including home visits and targeted outreach, has raised awareness and encouraged prevention across the state. Hospitals in many states educate new parents about the dangers of shaking a baby, yet it is estimated that less than 60 percent of parents of newborns receive information about the dangers of shaking a baby. Without more outreach, education, and training, the risk of Shaken Baby Syndrome will persist.

   With the introduction of the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Act of 2010, I hope to reduce the number of children injured or killed by abusive head trauma, and ultimately to eliminate Shaken Baby Syndrome. Our initiative provides for the creation of a public health campaign, including development of a National Action Plan to identify effective, evidence-based strategies for prevention and awareness of SBS, and establishment of a cross-disciplinary advisory council to help coordinate national efforts.

   The campaign will educate the general public, parents, child care providers, health care professionals and others about the dangers of shaking, as well as healthy preventative approaches for frustrated parents and caregivers coping with a crying or fussy infant. The legislation ensures support for families who have been affected by SBS, and for families and caregivers struggling with infant crying, through a 24-hour hotline and an informational website. All of these activities are to be implemented through the coordination of existing programs and/or the establishment of new efforts, to bring together the best in current prevention, awareness and education practices to be expanded into areas in need. Awareness is absolutely critical to prevention. Families, professionals and caregivers responsible for infants and young children and must learn about the dangers of violent shaking and abusive impacts to the head.

   Additionally, this bill will include a study to identify the current data collected on Shaken Baby Syndrome and examine the feasibility of collecting uniform, accurate data from all states regarding the incidence rates of Shaken Baby Syndrome, the characteristics of perpetrators, and the characteristics of victims. It is my hope that having this information will enable us to better reach those who may be at risk for Shaken Baby Syndrome and, thus, prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.

   On behalf of the victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome, including Cynthia Gibbs from New York, Hannah Juceum from California, Sarah Donohue from New York, Kierra Harrison from Nevada, Miranda Raymond from Pennsylvania, Taylor Rogers from Illinois, Cassandra Castens from Arizona, Gabriela Poole from Florida, Amber Stone from New York, Bennett Sandwell from Missouri, Jamison Carmichael from Florida, Margaret Dittman from Texas, Dalton Fish from Indiana, Stephen Siegfried from Texas, Kaden Isings from Washington, Joseph Wells from Texas, Dawson Rath from Pennsylvania, Macie McCarty from Minnesota, Jake Belisle from Maine, Benjamin Zentz from Michigan, Chloe Salazar from New Mexico, Madison Musser of Oklahoma, Daniel Carbajal from Texas, Nykkole Becker from Minnesota, Gianna D'Alessio from Rhode Island, Brynn Ackley from Washington, Rachael Kang from Texas, John Sprague from Maryland, Ryan Sanders from Virginia, David Sedlet from California, Reagan Johnson from Virginia, Skipper Lithco from New York, Brittney Sheets from New York, Madilyne Wentz from Missouri, Nicolette Klinker from Colorado, Brianna Moore from West Virginia, Shania Maria from Massachusetts, Dayton Jones from Pennsylvania, Breanna Sherer from California, Evelyn Biondo from New York, Kenneth Hardy from Pennsylvania, Alexis Vazquez from Florida, Joshua True from Washington, Stephen David from California, Michael Blair from Arkansas, Olivia Thomas from Ohio, Kaleb Schwade from Florida, Aiden Jenkins from Pennsylvania, Isabella Clark from Pennsylvania, Aaron Cherry from Texas, Dominic Morelock from Ohio, Emmy Cole from Maine, Chelsea Forant from Massachusetts, Joshua Cross from Ohio, Gavin Calloway from Maryland, Christopher Daughtrey from North Carolina, McKynzee Goin from Oregon, Bryce McCormick from Florida, and many other innocent lives lost or damaged, I look forward to working with my colleagues to see that this legislation becomes law so that we can expand efforts to eradicate Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Prevention: Baby Texting

The AP, via the Washington Post, reports on a texting tool for new parents that will deliver infant health information to mobile phones.

Being optimistic that the more parents know about what they should do, the less likely they are to do things they shouldn't do to their child, kudos to the sponsors and the cellular providers who've partnered on this initiative

Hope one of the next steps is to include a variant for infant crying...
By MATTHEW PERRONE The Associated Press
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Expectant mothers are getting a new tool to help keep themselves and their babies healthy: pregnancy tips sent directly to their cell phones.

The so-called text4baby campaign is the first free, health education program in the U.S. to harness the reach of mobile phones, according to its sponsors, which include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, WellPoint and CareFirst BlueCross and Blue Shield. Wireless carriers including AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have agreed to waive all fees for receiving the texts.

Organizers say texting is an effective means of delivering wellness tips because 90 percent of people in the U.S. have cell phones.

"Especially if you start talking about low-income people, cell phones are the indispensable tool for reaching them and engaging them about their health," said Paul Meyer, president of Voxiva, a company which operates health texting programs in Africa, Latin America and India.

Studies in those countries have shown that periodic texts can reduce smoking and other unhealthy behaviors in pregnant mothers. Meyer said the U.S. program, run by Voxiva, will be the largest health-related texting program ever undertaken.

Under the new service, mothers-to-be who text "BABY" to 511411 will receive weekly text messages, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date. The messages, which have been vetted by government and nonprofit health experts, deal with nutrition, immunization and birth defect prevention, among other topics. The messages will continue through the baby's first birthday.

Text4baby is expected to be announced Thursday morning by officials from the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy. Government officials will be publicizing the campaign in speeches and promotional materials.

Organizers hope the effort can curb premature births, which can be caused by poor nutrition, excessive stress, smoking and drinking alcohol. About 500,000 babies are born prematurely in the U.S. each year, and 28,000 infants die before their first birthday, according to the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. The nonprofit is among the sponsors of the campaign.

* * *

Researchers at the George Washington University have agreed to evaluate the effectiveness of text4baby by measuring health trends for mothers and newborns.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

SBS Prevention Legislation: KY, NJ, OK

Prevention legislation has been introduced in the current sessions of the Kentucky (HB 285), New Jersey and Oklahoma (HB 411) state legislatures.

This article from WAVE TV in Frankfort reports on prevention efforts at Norton Hospital, with the assistance of the Child Advocacy Office at Kosair Children's Hospital. The last paragraph, as well as this blog post, succinctly sum up the reasons why legislation introduced by Rep. Addia Wuchner is necessary...

Legislators work to lower child abuse cases high in Kentucky

Posted: Jan 29, 2010 - By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) – With several recent baby abuse cases in Kentuckiana, lawmakers are looking at ways to prevent them before they happen. In 2009, Kentucky had the most child deaths related to abuse in the country.

With 39 years under her belt as a critical care nurse, Justi O'Flynn, who works at Kosair Children's Hospital, has seen lots of kids play with dolls, but there is one that could save a life.

"This doll is the size of a 4-month-old baby and it shows the different areas of the brain," said O'Flynn. O'Flynn uses the toy most children cling to as a model of what can happen if a parents loses control.

"What happens when someone gets frustrated with a baby and they shake them and it causes the little vessels inside the brain to cause some bleeding," said O'Flynn shaking the doll.

When the doll shakes, its brain hits the side of the scull, lighting up the parts that can have lasting damage. The damage can happen by just shaking a child for as few as five seconds.

"Blindness; they can be ventilator-dependant," said O'Flynn describing what can happen to the baby. "They can have learning difficulties they can have learning disorders. They can die."

To teach this valuable lesson to parents, Norton Hospital is piloting a program.

"New mommies, new daddies, new caregivers, to watch this video to become educated one-on-one on comprehensive treatment to help prevent child abuse, specifically shaken baby syndrome," said Therese Sirles, director of child advocacy.

Lawmakers in Frankfort are proposing a bill that will spread the video message across the state, not just for parents, but teach front-line workers the signs of abuse and how to prevent it.

"We've been on defense with this," said Rep. Addia Wuchner (R-Burlington). "We're seeing them as first responders, law-enforcement is seeing them, the doctors are seeing them when they come in. Now we're taking in a sense an offensive."

The plan is to make the doll can once again be a comfort to children instead of a reminder of abuse.

The video teaches parents that all children cry and it is normal. If you're feeling overly frustrated, take a few steps back, count to ten, or call someone to come over and be with the baby for a little while.

Copyright 2010 WAVE-TV. All rights reserved.