Saturday, November 24, 2012

Prevention Education in Vacaville, California: Simulator Doll

The Vacaville Reporter brings news of a prevention effort in California.

Recognize the motivation, but have to wonder about how likely this prevention technique would have been in preventing the case that gave rise to the initiative (although, since the article doesn't say how the person charged and the baby are related, or if they are...).

Would the target audiences have included him?  Can't tell, but one wonders how many 42 year old men would opt to be in the audience at the places they intend to offer the demonstration.

Nor can one tell whether this is The Strategy, or merely one part of a comprehensive strategy that uses hospital based education for new parents, school based parenting education for students and baby-sitters and mandatory education for child care providers to teach parents and caregivers how they can help keep children in their care safe from inflicted injuries.

Let's hope the latter.

A broad, comprehensive, non-selective, inclusive campaign that educates all parents and all caregivers about what they can do to keep children safe, using a message that minimizes pushback, is more likely to be shared, and more likely to be self-sustaining.

It would be useful to others looking for evidence-based programs if the reporter checks back in a year to see what's actually been accomplished.

Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a fairly large amount of new exercise equipment is purchased.  Sometime the following spring, spring cleaning moves a large amount of unused exercise equipment from garages and basements to yard sales and the like.

Prevention resources being scarce, no one wants to see them recycled that way...

The goal: No more Shaken Baby Syndrome cases in Solano County 
By Catherine Bowen/ CBowen@TheReporter.comPosted:   11/24/2012 01:08:26 AM PST 
A shake and the crying stopped.
On Sept. 16, a 5-month-old Fairfield baby was hospitalized with brain bleeding, said Fairfield police Sgt. Kevin Carella. The baby's head had started swelling, before arriving at the hospital and medical staff immediately recognized the symptoms.
A short time later, 42-year-old Kenneth Burroughs was arrested by Fairfield police on suspicion of child abuse causing great bodily injury, Carella said. The baby remains in the hospital.
An estimated 1,200 to 1,400 babies are treated for Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), a term used to describe child abuse caused by the vigorous shaking of an infant -- often in anger -- to get the child to stop crying or fussing, each year, according to the California Department of Social Services. Of that number, 25 to 30 percent die as a result of their injuries, and many others suffer lifelong complications.
Authorities suspect many more children also fall victim to SBS but do not receive treatment.
The severity of September's case rocked Fairfield authorities, and launched them into an outreach mission to educate others on just how devastating the effects of SBS can be, according to Carella, who works with both the department's Major Crimes and Family Violence units. 
To bring their demonstration home, the department purchased a RealCare shaken baby doll simulator, while a second doll was donated by the Twilight Rotary Service Club.
Each of the life-sized dolls is fitted with a see-through plastic head, Carella explained. The RealCare Shaken Baby cries inconsolably, like some real infants do and, when the doll is shaken a device inside its head measures the force on the brain area. The simulator's cries stop abruptly and red LED lights show the specific parts of the brain that suffer damage.
Carella said it is the department's hope to provide training at Solano Community College, local high schools, service clubs and other law enforcement agencies for future parents, babysitters and child care providers.
"Our hope is to demonstrate to people how little force it takes to injure a child," Carella said.
"It is our goal to reduce the number of SBS incidents in Fairfield and our surrounding communities with this valuable instruction," Carella stated. 
The training is comprised of specific instruction on topics including:
* The many reasons babies cry and helpful ways to soothe them,
* Signs and symptoms of SBS,
* Physical results of SBS-related brain injuries, and
* A pledge to never shake a baby.
For more information, or to schedule a demonstration contact Carella at 428-7354 or Debra Shibuya with the Fairfield Family Violence Unit at 428-7770.
Follow Staff Writer Catherine Bowen at

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