Fairgoers learn about Shaken Baby Syndrome
Morgan County Fair attendees learned about the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome at the Saturday, August 4, Morgan County Health Fair.
Bleeding and swelling in the brain, permanent brain damage, severe spinal injuries and death can occur when a child is violently shaken, often from anger or frustration.
Parents can lose control when under prolonged stress from caring for a crying child without sleep or any break and could shake their babies, Morgan County Starting Points program coordinator Hannah Stewart said.
If a child survives being shaken, the medical specialists and diagnostic evaluations for their injuries will run about $150,000 for those without health care insurance. The child will need lifelong care, Stewart said.
Colored lights on the shaken baby doll’s head marked areas of the brain that had been damaged by the injuries it suffered when shaken.
The drug affected baby doll Stewart demonstrated shook with tremors simulating severe withdrawal symptoms from illicit drugs it was exposed to while in the womb. It also screamed from pain.
The fetal alcohol syndrome baby doll was much smaller than the other two dolls that depicted infants at the same age. Infants with fetal alcohol syndrome may can memory, attention and coordination problems as well as developmental delays and learning difficulties.
Shaken baby syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome and drug affected babies are preventable, Stewart said.
Put the baby in a safe place and take 15 minutes to relax and calm down if you’re feeling overwhelmed while caring for your baby.
Don’t drink while you’re pregnant. Stop using drugs.