Friday, August 15, 2008

Shaken baby syndrome: Unnecessary devastation

I read this devastating story on New Year's baby's death shatters family, relationships. A 12 week old baby, born New Year's day, died of shaken baby syndrome. The article describes a horribly sad situation, and my heart is broken for this young family. All that I can think about is how easily this baby's life could have been saved. 
As a mother of a young child, I know what it is like to feel helpless as your baby cries and screams. Babies cry as a way to communicate with us, but it is still frustrating and difficult to listen to your child wail. To the best of my knowledge, no baby has ever died of crying. Yes, we need to attend to our babies when they are upset, but if you find yourself becoming inpatient and frustrated, it is in everyone's best interest that you put the baby down and walk away. Sometimes that is all it takes - a few minutes to collect yourself so that you can appropriately handle your crying baby. There is absolutely no reason that you should handle a baby (or a child, for that matter) if you are angry or aggravated. Please, please, please, give yourself time to breath and calm down before handling a crying baby. Shaken baby syndrome is irreversible and often unrecognizable at first. There is absolutely no reason that any baby should die simply because he/she was crying. 

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