Fighting Shaken Baby Syndrome

Every year, thousands of infants are shaken and abused at the hands of a frustrated parent or caregiver. Frustration with a crying infant is the number one trigger for shaking and abuse of infants. Parents know and expect that their baby will cry, but most have no idea how much or how frustrating that crying can be.

In an effort to educate parents and caregivers about normal infant crying and reduce frustration, the Welcome Newborns program of the Community Action Agency in Delta County is partnering with the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome CLICKS for Babies campaign.

The grassroots campaign invites local knitters and crocheters to make purple colored baby caps, which will be delivered to Delta County families between the months of September and May and a copy of the “Period of PURPLE Crying,” an evidence based program that educates parents and caregivers about normal infant crying, ways to cope with the crying and the dangers of reacting in frustration by shaking or abusing an infant.

The handmade purple caps are meant to serve as a reminder for parents about the Period of PURPLE Crying and the dangers of shaking a baby.

Click your needles together and help protect babies. Caps should be made using any shade of soft purple colored yarn and made to fit a new infant’s head. Dimensions of infant heads will vary. As a guide, the average newborn head circumference is 13 to 14 inches. Hats should be approximately four to six inches high. Refrain from including “pom poms” or any type of strap to secure caps to babies’ heads as they pose a potential choking and/or strangling hazard for babies.

Any shade of soft purple yarn can be used, additional colors can be added, but the cap should be at least 75% purple.

Participants are encouraged to knit or crochet as many hats as they would like to donate. Completed caps can be dropped off or mailed to the Welcome Newborns office located at the Community Action Agency at 507 1st Avenue North in Escanaba. Caps will be collected through the end of May. For more information, call Lannie at the Welcome Newborns office at (906) 786-7080 extension 143.

For more information about CLICK for Babies Campaign, including patterns for caps, guidelines and details about the national campaign are available at

This article was originally written by the Daily Press. Click here to view it.

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.


What Is SBS?

Babies bring a lot of joy, but there can also be moments of frustration if you feel like you can’t console their crying. Most caregivers handle those times just fine. But if those feelings boil over, it can cross a line.

Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse. When a baby is shaken hard by the shoulders, arms, or legs, it can cause learning disabilities, behavior disorders, vision problems or blindness, hearing and speech issues, seizures, cerebral palsy, serious brain injury, and permanent disability. In some cases, it can even be fatal.


Ever notice how long it takes babies to hold their heads up? Their neck muscles start out weak and get stronger as they grow. The same goes for their brains, which still need time to develop.

When a baby is shaken, its brain can bounce between the front and back of its skull. This causes it to bleed, bruise, and swell. It only takes a few seconds of aggressive shaking for this to happen.

What It’s Not

Shaken baby syndrome is different from gently tossing a baby playfully into the air or bouncing a baby on your knee. Though their brains and necks are fragile, babies are also unlikely to get shaken injuries by falling off furniture or making sudden stops in a car.


Being shaken affects babies in many different ways. Symptoms include vomiting, bluish skin, tremors or shakes, breathing issues, and drowsiness. Babies may also become less interested in eating; have trouble sucking, and stop smiling and talking.

You may notice bruises on the arms or chest in the places the baby has been grabbed. Other physical signs include a larger than usual head or forehead, different-sized pupils, not being able to focus, and favoring one arm or leg over another.

Babies with shaken baby syndrome may also have symptoms you can’t see, such as fractured ribs or other bones, spinal cord or neck injury, and bleeding in the brain. In mild cases, behavior, health, or learning issues show up later on.


Because shaken baby syndrome can affect so many different parts of a child’s health, there may be more than one doctor or specialist involved in the diagnosis. Depending on the child’s level of injury, the tests may be done in doctor’s offices or a pediatric intensive care unit

To check the brain, doctors may use computerized tomography, or a CT scan, to X-ray for injuries that need immediate attention. Radio waves and magnetic fields in the form of magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, also show doctors detailed areas of the brain.

X-rays of other body parts, like the arms, legs, spine, and skull, show fractures and whether they were created by force or accident.

To check for eye injuries and bleeding, doctors may do an eye exam.

Some disorders can mimic the symptoms of shaken baby syndrome. To rule those out, doctors may order blood tests.

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment for shaken baby syndrome depends on the injury. Surgery may be needed in an emergency. Some children will need care for the rest of their lives.

Shaken baby syndrome is 100% preventable. It starts with making sure all the baby’s caregivers — parents, grandparents, baby sitters, nannies, etc. — understand two things:

  1. The dangers of shaking a baby, even for a few seconds.
  2. Those babies cry a lot at first. The National Center for shaken baby syndrome calls it PURPLE crying:
  • Peak pattern: At 2-3 months old, babies cry the most.
  • Unpredictable: Crying starts and stops without reason.
  • Resistant to soothing: Nothing stops the crying.
  • Pain-like look on face: When babies cry, they look like they’re in pain, even if they’re not.
  • Long bouts of crying: Babies can cry for hours at a time.
  • Evening crying: Some babies cry more in the afternoon and evening.

Sometimes you can stop the crying by rubbing the baby’s back, singing, using “white noise” from an app or the sound of running water, taking a walk, or using a pacifier. Sometimes nothing seems to work. That’s when you especially need to manage your feelings.

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

Rotary Group Supports Efforts To Stop Shaken Baby Syndrome

Do you have a heart for children?

Local residents and businesses are invited to support child abuse prevention efforts undertaken by the Rotary Club of Davis. The club’s 18th annual Big Night fundraiser — a black-tie-optional dinner, raffle and live auction — takes place Saturday, Jan. 27, at the University Retirement Community, 1515 Shasta Drive in Davis.

Tickets are $150 per person; RSVP by Jan. 12 to Rotarians also are soliciting raffle or live auction items, or financial sponsorships.

Funds raised at Big Night go to local nonprofit organizations that are engaged in primary child abuse prevention. About $30,000 is available each year for donations. Since its inception in 1999, the event has raised nearly $430,000.

Through the efforts of Rotarians Bud and Judy Wolf, public awareness and education about child abuse prevention has extended well beyond the borders of Davis and Yolo County. A key piece of the program is education about abusive head trauma, better known as shaken baby syndrome. The program also has begun an education and awareness program on the impact of alcohol and drug use on unborn children.

The club is funding the child abuse prevention efforts of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, Empower Yolo, the Yolo Crisis Nursery and the Yolo Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center.

Four years ago, a team of Rotarians visited Kenya, East Africa, to educate physicians, medical students and nurses on how to identify abusive head trauma in children. The team trained nearly 1,200 professionals throughout Kenya.

The Rotary Club of Davis meets weekly at 12:15 pm at the Davis Community Church Fellowship Hall, and has served the Davis community since 1926. It provides funding and public service for Davis and numerous international Rotary projects. New members are always welcome.

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Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

Father Ordered To Stand Trial In Son’s SBS Death

A man charged in the death of his infant son will face trial in the shaken baby syndrome case.

District Judge Marcena Hendrix on Friday ordered Missael Valadez, 18, to trial in the 3-month-old’s death in late August. A trial date will be set later.

Valadez has been charged with child abuse resulting in death.

William Seaton, an Omaha police officer with the department’s special victims unit, testified Friday that the boy, Sebastian Valadez, suffered “massive’’ injuries.

He said that Missael Valadez’s girlfriend left him in charge of Sebastian while she attended school and work Aug. 25.

About 5½ hours into his time watching the baby, Seaton said, Valadez called his girlfriend, saying Sebastian was unresponsive. She then called 911.

Later, Seaton was told by doctors at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center that the boy was suffering from shaken baby syndrome, the officer said. He was also told that the baby suffered severe brain trauma and dual detached retinas.

Seaton said Valadez told him that Sebastian would not quit crying, so Valadez said he yelled at the boy and shook him “rather hard,’’ forward and backward. Seaton said Valadez demonstrated on a doll how he shook the boy.

“At one point,’’ the officer said, “Valadez said he shook the child as hard as he could’’ for about 90 seconds, and the crying ended.

Sebastian was declared brain-dead that day at the hospital, Seaton said, and he was taken off life-support two or three days later.

Two weeks before the incident, Seaton said, the baby rolled off a bed and was taken to a hospital. It was determined that the infant was not injured.

The officer also said he listened to jail calls from Valadez to his girlfriend.

In one call, Seaton said, “She asked him ‘Why did you do it? How many times have I told you not to do that?’” Seaton said.

“Valadez told her, ‘I get frustrated sometimes. I didn’t know I would hurt him,’” the officer said.

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Shaken baby syndrome — also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome — is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler.

Shaken baby syndrome destroys a child’s brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen. Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse that can result in permanent brain damage or death.

Babies have weak neck muscles and often struggle to support their heavy heads. If a baby is forcefully shaken, his or her fragile brain moves back and forth inside the skull. This causes bruising, swelling and bleeding.

Shaken baby syndrome usually occurs when a parent or caregiver severely shakes a baby or toddler due to frustration or anger — often because the child won’t stop crying.

Shaken baby syndrome isn’t usually caused by bouncing a child on your knee, minor falls or even rough play.

Even brief shaking of an infant can cause irreversible brain damage. Many children affected by shaken baby syndrome die.

Survivors of shaken baby syndrome may require lifelong medical care for conditions such as:

  • Partial or total blindness
  • Developmental delays, learning problems or behavior issues
  • Intellectual disability
  • Seizure disorders
  • Cerebral palsy

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

Man Charged With Murder For ‘Shaking His Three-Month-Old Son To Death’ –Gets BAIL

A Melbourne man accused of killing his three-month-old son by shaking him will stand trial after being granted bail.

Scott Hammond, 27, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and child homicide following a committal hearing at Geelong Magistrates Court.

According to, “Shaken baby syndrome was first described in the 1960s to describe the combination of several injuries: subdural hematoma (bleeding around the brain), retinal hemorrhages (bleeding at the back of the eye), and brain swelling. Rib fractures are also common because the person doing the shaking typically squeezes the child’s chest hard enough to crack ribs. How do these injuries happen with shaking? The fundamental cause is that a small baby has a relatively large head compared to the rest of his body and is unable to hold his head firmly in place because the muscles aren’t strong enough yet to do that. So shaking snaps the head back and forth, generating very large forces inside the skull as the brain bangs back and forth. This can lead to rupture of some of the small veins that surround the brain, as well as tiny vessels in the back of the eye. The brain then often swells afterward, as any tissue does when injured. If death or severe injury follows, it is generally because of the brain swelling. If ribs are broken from squeezing the chest, the fractures happen at the back of the bones where the ribs come off the spinal column. It is often illustrated in this way.”

The Colac man was charged in February after baby Braxton Hammond was found unresponsive in October 2011 and later died in hospital.

The infant reportedly suffered a head injury, as well as rib and leg fractures, with the injuries alleged to have been the result of severe shaking.

During the hearing, an expert from the United States National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome said the child’s injuries did not appear to be accidental, the ABC reports.

‘It appears there’s evidence of impact, but the injuries are most consistent with some type of violent shaking,’ Professor John Alexander said.

‘Pre-mobile children don’t get injuries like these without the absence of adult involvement.’

Earlier this year, a court heard that police initially suspected Hammond, as well as Braxton’s mother Nikita Cook, after they began investigating in 2011.

But detectives from the Homicide Squad were able to rule out Ms. Cook as a person of interest because of the timing of the injuries the child sustained. 

Previously, the court also reportedly heard Hammond had not wanted children and had been violent while Ms. Cook was pregnant.

Hammond was granted bail and will appear again on December 11 in The Supreme Court.

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

Some Questions And Facts About SBS

How do physicians diagnose shaken baby syndrome?

A classic triad most commonly seen consists of (1) single or multiple subdural hematomas (localized bleeding outside of the brain substance), (2) diffuse and multi-depth retinal hemorrhages, and (3) diffuse brain injury without a reasonable explanation for such severe (and often repeated) trauma. Several agencies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that the term shaken baby syndrome be replaced with abusive head trauma. Such a change broadens the various mechanisms of injury commonly seen besides shaking. Blunt head trauma is commonly seen in addition to shaking. Common mechanisms of direct blows to the head include punching the infant, hitting the head or face with a hard object (for example, wooden spoon), or slamming the infant’s head against the wall or floor.

What are complications and long-term effects of shaken baby syndrome?

Neurologic side effects of either shaking or blunt skull trauma may span from developmental delays, seizure disorders, visual impairment, and blindness to death. Orthopedic consequences of inflicted trauma range from the need for recurrent surgery to permanent loss of function if the back (and thus spinal cord) is involved. Scarring of the skin is a common side effect of inflicted burns. Plastic and reconstructive surgery may be necessary depending on the nature of the trauma (for example, immersion into hot water). Emotional side effects may be obvious or subtle and may not necessarily be present or detectable at the time of diagnosis. Counseling and psychological support and intervention may require repeated or long-lasting attention.

What is the prognosis of shaken baby syndrome?

The primary predictor for an optimal prognosis is establishing the diagnosis and thus removing the child (and any siblings) from the abusive home. The nature of these neurological injuries help shape realistic prognostic expectations. The “plastic” nature of the immature brain and peripheral nervous system allow those counseling caregivers of children who have sustained shaken baby syndrome to be more optimistic than those counseling after adult traumatic brain injury. One study found that approximately one-third of those who suffered abusive head injury have no discernable side effect; unfortunately, such a statistic implies that two-thirds of such victims will have residual long-term complications.

Is it possible to prevent shaken baby syndrome?

Many studies have determined that what is felt to be incessant crying is the primary stimulus leading to a frustrated caregiver losing control. Expectant parents must be counseled regarding the nature of crying and various management strategies for both the infant and themselves. It is important to underscore that many times there is no obvious or discernable cause for the infant’s crying. Likewise, it is important for parents and all caregivers to understand that allowing an infant to cry for a reasonably short period (10-15 minutes) does not lead to short- or long-term physical or emotional-health issues. Most importantly, those caring for children must be assured that asking for help is an excellent strategy when they find themselves “at the end of their rope.”

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

New Campaign To Raise Awareness Of Shaken Baby Syndrome

A national program began recently called “Click for Babies,” a national campaign that aims to educate parents on shaken baby syndrome.

Christus Spohn hospitals are giving newborn babies purple knitted hats to remind new moms about the potentially deadly syndrome.

Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare — especially to a preventable situation like shaken baby syndrome.

“Parents have become frustrated, or caregivers have become frustrated and have not been able to soothe or comfort the baby, and stop the baby from crying” nurse Angela Perez said.

Christus Spohn recently joined the Click for Babies initiative, hoping to educate parents.

“How much babies actually cry. Why they cry, and what we can do to soothe their crying,” Perez said.

The statistics on shaken baby syndrome are shocking. According to, research shows that 80-percent of shaken babies suffer from lifelong trauma and 25-percent pass away. Every year nearly 1,300 children are diagnosed with SBS, so doctors are using the color purple as an acronym for parents to recognize the signs of the syndrome.

Perez, who manages the mother-baby unit at Christus Spohn Hospital South, said they are giving purple caps to newborns during the month of November. One of the most recent recipients is Colt Davila.

“It’s a good reminder that you take a break, don’t shake,” mother Katy Davila said.

Thankfully the parents of three have never dealt with the often deadly syndrome. Still, they said the campaign can potentially save thousands of lives.

“I can’t even imagine what it’s like for the parent to be so frustrated that they would have to shake, or shake their kid or anything,” father Marcus Davila said. “They only cry for a reason, so you’ve just got to figure out what the reason is and fix the problem.”

Katy said it is easy to get overwhelmed by a fussy child, but she and her husband agree that taking turns in comforting a newborn is essential, as well as being educated on soothing a crying baby.

“Taking a break is a wonderful thing to do,” Katy said.

“Lay your baby down in a safe place like a crib and walk away and take a break,” Perez said, “But never, never shake your baby.”

The original version of this article was written by Click here to read it.

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

St. Elizabeth Raises Awareness For Shaken Baby Syndrome

All babies born at the St. Elizabeth Family Birth Place in the months of November and December will receive a purple knitted hat to raise awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The purple knitted hats represent the “Period of PURPLE Crying,” a nationwide educational program focused on informing parents and caregivers about crying in healthy infants. These bouts of crying – sometimes for hours – are normal but can be frustrating for parents. This frustration can lead to the baby being shaken or abused.

“Shaken Baby Syndrome is preventable,” says Tabatha Biddle, maternal child health education specialist at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “This is a great opportunity for St. Elizabeth nurses to educate our families about the risks of Shaken Baby Syndrome. The purple hats are something sweet for the baby – and a chance for parents to really connect with the meaning behind the hat.”

The Period of PURPLE Crying

The “Period of PURPLE Crying” refers to:

  • Ppeak of crying: newborn babies reach their crying peak around two months of age. Between three and five months the crying typically begins to taper off.
  • Uunexpected: babies can be happy all day long and then unexpectedly cry for the entire evening. Parents can get frustrated and it’s easier to lose your cool when the crying is unexpected.
  • Rresist soothing: no matter what the parent tries – even soothing techniques that have previously worked – the baby is still crying.
  • Ppain-like face: the baby appears to be in pain even when they are not.
  • Llong-lasting – the baby can cry for a significant portion of the day – five hours or more.
  • Eevening – babies are more inclined to cry in late afternoon and evenings.

There are videos about each stage of the Purple Period of Crying available for parents on and as always, the knowledgeable staff at St. Elizabeth Healthcare is always available for any questions or concerns.

What steps can you take to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome?

First and foremost – do not shake your baby, no matter how long they have been crying or how frustrated you are. If you feel like you are close to this point, get immediate help from a trusted adult.

It’s often difficult to think clearly in situations with an inconsolable infant. If you are facing this challenge, here are a few suggestions of what to try with your baby:

  • Warm bath
  • Listen to and watch running water
  • Turn on music; dance and sing
  • Put the baby in a safe place, walk away and check back on the baby often
  • Call for a loved one to come over so you can take a break
  • Take the baby on a car ride

St. Elizabeth Healthcare – a partner in Shaken Baby Awareness

St. Elizabeth Healthcare is proud to bring awareness about Shaken Baby Syndrome to the Northern Kentucky community. Those interested in donating purple yarn for the knitting team, should call Shayna Hamilton at (859) 301-5463 or visit the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome for more information.

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

Click here to read the original.

Myths About Baby Sleep And SIDS

We need more training to get a driver’s license than to become a parent, in our culture. Even though we would benefit from parental education, some of us have never even held a newborn before having one of our own. And we often rely on advice from friends and family, much of it outdated or just plain wrong.

When it comes to baby sleep, bad advice can be dangerous. October is Safe Sleep Awareness month, an opportunity to learn more about sudden unexpected infant death and debunk the myths about what is sabotaging your sleep and highlight habits that potentially risk your baby’s safety.

Myth 1: Your baby sleeps best in a silent room

Not true. In fact, total silence can make it hard for your baby to doze off. Remember, the womb is noisy: louder than a vacuum cleaner and running 24 hours a day. For nine months, your little one’s been lulled to sleep by the rhythmic whooshing of the blood flowing through the placenta. To her, the quiet of the average home is jarring. Plus, in a silent room, she’s more likely to wake up when a loud truck on the street or any other bump in the night breaks that silence. The truth is your baby will sleep best if you play loud, rumbly white noise during all naps and nights.

Myth 2: You should never wake a sleeping baby

Nope. You should always wake your sleeping baby using a little technique called “wake and sleep.” It gently teaches your child the important skill of self-soothing. Here’s briefly how it works: Starting as early as the first day of life, wake him up the tiniest bit after sliding him into bed. Just tickle his neck or feet until his eyes drowsily open. Very soon after, he’ll drift right back into slumberland. In those few semi-awake seconds, he’s just soothed himself back to sleep — the first step toward sleeping through the night.

Myth 3: Some babies sleep worse when swaddled because they want to be free

Not really. Your baby may fuss and resist swaddling at first so it may look like she hates it. But babies don’t need freedom, they need the feeling of security they had in the womb. Without wrapping, your infant will flail her arms, whack herself in the face and startle easily throughout the night. That’s a recipe for poor sleep.

Swaddling is the first step to calming, and it’s important you don’t stop there, especially if your infant’s been fighting it. To help her settle, you’ll want to layer in other womb-mimicking steps: “shushing,” side/stomach position, swinging and sucking, which, along with swaddling, make up the 5 S’s of setting up a baby for sleep success. And once the S’s become part of your sleep routine, she’ll give up her battle! (Note: Side/stomach position is for calming only, never for sleep.)

Myth 4: We should teach babies to sleep in their own rooms

Having our babies grow up to be independent takes a long time. There’s no need to rush it. In fact, having your new child sleep in another room is inconvenient (for feedings and diaper changes) and possibly dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the parent’s room for at least six months (always on their back, in their own bed). The simple practice has shown to significantly reduce the rate of sudden infant death syndrome.

Myth 5: Swaddling should be stopped after two months

Swaddling reduces crying and increases sleep. But new research shows that swaddled babies who roll to the stomach have double the risk of SIDS compared with an unswaddled baby rolling over. As a result, the pediatrics academy is now recommending that parents stop baby-wrapping at 2 months. On the face of it, the group’s new advice seems to make sense, but it completely ignores the risks of not swaddling.

In an eight-year review of data collected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, only 22 sudden unexplained infant deaths related to swaddling were reported; almost 50% were in sleep sacks (a wearable blanket), and 90% were found in the stomach and/or with bulky bedding. (Note: Fatalities categorized as sudden unexplained infant death include sleep deaths from accidental suffocation, strangulation, and SIDS.)

During those eight years, hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of babies were swaddled. Since sudden unexplained infant death strikes one in 1,200 babies, one would have expected hundreds or perhaps thousands of swaddle-related deaths over this period if wrapping caused these deaths. Of note, during the same eight years, 1,026 deaths related to sofa sleeping were reported to the safety commission.

The point is, though swaddling may introduce a theoretical risk, there is not a lot of proof it is causing a true increase in sudden unexplained infant death. On the other hand, swaddling has been shown to reduce infant crying and boost sleep. That is of critical importance because the stress provoked by persistent fussing and parental exhaustion is a potent trigger for postpartum depression, child abuse, car accidents and even risky sleeping practices, which are associated with up to 70% of all infant sleep fatalities.

We don’t want babies rolling over swaddled, but we also don’t want them rolling over unswaddled during the 2- to 4-month-old peak period for SIDS. An unswaddled baby can roll to an unsafe position more easily than one whose movement is restricted by snug swaddling. And, since swaddling improves sleep, unwrapped babies wake more often and are more likely to tempt their tired parents to fall asleep with them in their beds.

To solve this tricky problem, I assembled a team of MIT-trained engineers and renowned industrial designer Yves Behar to invent a type of swaddle that keeps sleeping babies safely on the back. In October 2016, my company Happiest Baby debuted Snoo, the world’s first responsive bassinet that employs this special swaddle, which clips to the base of the bed to prevent rolling. This innovation allows parents to reap the substantial benefits of swaddling for a full six months without any of the risks.

Myth 6: Putting babies to sleep on the back has solved SIDS

The National Institute of Health-led Back to Sleep campaign quickly reduced sleep deaths from 5,500 in 1994 to 3,500 in 1999. However, for the past 17 years, progress has completely stalled. The tragic truth is that 3,500 infants die during their sleep each and every year. Although more babies are sleeping on the back, the rate of accidental suffocation and strangulation infant deaths has quadrupled since the mid-1990s. What’s behind this alarming trend? Unsafe sleeping practices. Seventy percent of all sudden unexplained infant death victims are found in adult beds, sofas, and other risky locations.

A recent study revealed that while most parents fully plan to follow the ABCs of safe sleep (Alone, on the Back, in a Crib), less than half actually do it. And by the end of the night, about 60% of babies have migrated from their bassinet to their parents’ bed, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Lactation.

The terrible, unintended consequence of the Back to Sleep campaign is that it has worsened infant sleep. Babies just don’t sleep well on their backs in still, quiet cribs. And as discussed in myth 5, when babies don’t sleep well, parents resort to bed-sharing, which leads to many more infant suffocation deaths.

It is very important that parents continue to place their babies to sleep on the back, but they also need to start using more tools to improve their child’s sleep. The good news is that there are three effective ways to boost slumber for back-sleeping babies: sound, swaddling, and rocking.

Rumbly white noise is inexpensive and very effective for improving a baby’s sleep. Snug swaddling is too, but as explained above, pediatricians now recommend that parents stop wrapping at 2 months old. Motion, or swinging, is also great, but the American Academy of Pediatrics has found that sleeping in sitting devices, such as rockers and swings, may allow a baby’s head to roll forward and cause accidental suffocation and death.

These are issues we sought to address with the Snoo bed. It allows for safe swinging (it is totally flat), safe swaddling (the baby can’t roll over) and safe sound, as the sound increases when a baby cries but then immediately softens — after the baby calms — for all-night sleep promotion. We designed it to deliver the right level of womb-like stimulation that is right for any particular baby to calm his or her fussing and boost sleep.

For nearly 20 years, despite enormous public health educational programs, we have failed to reduce infant sleep death. But, by focusing on sleep efficacy (boosting a baby’s sleep), we now have a very exciting means to prevent many — if not most — of these deaths. And as a health bonus, improving sleep efficacy may also allow us to reduce other serious and unsolved health problems triggered by exhaustion and crying, such as postpartum depression (with about a half million cases diagnosed a year) and shaken-baby syndrome (1,300 incidents a year).

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

This article was originally published by CNN. Click here to read the original.

Titusville Daycare Worker Arrested For Shaking An Infant

A Titusville woman was arrested Saturday for allegedly abusing an infant in her care this summer, officials with the City of Titusville said.

Police responded to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children on Aug. 8 after hospital administration reported a possible case of child abuse to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Police said the baby was picked up from Dawn Michelle Garcia’s in-home unlicensed daycare facility before being taken to the hospital.

Garcia told the mother the baby was “super playful” and flipped over a toy at her home during the day. Investigators determined the 12-18 inch-tall toy was not one the infant would have the psychical ability to sit on or play with unassisted.

The infant’s mother told police when she picked up the baby began to vomit and “appeared ill,” according to the report. The mother took the baby to Parrish Medical Center, but the infant was flown to Arnold Palmer after a CT scan revealed the extent of the injuries.

The preliminary investigations show that the infant was suffering from abusive head trauma, also known as shaken baby syndrome.

Doctors wrote that the infant was “subjected to severe acceleration/deceleration forces from severe rotation of the child’s head during a shaking episode,” according to the arrest warrant.

It is still unknown what long-term injuries the baby will suffer from, according to the arrest affidavit. Doctors told the infant’s mother that follow up testing will determine if the baby will have permanent hearing loss because of the abuse.

Garcia, 47, is charged with aggravated child abuse and held on $25,000 bail in the Brevard County Jail.

A spokesperson from DCF told News 6 that the department responded to the home in August just after the incident and discovered there was an illegal home daycare being operated.

There was a cease and desist letter generated and executed. There is no record of Garcia being licensed as a child care provider with the department.

DCF also reminds families to check online to see if their daycare center is licensed.  Some Florida child care centers also earn a Gold Seal designation, reflecting quality in the level of care and supervision provided to children.

To search licensed child care providers and see inspection histories, click here.

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

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