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 DontShake.org, 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.”
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.