Infant injuries serve as reminder of shaking dangers - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Infant injuries serve as reminder of shaking dangers

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Dean Sparks with Lucas County Children Services has seen his fair share of shaken baby injuries and deaths.

"It's not an intentional homicide or harm to the children, it's a split second reaction," says the executive director.

In December, Toledo mom Amanda Bacon was charged with murder and child endangerment for the death of her six-month-old son, Avery.  Police say she threw the little boy against a hard surface, fracturing his skull.

"Two years and under is the most dangerous time to be a child," says Sparks.

That same month, 28-year-old Jacob Bryant admitted to shaking his three-month-old so violently, that the baby was admitted to Toledo Hospital for broken ribs and bleeding on the brain.

"Somehow we need to help those parents learn the dangers of that and some of the other things they can do to when they get so frustrated, which is the normal thing," says Sparks.

Here are some tips if you start feeling overwhelmed or frustrated by a small child.
- Call on a relative or trusted friend or neighbor to watch the child to give yourself a break.
- If no one is around, put the baby in a safe space like a crib or playpen and walk away.
- and if all else fails, take several deep breaths to get the situation under your control.

"Sometimes all it takes is just a moment diverting the attention from them to help that person get rid of that frustration for a minute."

Sparks says parents in these critical situations need to remember there are options. Reaching out for help from family and friends is the first step in making sure all babies stay safe this year.

"if worse comes to worse, bring that baby to us. We'll help take care of it, we'll teach you how to care for them."

Below are some links to resources for parents and caregivers.

http://www.co.lucas.oh.us/index.aspx?NID=559

http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhPrograms/cfhs/shaken/baby.aspx

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/shakenbaby/shakenbaby.htm

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