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UNC, Duke lead first statewide shaken baby prevention research project in US
Date:1/16/2008

aking a baby can be to the infant and to the family. This project will share very important information that all parents can use about normal infant crying and how to manage that crying safely, said Purcell, a retired pediatrician from Laurinburg, N.C., who has been actively involved with shaken baby prevention efforts for more than 10 years.

Previous research has shown that shaking babies is both common and a leading cause of infant mortality. Nationally, an estimated 1,200 to 1,400 children a year receive medical treatment after being shaken. An estimated 25 percent of these children die and 80 percent of survivors are left with some form of life-long brain injury.

Preliminary, unadjusted data from the baseline survey shows that almost one in 100 parents of children under 2 reported that they or their partner has shaken a child. Also, 1.3 percent of mothers in the survey reported having seen somebody other than their partner shake a child under 2 within the last year.

Jennipher Dickens son Christopher was shaken in 2006, when he was 7 weeks old, by another family member and now has permanent brain damage.

Too many people in this state and all across the country have never heard of shaken baby syndrome and are unaware that shaking a baby is harmful, said Dickens, of Windsor, N.C., who spoke at todays announcement.

Because he was shaken in a moment of anger and frustration, Christopher will suffer for the rest of his life. No baby should ever have to go through that pain and suffering.

Thats why this program is so important. All parents and caregivers need to be educated on the fact that crying is normal, and should be taught healthy ways of coping with crying so they will know how to deal with frustration when the situation arises, Dickens said. She created Stop Shaken Baby Syndrome Inc. (www.stopsbs.net) to promote prevention.

North Carolinas project plans to provide every parent of the approximatel
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Contact: Stephanie Crayton
scrayton@unch.unc.edu
919-966-2860
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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