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Reduce Your Baby's Risk

From Amanda Griswold, Family Resource Center Parent Educator

Being a parent is one of the most important responsibilities you will ever have, and The Family Resource Center at Crossing Rivers Health believes families should have all the support, guidance and information available to enable them to be as healthy and happy as possible. We are a wonderful local resource that can help you every step of the way.

The Crossing Rivers Health Family Resource Center offers many workshops, support groups, and classes throughout the year. On Tuesday, January 17, we are offering a Shaken Baby Syndrome and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Prevention Class from 6 – 9 pm. The registration fee is $35 per person for a group session of two persons or more. If you would like an individual session, the registration fee is $50 per person.

Shaking can cause serious damage

Shaken-baby syndrome is a serious form of child abuse and is caused by vigorously shaking a baby by the shoulders, arms or legs, usually out of frustration or anger. Babies are especially vulnerable to the effects of shaking because:

  • Their heads are relatively large and heavy in proportion to their body size, according to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
  • Their neck muscles are weak.
  • Their brains are immature and more easily injured.
  • The blood vessels around their brains are more prone to tearing than the vessels of older children or adults.
  • The whiplash effect caused by shaking makes a baby's fragile brain bounce back and forth inside the skull.

The consequences can be lifelong and life-threatening and may include:

  • Blindness or eye damage
  • Hearing impairment
  • Brain damage
  • Speech disabilities
  • Developmental delays
  • Seizures
  • Behavior disorders
  • Damage to the spinal cord (paralysis)
  • Death

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Research shows that putting babies "Back to Sleep" on their backs—instead of on their tummies—can reduce their risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In the past, people put infants to sleep on their stomachs because they were worried sleeping on their backs made them more likely to choke during the night. There's no evidence that that's the case, however. In fact, researchers believe sleeping on the stomach may actually be more dangerous because it appears to increase the risk of SIDS. Sleeping on either side is also not recommended.

In this class, you will:

  • Learn strategies to reduce the risk of Shaken Baby Syndrome and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
  • Learn alternative ways to cope with an infant crying and how these strategies can reduce the incidence of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
  • Learn more about what SIDS is and what they can do to reduce the risk of a SIDS death.