Shaking injures, kills many babiesLast year in Wisconsin, almost half of children who died or were seriously injured due to abuse were under 3 months of age.
Last year in Wisconsin, almost half of children who died or were seriously injured due to abuse were under 3 months of age.
The majority of these cases involved shaken baby syndrome, state records show. In the nation, between 1,200 and 1,600 children each year die as a result of shaken baby syndrome.
In an effort to help prevent these incidents, the Pierce County Citizen Review Panel — one of four panels in Wisconsin set up to fulfill mandates of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act — has purchased two shaken baby simulator dolls from Realityworks in Eau Claire, Wis., for use in the community.
The dolls are intended to educate people on the damage that is done when a baby is shaken. They are weighted like a real infant with heavy heads and little neck support. The heads are transparent and the different centers of the brain are labeled.
When started, the dolls begin to cry continually, a common trigger for shaken baby syndrome. As the babies are shaken, areas of the brain that would be affected by the action light up.
If the shaking is continued, the crying stops, signifying that the damage was significant enough to cause the baby to become unconscious.
The effects are powerful and informative, panel members said.
The simulators will be housed at the Pierce County Department of Child Protective Services in Ellsworth and the Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley in Baldwin.
The dolls also will be used at the River Falls Area Hospital by the obstetricsd department and will be available to other approved sources.
For information, contact Cassandra Malloy, Pierce County Human Services, at 715-273-6772 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statistics show that children in Wisconsin are most likely to become victims of abuse resulting in death or serious injury during the first few months of their lives.
As a community, we can reduce the risk factors of abuse through awareness, education, and support, panel members said. They hope the new shaken baby simulators available in the community will assist with this and will help to prevent children from becoming statistics.