Birmingham, Alabama's Exchange Club Family Skills Center has joined the abusive head trauma prevention effort, according to the CBS 42 news website. The center partnered with other agencies in a child safety fair that included a display demonstrating the trauma that occurs in child's brain when it is shaken. The shaken baby simulator is a doll with a clear skull so that viewers can see different parts of the doll's brain light up when shaking occurs. The light highlights an area that suffers damage from the shaking. What surprises many viewers is how quickly and easily the baby's brain is damaged; within three seconds, the baby may suffer damage to its eyesight, ability to feel normal emotions, or even fatal damage. In order to help those who don't know what to do when their babies cry excessively, the center lists these tips (adapted here):
1. Rock or bounce your child gently in a steady motion, stand with your baby in front of a mirror, or walk around the room with him or her.
2. Use a noisemaker, such as a vacuum, ceiling fan, or running water, to tune out unwanted noises.
3. Put your child in a bouncy seat or take your baby for a ride in the stroller or car.
4. Sing or play soothing music for your child.
5. Massage your child on the head or forehead to soothe them.
6. If you feel as if nothing works and you've tried it all, understand that some babies (over 3 months old) need to cry for a while before they wear themselves out. Let them cry if you know they are okay, and stay calm.
For more information on abusive head trauma or free answers to questions regarding your unique situation, contact Chris Keane online or at 888-592-KIDS.