Monday, May 14, 2012

In Oklahoma, New commercials help parents deal with crying baby | Shaken Baby Syndrome

Three seconds of shaking is all it takes to end or drastically alter a baby's life.

That's the message behind a new commercial campaign by the Parent Child Center in an effort to expand its Never Shake a Baby program.

"Really, you never want to shake a baby. Three seconds is the catalyst for when a lot of damage is done," said Matthew Eber, spokesman for the Parent Child Center.

One commercial portrays a young girl expressing regret for shaking her little sister to death and the other has a father expressing similar regret over shaking his daughter. Both are set in a surreal, nightmarish backdrop.

"We wanted to show something visual and regret is a common feeling," Eber said. "A lot of times when someone shakes a baby it's during a moment of stress, someone snaps. It's 4 a.m. and the baby hasn't stopped crying. We want to get it in their heads, so when they're stressed and tired they remember that something that simple can kill a baby."

The commercial campaign is in addition to the Never Shake a Baby program the Parent Child Center offers to new families in area hospitals about what to do when babies won't stop crying.

In 2011, the Never Shake a Baby hospital visitation program was presented to 2,228 birth mothers, 1,088 fathers and 706 other people, all representing 2,249 babies.

"We partnered with the Sarkey's Foundation to do a statewide public awareness campaign to put it in the back of everyone's head to never shake a baby," Eber said.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, abusive head trauma, which includes shaken baby syndrome, is the leading cause of non-accidental child death and near death in Oklahoma.

"Every parent I know has experienced moments when they feel completely at a loss as to how to calm their crying baby. When you're exhausted and frustrated, that situation can escalate and you can overreact. It only takes three to five seconds to do irreparable harm by shaking a baby," said Desiree Doherty, PCCT executive director. "With the help of community partners, like the Sarkey's Foundation, we can educate more parents of newborns about the dangers of shaking a baby and how to prevent it. The key is to understand crying as normal infant behavior and calming yourself while trying a variety of safe-for-baby soothing techniques."

For more information and to view the commercials, go online to

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If you have any questions or concerns about what can be done to help babies who have been shaken, or families of babies who have died, please call Christopher Keane and The Keane Law Firm toll-free for free consultation at (888) 592-5437 (KIDS), click on contact us here, or use the web form provided at

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