St. Luke's part of national effort to educate about Shaken Baby Syndrome
Written by Jason Epner, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
Jennifer and Geoff Dumolien of Robins are celebrating the birth of their newest addition Jake, the third of three boys in the family.
"It'll be exciting to have them all together to see what their reactions are," Jennifer said.
Jennifer remembers what it was like bringing her first two children home and the surprises that came with.
"Right at the three week mark with both of our first two children is when the crying episodes started early evening and lasted a few months so it was a little bit challenging," she said.
For some parents, the crying episodes can be more than just a challenge.
Health officials say frustration with a crying infant is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants.
"A baby crying is a very normal thing. Sometimes you can't calm your baby down so we want parents to know that it's okay," said Denise Easley, a staff nurse at St. Luke's newborn intensive care unit in Cedar Rapids.
St. Luke's Hospital is part of a national effort to educate families about Shaken Baby Syndrome.
The hospital is distributing hundreds of purple baby caps as a method to raise awareness about ways to cope with normal infant crying when it becomes too much for mom and dad.
"We want people to know that it's okay to put your baby down in the crib and walk away," Easley said.
Health experts say it doesn't take much for frustrated parents to cause their baby permanent harm.
"The shaking back and forth a few times can cause blood vessels to tear in the brain and cause bleeding," Easley said.
For families like the Dumolien's, the educational efforts about Shaken Baby Syndrome are helpful.
The Dumolien's say they take comfort in knowing that the early infant crying spells are normal and many smiles lay ahead.
"Realizing that it's nothing you're doing. It's nothing that's wrong with the baby, it's just something you have to live through and know that there's an end in sight," Jennifer said.
According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, 25% of shaken infants die from their injuries.
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