Shaken Baby Syndrome awareness program proposed in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Shaken Baby Syndrome awareness program proposed in Iowa

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- A new bill aims to protect Iowa's youngest citizens.

A bill filed Friday in Des Moines would create a statewide awareness and prevention program for shaken baby syndrome.

House File 65 would establish a shaken baby syndrome prevention program that would be run by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Those who work with affected children say it's a step in the right direction.

The play room at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo is part of the Early Developmental Intervention program.

It helps kids with shaken baby syndrome.

"They can't sit up. They can't crawl, can't even push themselves up anymore if they were at before they got hurt. There could be eating difficulties where they're not taking the bottle or eating like they did before," said Jill Boisen, EDI Supervisor.

Boisen says the program treats about 10 children per year with shaken baby syndrome.

Those kids have suffered brain injuries after parents or caregivers hurt them.

"That one moment, you might be frustrated or upset and want to do something out of your hands, out of your control you can stop. They say count to ten, we need to count to ten and save that little person," said Boisen.

Raising awareness is part of the reason the Iowa House of Representatives will debate a bill that would establish a shaken baby syndrome prevention program.

Boisen says she welcomes it.

"Anything you can do to protect babies is important so somebody stepping in like that is very important," said Boisen.

However, there are still questions about what will be included in the program, what it will cost, and how to pay for it.

A similar bill was introduced last year, but missed a deadline to make it out of committee.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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