baby drinking from bottle 521.
(photo credit: Reuters)
The National Council for the Child has launched a campaign to fight “shaken baby
syndrome,” in which parents, caregivers and others shake infants back and forth
out of frustration.
Shaking babies, with their heavy heads and delicate
necks, can end in death. Council head Dr. Yitzhak Kadman noted that in the past
few days, the parents of twins a few months old were arrested on suspicion that
they caused them trauma, by shaking them.
The council estimates that
thousands of young children – especially infants – are abused in this way every
year and that dozens die as a result.
The syndrome can be hidden by a
variety of symptoms, making it hard to identify the victims, or to create an
accurate assessment of the number of cases, he added.
Most of the cases
are not malicious but due to young, inexperienced parents who don’t know that
shaking can be deadly, the baby’s head must always be supported when held. In
numerous cases, the physical damage caused by shaking babies turns up years
after the event. During shaking, the blood vessels and the brain are pushed
against the skull, potentially causing hemorrhaging and neurological damage,
blindness, deafness, learning disability, physical handicaps and even
Babies cry when they are hungry and thirsty, tired, need a diaper
change, in pain, cold or hot, bored, frightened or need physical contact and
If meeting their needs doesn’t bring an end to the crying, give him
or her a warm bath, take them in a carriage for a walk in the fresh air or a
trip in the car.
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Turn on music, let them hear the sound of running water
or – if nothing else helps – call an experienced parent for help.
information campaign is being carried out by parents, babyminders and
professionals in the field of medicine, nursing, education and welfare. The
council (02) 678-0606, www.children.org.il
) is distributing books on the subject
in hundreds of thousands of copies in Hebrew, Arabic, English and Russian.
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