The Keane Law Firm proudly supports the very important work of the San Francisco Shaken Baby Prevention Project 2007, which is attempting to educate everyone who cares for children in San Francisco about the best way to prevent shaken baby syndrome. Here is what they want you to know:
All babies cry. It is frustrating. Crying does not mean that you are a bad parent. Your baby is not trying to make you angry. Your baby may cry for up to 6 hours a day. Crying does not hurt your baby. Crying does not cause brain damage or other health problems. Your baby will cry if there is yelling or fighting in the home. Don’t fight in front of your baby. Your baby may cry if too hot or too cold, or is teething. Your baby may cry for no reason. If you are worried about your baby, or your baby is sick or acting differently, see a doctor right away. You can calm your baby in a number of ways. Change your baby’s diaper. Feed and burp your baby. Give your baby something to suck. Rub your baby’s tummy or back. Hold your baby against bare skin. Wrap your baby tightly in a soft blanket. Turn the lights out. Motion may also help. Gently rock your baby back and forth. Put your baby in a cloth carrier and take a walk outside. Rock your baby gently in an infant swing. Take your baby for a ride in a stroller or car – and be sure to use a car seat. Sound may also help. Sing to your baby. Say “Shhhh” in your baby’s ear louder than your baby is crying. Turn on a radio, fan or vacuum cleaner to make a soothing noise while your baby is in the crib. Sometime, your baby will not stop crying. Let the baby cry it out. Calm yourself down. Call the Talk Line number (415) 441-KIDS (5437).
If you feel angry or out of control, do not pick up or hold your baby. Put your baby gently in his or her crib and leave the room. Take a break. Take a deep breath and count to 10. Then, count to 20. Call a friend or neighbor for support. Splash cold water on your face. Take a shower. Listen to music. Exercise. Make a cup of coffee or tea. Call your doctor and ask for advice. Your baby may be sick. Ask a trusted family member or friend to watch your baby. For more ideas on how to calm your crying baby, call the Talk Line anytime, day or night: (415) 441-KIDS (5437)
Shaking your baby, for just a few seconds, can kill the baby. Not all babies die from being shaken, though. What else can happen if a baby is shaken? Many parents feel very upset when their baby won’t stop crying and sometimes shake their baby. Forceful shaking can cause permanent injuries, such as brain damage, blindness, coma, severe disability, mental retardation and death.
Many parents feel very upset when their baby won’t stop crying. For more ideas on what to do if your baby won’t stop crying, call the Talk Line at 415-441-KIDS (5437). This is a free, confidential, 24-hour counseling and crisis line for parents. Share this information with everyone you know who cares for your baby, including family and babysitters. Here is the website for the Talk Line: www.sfcapc.org/programsTalk_line.htm
If a baby has already been shaken and you need legal advice or a lawyer or attorney for a shaken baby, please call the Keane Law Firm at 888-592-KIDS (5437). The Keane Law Firm represents babies who have suffered shaken baby syndrome.