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Rotary gives Enloe Shaken Baby Syndrome simulation doll
CHICO, Calif., Jan. 19, 2012 – The Rotary Club of Chico last week presented the Enloe Mother & Baby Education Center with RealCare Shaken Baby, a simulation doll from Reality Works that can enhance parenting education to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Back row from left: Brian Martin of Sunrise Rotary Club and New Beginnings Educational Programs, and Richard Bame and Phil Rowberg of Rotary Club of Chico
Front row, from left: Jolene Francis, Enloe’s Director of Advancement; Melanie Bassett, Rotary Club of Chico President, Heidi Cantrell, Enloe Perinatal Outreach Coordinator, Cathy McLendon, Enloe Lactation Consultant
Shaken Baby Syndrome is the collection of signs and symptoms resulting from the violent shaking of an infant or small child, often as a result of frustration or anger in response to constant crying or irritability. Serious injuries associated with shaken baby syndrome may include blindness or eye injuries, brain damage, damage to the spinal cord and delay in normal development and even death.
Several members of the local Rotary Clubs became aware of the need for education around shaken baby syndrome at a special workshop, where the simulator was demonstrated, said Rotary Club of Chico Member Richard Bame. The Rotary’s District Governor, David Dacus, sponsored an initiative this year to provide simulator dolls to communities through the local Rotary clubs in Northern California. In Chico, the Rotary Club of Chico and the Chico Sunrise Rotary Club each purchased a simulator doll. The Sunrise Club donated its doll for use by other local community agencies that provide services to mothers and families, an effort coordinated by Brian Martin, Executive Director of New Beginnings Educational Programs, Inc.
The RealCare Shaken Baby cries inconsolably, like real infants sometimes do. When the doll is shaken, a device inside its head measures the force on the “brain.” The simulator’s cries then stop abruptly and LED lights show damage to specific areas of the brain in real time.
“This is a wonderful tool that we can integrate into our education program for new and future parents as well as babysitters and others who care for babies,” said Heidi Cantrell, RN, Perinatal Outreach Coordinator for the Enloe Mother & Baby Education Center. “In our classes, one of the topics we discuss is coping with the emotions that may arise when babies cry for hours a day. We also teach techniques for soothing a crying baby. This gift will enable parents and other caregivers to feel how little shaking it takes to greatly injure a baby, whether that’s done in anger or from overly vigorous handling or playing.”
The California Department of Social Services estimates that 1,200 to 1,400 babies or children are shaken each year and receive treatment. Of these, 25 to 30 percent die from their injuries, and the others suffer lifelong complications. It is suspected that many more are affected but do not receive treatment. A baby that has been shaken should be brought to the pediatrician or an emergency room immediately.
Enloe’s Mother & Baby Education Center offers classes to help families prepare for their new baby. Classes focus on healthy families and are available before and after the birth. Infant and Pediatric CPR and Babysitting classes are also offered. Details are online. Links to websites with information about Shaken Baby Syndrome can be found at www.enloe.org/links.
Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at http://www.enloe.org. Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif. 95926.