AURORA, Colo. - The message is straight forward enough, “Never shake a baby.” We’ve heard it for years.
It still happens.
The Child Protection Team at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Kempe Center say for the 65,000 births that happen in Colorado per year, about 28 to 30 cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome would be expected.
In 2008, Kamora was one of those babies.
She was just a few weeks old when she arrived at the hospital.
Doctors told a police detective she had broken ribs, a broken clavicle, and traumatic brain injury.
After a couple of days, her mother was advised to end life support.
Her life, her mother’s life, and the lives of her siblings will never be the same.
You'll meet Kamora and her family Thursday night at 9 & 10.
In her father's arrest affidavit, he told police Kamora cried a lot.
Even healthy babies can cry four to five hours a day, according to Children's Hospital Colorado.
It is never okay to shake a baby. Have a plan in place.
First, check the baby's physical needs. Is the baby hungry, thirsty, too cold or hot? Does the baby need its diaper changed or need to be burped?
Check for signs of illness or fever. You can call Children's Hospital Colorado ParentSmart Healthline (720-777-0123 or 1-855-KID-INFO (543-4636) and receive free health care advice from registered nurses 24/7.
If your baby is healthy, but still crying:
- Rock the baby, hold the baby close, or walk with the baby.
- Stand up, hold the baby close, and repeatedly bend your knees.
- Sing or talk to the baby in a soothing voice.
- Gently rub or stroke the baby's back, chest or tummy.
- Offer a pacifier or try to distract the baby with a rattle or toy.
- Swaddle the baby with a soft blanket.
- Take the baby for a ride in a stroller or in a car seat in the car.
- Turn on some music or noise, such as a vacuum cleaner or clothes dryer.
Children's Hospital says if nothing works, it is okay to leave the baby in a safe place like a crib or infant seat and take time to calm down.
Leave the room. Shut the door. Take a few deep breaths. Call a friend or family member.
Children's Hospital Colorado surveys of parents suggest that about one percent of parents admit to shaking their children under two to "discipline" them.
Rates are higher for teen parents, among military enlisted men and women, and following natural disasters.
All babies cry; it's how they communicate. The crying will eventually stop.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and your baby won’t stop crying, remember:
- Your baby may cry a lot. Crying can increase until your baby is 4-5 months old.
- Babies often cry more in the evenings.
- Crying can last 30-40 minutes and even longer. Infants may spend up to 4-5 hours a day crying.
- Babies often cry intensely when they are not in pain, even though they may look like they are in pain.
- Sometimes your baby may need to cry to relieve stress, and it's okay to let him or her cry.
- Crying may come and go, and you won't know why.
- Crying may not stop for an extended period of time, no matter what you try.
- The crying will eventually stop.
For more advice, visit Children's Hospital Colorado.
Kamora's family has set up a GoFundMe.
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