LIVEWELL MINUTE: Never Shake A Baby
People who shake their children may do so to distract them from crying or in play. But shaking, bouncing or spinning a baby even a little bit can cause blindness, learning disabilities, mental retardation, paralysis and even death.
Rizwan Shah, MD Blank Children’s Hospital says, ”Crying is a way for babies to communicate their needs, for being fed if they are hungry, for getting their diapers changed when they are wet, and also when they are not feeling well to be comforted.”
Finding ways to alleviate the caregiver’s stress at these critical moments will significantly reduce the risk to the child. If a baby in your care won’t stop crying, try to:
- Make sure the baby’s basic needs are met;
- Check for signs of illness;
- Rock or walk with the baby;
- Sing or talk to him;
- Hold him close against your body and breathe calmly and slowly;
- Call a friend or relative for support or to take care of the baby while you take a break.
Dr. Shah says, “If all else fails and baby continues to cry, the best things a (frustrated) parent can do is just walk away for 5 to 10 minutes to remove themselves from the situation&or count to 20 and comeback.”