Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Proclamations and Shaken Baby Syndrome...

Every now and again I have to get a photo of a proclamation being signed. It is done by our judge executive and is typically an in and out type of thing and doesn't really amount to much.

Today was different.

I got the call to come over and really didn't want to go since I had a ton of work to do, but they usually don't last long so no big deal. Usually they are just proclaiming a specific day as Senior Citizen Day or something like that. I'm not saying that these are bad things, but most of the time it's just a PR thing.

Today the judge-executive proclaimed this week Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week here in the county. He did this for a couple of grandparents who lost a grandchild to SBS. In fact, they testified against their own daughter for killing their 14-month old granddaughter which resulted in her being in prison this very second.

They also brought in a photo album with pictures of their granddaughter and they were tough to look at. To see very recent photos of an infant who suffered a violent life and death is hard. But when she turned to the back of the album it was almost unbearable.

The back few pages were separated from the front because they were photos from the funeral. They were photos of this little 14-month old baby girl just half-filling the smallest casket you've ever seen. And the closer shots revealed that makeup was caked on her face to somewhat conceal the bruises, but you could see that they were there.

Apparently this little girl's mother was a drug addict. She beat and shook this little girl for about 11 of her 14 months of life according to the x-rays and autopsy. In fact, if she had survived the final beating the doctors said that she was going to die shortly thereafter and nothing could have been done to stop it.

I spoke with a good friend of mine and his wife is a social worker. He said that she recently had attended a seminar on Shaken Baby Syndrome and they spoke of a 14 year-old who had severe brain damage from SBS and it resulted in death.

Just 14 years after the fact.

Just when you think you have heard everything story there is to hear about meth, you get to hear about something even more horrible than the last story.

2 comments:

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George Lithco said...

Please commend your executive for taking action to increase awareness about the consequences of shaking young children. Here in New York, our state legislature has been observing the third week of April as Shaken Baby Awareness Week since 2001. This year the US Senate also recognized the Week by resolution.
Please let those advocates know that there is a very effective prevention program (the Upstate NY SBS Prevention project) that uses a simple video to educate new parents before they leave the hospital. since it was introduced in the Buffalo area, the incidence of inflicted injuries dropped by 47%. It was reported in the April 2005 Pediatrics - there are links on our website www.SkipperVigil.com
By the way, a study in August 2005 estimates that about 300 children die from shaking injuries every year, and 600 - 900 are serious injured. To put that number in perspective, 308 children under age 5 died in fires in 2002.