Senator Dodd Works to Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome, May 23, 2007

Legislation would establish health campaign to prevent form of child abuse

April 25, 2007 - Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and the Chairman of its Children and Families Subcommittee, today introduced the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Act of 2007.  Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) describes the trauma resulting from the violent shaking or abusive impact to the head of an infant or young child. SBS is a form of child abuse affecting between 1,200 and 1,600 children every year, of which between one-quarter and one-third will die and another one-third will suffer permanent, severe disabilities.  Senator Dodd’s legislation would establish a national public health campaign to raise awareness about SBS, encourage prevention programs and provide preventative support for parents and caregivers, and provide support to families affected by abusive head trauma incidents.  Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 

“Young children are America’s most vulnerable citizens, and it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to protect them,” said Dodd.  “Shaken Baby Syndrome is completely preventable, and I am hopeful that by educating parents, caregivers and the general public about the dangers of shaking a child, we will be able to eliminate this form of cruel and senseless abuse from our society.”

“Shaken Baby Syndrome tears apart families and impacts the lives of thousands of young children each year," Lowey said.  "However, with better education for parents and other caregivers, we can dramatically curb this horrible form of abuse.”

Dodd’s legislation has been endorsed by more than 40 organizations including Prevent Child Abuse America, the National Child Abuse Coalition, the American Psychological Association, the Children’s Defense Fund, the National Association of Children's Hospitals, and the Child Welfare League of America. 

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