Shaken Baby Syndrome In Wisconsin

State of Wisconsin, Apr 10, 2007

Shaken Baby Syndrome (abusive head trauma) is a severe form of brain injury that occurs when an infant or young child is shaken forcibly enough to cause the brain to rebound against his or her skull. At least one baby is shaken every week in Wisconsin. According to the national Shaken Baby Alliance, 25% of shaken babies die. The majority of the survivors have moderate to severe, long-term disabilities. They may suffer from a variety of related conditions and injuries, including permanent brain damage, blindness, deafness, paralysis, and severe learning disabilities.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is tragic, but it is also preventable. By providing information to parents and other caregivers on the dangers of shaking babies and alternative ways to cope with an infant’s crying, the incidence of Shaken Baby Syndrome can be reduced.

In recognition of the dire consequences of shaking young children and the demonstrated impact of training in reducing the number of children harmed by shaking, State of Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed the Prevent Violence Against Children Act on March 21, 2006. The Act supports collaboration among the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF), the Department of Commerce (DOC), the Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to inform and educate parents and providers of services to young children on appropriate methods of soothing very young children and the grave effects of shaking or throwing an infant. The Children’s Trust Fund will lead the development of educational and training materials and make them available to parents and providers throughout Wisconsin. Hospitals, child care providers, and schools are all required to provide information on the impact of and methods to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.

All child care providers that are certified prior to April 1, 2007, (and care for children under 5 years of age) must complete department approved training in Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) by their renewal date or by October 5, 2007, which ever comes first. If the provider cannot document that s/he has taken the required SBS course within the time frame above, the certifier must enter an age-restriction in Child Care Provider Certification (CCPC) so it is printed on the Certificate of Approval. This will prevent the provider from enrolling subsidy children under 5 years of age. Also, private-pay parents will see the age-restriction on the Certificate of Approval that the provider is required to post in his/her home.

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