Updated: Thursday, 29 Apr 2010, 10:37 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 29 Apr 2010, 10:37 AM EDT
New Haven, Connecticut (WTNH) - The story for Wednesday's Health News is raising awareness of child abuse -- specifically Shaken Baby Syndrome – and what's being done to prevent it from happening and how little it takes to damage a baby.
Jordan Hensley was nine months old when his father was playing too rough with him.
"He was facing his father with his hands on top of his head holding his hair, and my husband was shaking his head,” described Ali Chellis, Jordan’s mother. “And I said, ‘Don't do that. You're playing too rough.’ And he said, ‘Okay.’ And now sooner did I go down the stairs, and (I) heard this blood curdling scream."
Jordan's mother Ali says that was the beginning.
Doctors had to revive Jordan after his heart stopped, as well as allegations of shaken baby syndrome or SBS.
"The questions were horrifying,” she explained. “It was, “Did you shake your son? Did you hit your son? Did you punch him? Did you pick him up and throw him against the wall?’”
Jordan's injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome, which is a form of child abuse.
While the family was cleared, cases of SBS sadly are too prevalent in society.
Dr. Sandra Carbonari said, "About 50 -percent of children will survive and of those, a large percentage will go onto have symptoms of traumatic brain injury."
Pediatrician Dr. Sandra Carbonari -- with the Children's Health Center at St. Mary's Hospital -- says caregivers are often not aware of the damage caused by shaking a baby.
"When the baby is shaken, the baby's head will move forwards and backwards, up to 9-G force. Dr. Carbonari explained. “So it is similar to if you have a cherry on a stem and shake it back and forth."
Awareness is the key to preventing SBS. That is why Kathy Craig, with the Waterbury Exchange Club, organizes a vigil every year.
"The main mission of the Exchange Club is prevention of child abuse and what better way (then) to hold a vigil so that people know you can not shake a child without damaging a child in some format,” Craig said.
Now 28 years old, Jordan Hensley is writing a book that includes the dangers of playing rough with an infant. "The message to the people coming to the vigil: that it takes three seconds, and three shakes to destroy a baby's life.”
The Shaken Baby Syndrome Vigil begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Apr. 29 at the United Methodist Church in Woodbury.