Thursday, February 17, 2011

Some thoughts on Emily Bazelon's recent NY Times Magazine article on Shaken Baby Syndrome, "Has a Flawed Diagnosis Put Innocent People Behind Bars?"

In response to the recent New York Times Magazine article regarding Shaken Baby Syndrome by Emily Bazelon, “Has a Flawed Diagnosis Put Innocent People Behind Bars?”, Prevent Child Abuse America would like to offer the following thoughts.

Prevent Child Abuse America advocates for promoting a shared societal responsibility for the healthy development of children and providing all families with the support and resources they need.

Any time there is evidence a child has been injured, the cause of the injury should be evaluated appropriately by a medical professional.

When evidence of shaken baby syndrome is present, we believe the following questions should be asked:

  • What role did stress or other emotional issues like frustration play in this situation and how do we as a community and as a nation ensure that adequate services, information and help are available to parents and/or caregivers when they are needed and as long as they are needed?
  • What opportunities exist to change the culture and norms of our nation to reflect the real value we all should place on children having loving, healthy and stable experiences?
By having a discussion about shaken baby syndrome or other child abuse or neglect topics, we are taking a positive step towards prioritizing prevention so that child abuse and neglect never occur in the first place.

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