Category Archives: Shaken Baby Syndrome

Domestic Violence Big Part Of Utah Child Abuse Case

.jpg photo of man that made death threats toward child to mother
Daniel Mercer, 28

Utah couple charged with child abuse
after 3-month-old girl suffers broken bones, brain bleeding and severe burns

SPANISH FORK, UT  –  A Spanish Fork couple was charged Friday after their three-month-old child was taken to the hospital with bad burns on her body, and other injuries consistent with child abuse, investigators said.

According to a probable cause statement released by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, officers were contacted by the Department of Child & Family Services to investigate an aggravated child abuse case involving a three-month-old girl.

Investigators went to the University of Utah, where doctors said the baby had second-degree burns on her hand, two broken bones, brain bleeding consistent with shaken baby syndrome and a possible detached retina in her eye.

Doctors determined that the injuries the baby sustained were inflicted over the course of two weeks prior to her being admitted to the hospital, the statement said.

.jpg photo of abused child's mother
Whitney Huber, 30

The parents, identified as Whitney Huber, 30, and Daniel Mercer, 28, spoke with police about the incident, according to court documents.

After being interviewed by police, Mercer admitted to “recklessly causing the burns to his infant daughter’s left hand.”

“Daniel admitted to making death threats to the child and telling Huber when they fought on two recent occasions that he would, ‘kill the baby and make her watch as the baby died.’” the statement said.

Neither Huber or Mercer would tell police how the infant sustained the other injuries doctors said she had, police stated.

Mercer was charged Friday with two counts of child abuse – inflict serious physical injury intentionally, both second-degree felonies, possession of a controlled substance, a class-A misdemeanor and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class-B misdemeanor.

Huber was charged one count of child abuse, inflict serious physical injury recklessly, a third-degree felony.

Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic violence.  Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance.  In an emergency, dial 911.

Justice for KS Toddler Cooper Clark

.jpg photo of Father sentenced to 30 years for abuse and murder of Son
Benny Clark was charged with Child Abuse and first-degree murder in the death of his 6-month-old son.

After Kansas child’s death, father
sentenced to 30 years in prison for
abuse, murder

The father of a Kansas boy who died in August 2017 was sentenced to 30 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and child abuse.

Benny William Clark, 23, of Reece, pleaded guilty in March to intentional second-degree murder and child abuse, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a release Thursday.

He was sentenced to 364 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Clark had been charged in August with first-degree murder in the death of his 6-month-old son, Cooper Clark,  The Eagle reported at the time.

Greenwood County Sheriff Heath Samuels had said deputies were called to the emergency room at the county hospital, where they were told the infant had injuries inconsistent with the parents’ story.

In court, Clark said he “vigorously shook” Cooper for 6 to 7 seconds after the baby took off his diaper and urinated over his bedding, the Eureka Herald and Emporia Gazette reported.

Clark also said that he was putting a fresh diaper on Cooper when he fell off an ottoman and hit his head.

The Wichita Police Department’s Exploited and Missing Child Unit assisted the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.

Every State Should Have Sophies Law

.jpg photo of child abused by babysitter
Sophie was abused by her babysitter at just four months old.

NKY mom ‘heartbroken’ by 3-year-old’s case pushes for child abuse registry

BELLEVUE, KY  –  A Northern Kentucky mother said cases like her daughter’s, and a case from last week in Butler County, are the reason she’s fighting to create a child abuse registry in Kentucky.

The new 2018 bill has been dubbed ‘Sophie and Kylie Jo’s Law’

She said her daughter was abused by her babysitter at just four months old.

Jennifer Diaz said her heart is broken for the family of Hannah Wesche.

Sheriff: 3-year-old ‘hanging on by a thread;’ babysitter charged with abuse

She worked with lawmakers in Kentucky last year to help create a child abuse registry, but the bill died.

Now, she is working with them again and hopes a new bill could make it a reality.

“Society needs to know who these horrible human beings are,” Diaz said.

Jennifer and her daughter, Sophie, have been sharing a story of abuse for years, hoping to save young ones from being hurt by someone they trust.

“We were fortunate that, you know, we’re survivors.  My child is a survivor,” Diaz said.

Sophie is in preschool these days, but she was four months old when her babysitter, Desiree Rankin, abused her, sending her to the hospital.

Rankin was convicted and sentenced in the case.

Jennifer said her heart broke when she saw 3-year-old Hannah’s story.

Investigators said Wesche was abused in Butler County on Thursday, to the point she isn’t expected to survive.

She’s currently in intensive care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and her family says she is brain dead.

Hannah’s babysitter, Lindsay Partin, was arrested but is out of jail.

Jennifer said she prays for Hannah’s family.

“You fight, you fight and get that justice that child deserves and just keep fighting,” Diaz said.

Diaz and her daughter are fighting too, to stop babysitters who’ve been convicted in similar crimes from ever doing it again.

Last year, Diaz worked with lawmakers in Kentucky to help create a child abuser registry.

She testified in Frankfort, but the 2017 bill died.

Now, she’s working with lawmakers in the 2018 session.

She testified just last week, with Sophie by her side.

“I’ll go 100 times if I have to, you know, whatever it takes to pass this law, it’s going to get passed,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer said the registry would operate much like the sex offender registry, with information online.

She said there are some big hurdles ahead, including figuring out ways to pay for the registry everyone can agree on.

The new bill has been dubbed “Sophie and Kylie Jo’s Law,” in honor of the two girls who were abused by their babysitters.

It has now been referred to the House Rules Committee.

NEVER, NEVER SHAKE A BABY

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
SBS/AHT is the leading cause of physical Child Abuse in the U. S.

Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma (SBS/AHT) is a term used to describe the constellation of signs and symptoms resulting from violent shaking or shaking and impacting of the head of an infant or small child.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) describes SBS as a subset of AHT with injuries having the potential to result in death or permanent neurologic disability.

The #1 trigger for Shaken Baby Syndrome is frustration with a baby’s crying.

SBS/AHT is the leading cause of physical Child Abuse in the U. S.

Approximately 25% of victims of SBS/AHT die.

FAQ

Can Tossing My Baby in the Air or Rough Play Cause SBS?

SBS is a form of child abuse that happens when an infant or small child is violently shaken.  Shaken injuries are not caused by:

  • Bouncing a baby on your knee.
  • Tossing a baby in the air.
  • Jogging or bicycling with your baby.
  • Falls off a couch or other furniture.
  • Sudden stops in a car or driving over bumps.

Although the activities listed above can be dangerous and are not recommended, they will likely not cause SBS injuries.

Why is Shaking a Baby Dangerous?

Violent shaking for just a few seconds has the potential to cause severe injuries.  While shaking may cause injury to children of any age, children are most susceptible to being injured during their first year of life.  Factors that contribute to a baby’s vulnerability include:

  • Babies heads are heavy and large in proportion to their body size.
  • Babies have weak neck muscles.
  • Babies have fragile, undeveloped brains.
  • There is a large size and strength difference between the victim and the perpetrator.

Facts

SBS/AHT is well researched with over 700 publications in more than 100 peer-reviewed high impact medical journals.

Upwards of 80% of surviving victims of SBS/AHT suffer lifelong disabilities.

Approximately 25% of victims of SBS/AHT die.

SBS/AHT is the leading cause of physical child abuse deaths in the U.S.

SBS/AHT occurs most often in babies less than 6 months old.

There are approximately 1,300 reported cases of SBS/AHT in the U.S. each year.

Possible Signs and Symptoms of SBS/AHT
  • Lethargy / decreased muscle tone
  • Extreme irritability
  • Decreased appetite, poor feeding or vomiting for no apparent reason
  • Grab-type bruises on arms or chest
  • No smiling or vocalization
  • Poor sucking or swallowing
  • Rigidity or posturing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Decreased level of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Head or forehead appears larger than usual
  • Soft spot on head appears to be bulging
  • Inability to lift head
  • Inability of eyes to focus or track movement
  • Unequal size of pupils
Consequences of SBS/AHT
  • Learning disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • Visual disabilities or blindness
  • Hearing impairment
  • Speech disabilities
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Seizures
  • Behavior disorders
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Death

Information on this page is not intended to replace advice by a health care professional.  If you suspect a child has been shaken, seek immediate medical attention.

Resource:  National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
https://dontshake.org

Your Child Needs You – Pt 1

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
How you raise your Child could mean the difference in Life or Death

Why Quality Time Needs to Be a Priority

I am going to attempt to reach out to all Parents with this, although we want to draw young couples and young parents-to-be to Our Sites, where they can better prepare to be the Parents their Child needs.

No matter what kind of Parent you are, there is one thing you will never teach your Child.

The first, and most important thing a Child should “FEEL” is LOVE.  I believe that when a Child is born, it is possible to be ahead.  But let’s start from the beginning, and just so everyone knows, it is possible to, up to a point, to look at your wife and Child and say “I am so very sorry , PLEASE, I love you both, but I have wronged you both”. ( If this is the wife, just change the words to read accordingly).

You should love your significant other as much as you love yourself, and you should be an honest person already, if not how can you even think of doing your significant other and family-to-be like this????

The same goes for violence toward your significant other and a family????

IT IS WRONG TO IMPLANT INDIFFERENCE IN A CHILD’S HEART

While we are here, you and this young Lady( even if you are joining in on this as seasoned Parents) are forming a TEAM, and contrary to what anyone says, there is no master or slave.

Learn to open up and talk, but be totally honest, and at this point you never, never, never, ever betray the trust in which you told each other your deepest…  and dreams.

But now is the time to train yourselves to talk softly, and you both might as well get rid of the dirty habits: chewing tobacco… OK, what is it?  No, No, not you just the Mother-to-be, since it is her job to deal with your young football player 24 hours a day for 11 years….  OF Course I MEAN YOU TOO, new Mothers have depression, and it is the Father’s responsibility to deal with their Child as much as possible.

The other member of your Team will need a time just to herself, and this is not just her naptime, that does not count.

Now back to stopping things an innocent Child should not know: tobacco, cussing, arguing, fighting, alcohol, drugs(all 3 kinds, illicit, over-the-counter, and prescription, and that goes for the fake over-the-counter synthetic drugs), pornography, loud music, and junk television.

Next the Team will need to start early and get you a child-proofing-the-house list going, along with Emergency plans for various possibilities.

OK, when your Teammate conceives, it will be time to start talking softly to this bundle of joy while lightly rubbing and touching this “bump” as your Child grows.  You can sing softly, and read to this soon-to-be addition to the Team.

It will be a really good time to prepare yourselves, so read-up on facts like bonding to Mom and Dad, Newborns get scared very easily, and most particularly uncontrollable crying, which is Purple Face or Blue Face(it was called when my oldest taught me the hard way what this thing is that far too many end up hurting their Child for life by Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Last but not least, the things you DO NOT DO AT ALL, EVEN ONE(1) TIME!!!!

You never discipline a Child when you are angry.  You NEVER talk MEAN to them, NEVER criticize them, if they are having trouble with homework, you help them, and if you can’t do the problems just imagine what this dear Child feels like in front of his peers.

OH, now it is time for you and your Teammate to start practicing Quality Time.

You can NOT teach your Child LOVE, it is a feeling, a felt thing.  But you will begin as a smiling, long-suffering Parent, teaching your Child the basic qualities necessary to be a Good Family Member, Good Friend, Good Pupil, Good Citizen, Good Employee, Good Soldier, Good Boss, and a Good Civil Servant, by teaching Truth, Honor, Respect while being Respected, Duty, and Responsibility(which, by 18-years-of-age, will be Responsibility For One’s Own Actions).

This Child must be protected by you and your teammate for 18 years.