Tag Archives: ShakenBabySyndrome

Caps Raise Awareness Of Child Abuse

.jpg photo of nurse
Denise Easeley, a NICU nurse at UnityPoint Health

Hospital’s goal is to knit 3,500 caps as part of campaign

“Crying is the No. 1 trigger for infant abuse,” she said. “Shaken baby syndrome is 100 percent preventable.”

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA  –  Denise Easeley says it’s normal for parents to become frustrated with their babies.

However, there is a point where one needs to draw the line.

“Purple crying” is defined as a period when an infant is inconsolable. It also is a time when parents may feel like they are at their wits end.

The national Click for Babies campaign aims to raise awareness of the purple crying period and prevent child abuse from occurring. As part of the campaign in Cedar Rapids, UnityPoint Health — St. Luke’s five years ago began hosting knit-ins.

“Our goal is to increase awareness for the period of purple crying program by educating parents and caregivers,” said Easley, a NICU nurse at UnityPoint Health — St. Luke’s. “We don’t want babies to be shaken or hurt.”

During the knit-ins, volunteers knit purple caps for babies, to symbolize purple crying.

St. Luke’s will host two knit-ins from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 4 and Oct. 3. There already were two knit-ins at the hospital in July and August.

Nine hundred caps were turned in after this year’s first knit-in, Easley said, including some by those who previously participated.

At the knit-ins, participants look at patterns, teach each other and enjoy chatting, Easley said. Participants are asked to bring their own knitting needles and yarn. A limited supply of yarn and patterns will be available.

Yarn donations also are accepted.

The goal for the campaign is 3,500 caps, which will be distributed to birthing hospitals across the state.

Easley said most of Iowa’s large hospitals teach new parents about purple crying.

“Parents get the education in the hospital and then they take it home. In November and December, after they’ve received their education, then they take home a purple cap.”

Easley said she wants the public to know that babies are supposed to cry.

“Crying is the No. 1 trigger for infant abuse,” she said. “Shaken baby syndrome is 100 percent preventable.”

Casper infant abuse trial begins Monday

Child Abuse
Stephanie Shirts

Casper, Wyoming – The trial of a woman accused of burning a 14-month-old girl’s face with a hot pan last year is scheduled to begin Monday.

Attorneys are expected to begin questioning potential jurors who will hear the case against Stephanie Shirts, the 25-year-old woman accused of rolling a saucepan on an infant’s face and shaking the baby with enough force to require trauma care. The trial will be held in Natrona County District Court.

Authorities also accuse Shirts of suffocating the girl with a blanket. The infant was taken in September by helicopter to the children’s hospital in Aurora, Colorado, with a brain bleed and bleeding in the eyes.

Shirts was charged Sept. 18 with four counts of child abuse, four counts of child endangerment with methamphetamine and one count of aggravated child abuse. She faces 65 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Shirts and her attorney, Sarah Jacobs, unsuccessfully attempted to postpone the trial. Jacobs questioned the Casper Police Department’s handling of her client’s interrogation, claiming Shirts was detained without being properly advised of her Miranda rights.

Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking ruled last week that Shirts received a proper Miranda warning and acted voluntarily. Wilking denied a motion to further delay Shirts’ trial in order to hear more expert testimony.

Wilking also ruled prosecutors can introduce past evidence of child abuse by Shirts. Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen presented evidence Tuesday suggesting that Shirts, sometime before the burning allegations, repeatedly struck a small child at a Casper convenience store.

The child was reportedly buckled in a car seat in the back seat of Shirts’ car. The Aug. 26 incident was reported by two witnesses and caught on store surveillance cameras. Although Casper police officers investigated the report, no arrests were made.

Shirts’ trial was originally set to begin on Feb. 2. Wilking reluctantly delayed the trial after Shirts requested Jacobs replace the public defender initially appointed to represent her.

The infant’s mother, Bobbi Humphreys, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of felony child endangerment with methamphetamine and one count of misdemeanor child endangering. Prosecutors recommended she serve two to five years in the Wyoming Women’s Center.

Jason Cathcart, 37, who lived with Shirts and Humphreys, pleaded guilty last month to possessing methamphetamine and endangering the children who lived with him. Prosecutors said they will recommend Cathcart be sentenced to four to five years in prison.

The three adults admitted to smoking methamphetamine in their home on South Fairdale Avenue on the morning the infant was taken to the hospital. Humphreys allegedly left the 14-month-old in her playpen while she went to Wal-Mart.

Cathcart and Shirts heard the baby crying and took her out of the playpen to change her diaper. Shirts said she put a blanket over the child’s face because she wouldn’t quit crying.

The child quit breathing and turned blue, Shirts told police. She gave the baby CPR, and the infant started breathing again.  Humphreys arrived home shortly after and took the baby to the hospital.

Authorities searched the home and found synthetic marijuana and meth.

Father shook 3-month-old son after getting frustrated with video game

Shaken Baby Syndrome
Jerry Carrier shook 3 month old Child 2 times in 2 weeks.

Jerry Carrier, of New Hampshire, allegedly became frustrated when he couldn’t pass a level on a video game and shook his 3-month-old son, who was taken to a hospital and taken into state custody. The boy had once before been rushed to a hospital after Carrier allegedly shook him two weeks prior.

A New Hampshire dad twice exploded into a rage and violently shook his baby son after getting angry with a video game, police said.

Jerry Carrier allegedly took his frustration of not being able to pass a certain level out on the tiny 3-month-old tot on two separate occasions in less than two weeks, reports WMUR.

The 26-year-old is accused of first shaking the newborn at a home in Newport on Jan. 5.

Paramedics were called to the property and found the infant “clearly in distress,” reports the New Hampshire Union Leader.
He was rushed to New London Hospital and released, but was readmitted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center the following day when he couldn’t keep his food down.

Two weeks later, on Jan. 19, Carrier allegedly shook the youngster again at a house in Charlestown, reports the Union Leader.
The baby’s mom found her son unresponsive, blue and not breathing.
Cops were called and the baby was again rushed to hospital, where doctors discovered his injuries were from “non-accidental trauma.” The baby was taken into state custody.

Carrier, who was taken into custody on Feb. 6 for a separate parole violation for another assault, was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of first-degree assault.

During questioning, he reportedly confessed to the crimes.
“He was having trouble getting past a level of one of the games he was playing and got frustrated,” he told cops, according to Newport police Sgt. Buddy Rowe.

It’s not known what game he was playing. If convicted, he faces seven years in prison.