The Ottumwa Courier

Opinion

May 10, 2013

Injuries to infants, children can be prevented

In the April 25 Courier, there were two stories of very young children who may have been severely harmed by a caretaker. We only know the circumstances revealed by the media, but our community has heard of these tragedies before.

Only about 2 percent of infants cry incessantly in their first few months of life. However, the constant crying can be a precursor to Shaken Baby Syndrome. It is heartbreaking to know that shaking a baby may be far more dangerous than parents and other caregivers realize.

It is a form of child abuse that is preventable. We are fortunate that Wapello County has several agencies who willing and able to educate parents, grandparents and other caregivers about how to appropriately cope with an infant who cannot be quieted or comforted.

Child Care Nurse Consultant Jane Matzen with American Home Finding Association recently provided the Period of Purple Crying training for child care providers in both Mahaska and Wapello counties. Each provider got a DVD with information about normal infant crying patterns. They were also given coping ideas that stressed caregivers can use to keep infants safe. DVDs and coping strategies were funded by the Wapello County Children's Alliance.

Family support services for stressed caregivers are available at no cost because they are funded by Mahaska/Wapello Early Childhood Iowa, the Children's Alliance (through Prevent Child Abuse Iowa) and through the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) federal grant. First Resources provides Helping Hands Nurturing Program (641-683-1302), SIEDA provides Parents as Teachers and FaDSS (641-683-8741). Inquiries about these family support services are invited.

Every person in Wapello County can be a part of the safety net to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome. The first step is to become educated. Any person can learn more about protecting very young children. First Resources, SIEDA and ISU Extension (641-682-5491) are willing and able to provide information and programs. Programs on child safety are also available from Early Childhood Iowa Director Pat McReynolds at 641-451-5437.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Please request a program on Shaken Baby Syndrome from one of the agencies listed above. Your group will become educated enough about Shaken Baby Syndrome to make a difference in our community.

Sara Persons

chairwoman

Wapello County Children's Alliance

Ottumwa

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Make Ottumwa Shine offers opportunity We hear a lot of complaints about the condition of our town. Some are justified, others are the kind of carping that happens in any community. But this month shows the difference between those who just want to complain and people who are genuinely in

    May 2, 2014

  • Investing more money in tornado research would be a disaster

    This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would require National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funding to focus on improving forecasts of "high impact weather events" like tornadoes and hurricanes "for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy."

    April 4, 2014

  • 1120 OTT Opinion Reiter bw photo -L A running Start The Great American Smokeout is tomorrow. The American Cancer Society has chosen the third Thursday in November for this annual event to encourage smokers to quit. There are still an estimated 43.8 million cigarette smokers in the U.S. and several mil

    November 19, 2013 1 Photo

  • No Headline Provided

    October 25, 2013

  • Be aware of prostate cancer I am very pleased to see the coverage and interest in breast cancer with October designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are about 220,000 new cases of breast cancer reported every year, and it is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths

    October 4, 2013

  • Our View Election a chance to move Ottumwa forward Over the past several days, the Courier sat down with each of the candidates for City Council. Among the candidates are some of the best people we've seen step forward in a very long time. We'll endorse candidates for the general election. What we wa

    October 4, 2013

  • Broadband Internet just the beginning I had the opportunity to meet the broadband delegation from Ottumwa who recently toured Steuben County, Ind. As one of the iMAN Fiber Network team members, I can assure you this was an incredible experience for both of our groups. First, as I've lear

    September 14, 2013

  • Request free utility locates using Iowa One Call technology Iowa homeowners who need to dig on their property have free access to an updated technology tool, iTic Lite, available from Iowa One Call, the organization tasked with promoting the message "Call before you dig in Iowa." For their own safety and that

    September 10, 2013

  • Tell us your survivor story The world is filled with stories. Some make front-page news while others get hidden and are never told. Stories of people who overcome obstacles should have a place to make their voices heard. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Courier

    September 6, 2013

  • School board voting will be a little easier Tuesday The League of Women Voters would like to encourage a greater participation by voters in the upcoming election of school board members. It is encouraging to see a larger number of citizens campaigning to serve their community on the school board. I

    September 6, 2013

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National