Never, ever shake a baby-- we?ve heard this warning all too often because a moment of frustration can steal the life of a child.
This month is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and doctors are reminding the community about the dangers of shaking a baby and causing serious head trauma.
Jackie Washburn has 17 children, 15 are adopted, and two of them were victims of violent crime, and suffer shaken baby syndrome.
She remembers adopting her son Steven.
?He was a sweet little 6-week-old baby that had suffered a violent act of abuse,? says Washburn.
And Matthew, blind and deaf, with her for over a decade, but he died.
?He loved to spin, spin, spin in his bed. He would constantly be moving and one year we all got the flu,? says Washburn.
Doctors say Matthew would have survived if he weren't suffering from shaken baby syndrome.
Dr. Paul Grabb is director of pediatric neurosurgery at Memorial Hospital, and he says if a baby is shaken or slammed into a bed or sofa vary between brain damage or death.
?Each child is different in regards to the severity, but unfortunately there seems to be an upswing in the frequency,? says Grabb.
Steven is now 16-years-old and seems like a happy child, but despite Steven?s happiness, Washburn doesn't want people to forget the seriousness of shaken baby syndrome.
?He is basically nonverbal, always will be in diapers, has basically lost any semblance of a normal life, and it is replaced by caregivers instead of dates and wheelchairs instead of Hot Wheels or cars,? said Washburn.
Washburn and doctors at Memorial Hospital stress that there are options, and that it?s OK to leave the child safe in its crib and let it cry.
If you feel like you have reached your limit, call 1-800-4-A-CHILD to get some help.