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In the Classroom: Shaken Baby Task Force aims to prevent tragedies

Posted at 3:04 PM, Feb 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 20:46:26-05

For twenty years, Jean Armstrong with the Methodist Jennie Edmundson Family Resource Center and Shaken Baby Task Force has spoken to area high schools and middle schools to educate them about Shaken Baby Syndrome. 

Armstrong stands in front the class and demonstrates with an egg the irreparable damage done to the brain when someone shakes a newborn. "It's a serious form of child abuse, it's 100% preventable." She says nearly 25% of babies with Shaken Baby Syndrome die and the rest often have lifelong brain damage. 

She speaks to students in Council Bluffs, Omaha, Glenwood, Bellevue, Papillion-La Vista. "This is the perfect age to talk to them. They babysit, they have infants in their homes and they're future parents, so it's a perfect age to be educating them."

Armstrong, a registered nurse, says people need the tools to deal with a crying baby. She advises students to put babies in a safe spot like a crib and then walk away. She says to make sure to check on the baby, but then call someone for help. 

The Shaken Baby Task Force has created the only helpline in the country to deal with a crying baby. That number is: 866-243-2229 (BABY). She says last year they received 205 calls. She believes that means lives were saved.