Shasta County has twice as many child abuse cases than the rest of California and with the arrest of a man who allegedly assaulted a two-month-old baby in Redding yesterday, we decided to ask experts to weigh in on the issue.
Deputy Director of the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Shasta County Rachell Neal said although crying can be frustrating, safety should always come before a parent or caretaker's frustration with a child.
"It's a motion that is very dangerous to infants and should never be done as far as shaking a baby when you're trying to console them," Neal said.
She said that usually when a child is crying hysterically, they are hungry, tired or need a diaper changed. When all those needs are accounted for and the child is still crying, Neal says it is often best to remove yourself from the situation.
"When you become frustrated as that parent or caregiver," Neal said, " it's okay to set that child down in a safe place. It can be their crib, if the environment is safe, it can be on the floor with their blanket – and walk away."
Neal said that many times, this allows the infant to soothe itself and fall asleep.
Experts say that shaking is one of the more common actions some people take when they feel overwhelmed, yet when caring for an infant, it should never be done.
"Results [can include] long-term, life-long disabilities including blindness, death, deafness, learning disabilities," Neal said.
Shasta County offers a variety of free classes and tips for parents and caregivers. For more information, you can visit shastacapc.org or call 241-5816.