State of Florida to Launch Shaken Baby Awareness Campaign

In both cases, their fathers are under arrest.

Nearly two dozen children have been shaken to death in Florida since the millennium, and nearly 400 more have died of abuse.

On August 7, 23-year-old Maning Lott was arrested for manslaughter in the death of his two-month-old daughter. He tells investigators he was tossing the child in the air and dropped her.

On December 4, Terrell Futch was accused of murder and admits to police that he shook his four-month-old daughter Ta'yara because she wouldn't stop crying. Her autopsy report revealed everything from bite marks to broken ribs to the brain hemorrhage that killed her.

Ann Davis of Capital Area Healthy Start says, "These are 100 percent preventable injuries and deaths, just never, never, never shake a baby."

The shaken baby cases in Tallahassee are the latest in a state that has seen 22 shaken baby deaths in the past four years.

Registered Nurse Linda Katz teaches a class for new moms at Tallahassee Memorial. She reminds them to cradle their baby’s head and never shake them because it can have lifelong or deadly consequences.

Linda says, "It makes their brain slap against their skull. It can cause slight swelling and they can stop breathing within an hour."

Studies have shown that young men age 14 to 22 are most likely to shake a baby to death and they're most likely to do it when left alone with a baby for several hours.

Ann Davis adds, "Young men especially that are taking care of babies, be sure you have a strategy in place that if the baby starts frustrating you and you start getting angry that you'll have constructive ways of dealing with that."

The state of Florida will launch a new shaken baby awareness campaign in 2005. The Department of Children and Families will post billboards statewide with the message "never shake a baby."


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