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Preventing child abuse

READ MORE: Preventing child abuse
We have been following the case of an 18-year-old Wilmington woman, Meagan Stuhan charged in the death of her four-month-old son. He died of internal injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome. According to New Hanover Regional Medical Center shaken baby syndrome is the most common form of child abuse in children 6-months-old and younger. Hospital personnel say some parents shake their babies to try and get them to stop crying, but even the smallest shake could be deadly. Pediatric coordinator, Mary Beth Koehler, has seen frustration over a crying baby turn into abuse. She says many parents do not know that shaking a baby, even a little, can cause bleeding in the brain. She says to prevent abuse from occurring, New Hanover Regional Medical Center educates all new parents on ways to cope with a crying newborn. Research showed a program like this was needed. "Before they started this initiative they called people in the state of North Carolina and asked and it was mostly moms who answered the phone, 'Do you shake your baby as a matter of discipline,' and they said 'yes', by and large a huge amount," said Koehler. Koehler says if your baby's crying becomes too much, put the baby in a safe place, then try to calm down before your actions cause any harm. She also recommends calling a friend to help watch the baby for a while. Do what ever you need to do to de-stress, but most importantly never shake the child, and know that sometimes you are not going to be able to make the baby stop crying. For more information, please visit

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Child Abuse

I think it's great the NHRMC has implemented this. I think what's most important to remember is that if cases were prosecuted more than not the public as a whole would see the consequences legally of this action and it would make future perpetrators less likely to engage in SBS or other child abuse. DSS and Child Protective Services through the NHSD work vigilantly to name their suspect and our DA's office decides there's a 50/50 chance at a conviction and don't want the loss on their record and prefer to use our tax paying money towards offenses they deem they can win. I for one am a tax payer and I'm more than happy to see my portion go towards a case for conviction in child abuse including SBS even if there is no witness. If there's an arrest, move forward and let a jury decide. Afterall, isn't that the basis of our legal system to give them a fair trial and the family of the victim some peace and closure. This county has one of the highest averages for child abuse and one of the lowest averages in prosecution of these cases. Whose the child abuser...our system that enables child abusers to keep on abusing? You want to stop child abuse? PROSECUTE not just cases that end in fatalities!

When did this happen

I wished to know when they started educating new parents on crying babies my child is 1yo and I was not talked to at all about how to care for my child or how to handle the situation when he gets a crying spell and I was in the hospital for 8 days and he was in the nicu. So someone let me know when they started doing this. You would have thought being a new parent going to care for a premature baby that they would have given me some sort of guidance for when I got home. Just so others know common sense tells you not to shake a child or any age when you are fustrated they can not help that they can not tell you what is wrong.

Shaken Baby

Please don't forget that children as old as three can be as damaged by being shaken as younger children.