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Child Abuse Negl. 2014 Dec;38(12):1914-22. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

Parents' behavior in response to infant crying: abusive head trauma education.

Author information

1
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department for Children with Acquired Neurological Injury, Saint Maurice Hospitals, Saint Maurice, France; Paediatric Neurology Department, Necker Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris, France.
2
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department for Children with Acquired Neurological Injury, Saint Maurice Hospitals, Saint Maurice, France.
3
Centre de recherche en Epidémiologie et Santé des Populations U1018 Inserm, Paul Brousse Hospitals, Villejuif, France.
4
Maternity Department, Saint Maurice Hospitals, Saint Maurice, France.
5
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department for Children with Acquired Neurological Injury, Saint Maurice Hospitals, Saint Maurice, France; Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Inserm, CNRS, LIB, F-7013, Paris, France.

Abstract

Abusive head trauma (AHT) is still too common, and probably underestimated. It is the leading cause of death from child abuse. Crying is thought to contribute to the act of shaking. Objectives of this study were to (a) assess parents' knowledge about infant crying, their ability to manage crying, and their knowledge about AHT; and (b) assess the feasibility and the impact of a simple educational intervention about crying and AHT with parents shortly after their child's birth. A short questionnaire was completed orally by the parents of 190 consecutive newborns in a maternity hospital at day 2 of life. Then, during the routine examination of the child, the pediatrician gave parents a short talk about infant crying and AHT, and a pamphlet. Finally, parents were contacted by phone at 6 weeks for the post-intervention questionnaire assessing their knowledge about crying and AHT. Among 202 consecutive births, parents of 190 children were included (266 parents; 70% mothers) over a 1-month period and answered the pre-intervention questionnaire. The intervention was feasible and easy to provide. Twenty-seven percent of mothers and 36% of fathers had never heard of AHT. At 6 weeks, 183 parents (68% of the sample; 80% mothers) answered the post-intervention questionnaire. Parents' knowledge improved significantly post-intervention. Parents found the intervention acceptable and useful. Health care professionals such as pediatricians or nurses could easily provide this brief talk to all parents during systematic newborn examination.

KEYWORDS:

Abusive head trauma; Crying; Non-accidental head injury; Primary prevention; Shaken baby syndrome

PMID:
25043922
DOI:
10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.06.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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