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Abusive head trauma and crying infant-Public awareness of newborn and infant trauma.

Acta Paediatrica 2024 April 19
AIM: Crying seems to be a common trigger for abusive head trauma (AHT), which is the leading cause of fatalities from physical abuse in infants. Our objective was to evaluate knowledge of AHT, crying infants and correct behavioural measures in a general population.

METHODS: An online questionnaire (LimeSurvey) was created to assess the risk of shaking. The online survey contained a total of 41 questions, including a demonstration of a previously recorded video in which an infant doll is shaken.

RESULTS: A total of 319 people, 245 of them (76.8%) with own children, participated in the study. Almost all respondents (98.4%) were aware of serious injuries due to shaking, even to the point of death (98.1%). Most participants (97.5%) had heard the term 'shaking trauma' prior but did not receive any professional information, neither before nor after birth (85.2% or 86%), or during follow-up examinations (88.5%). The majority of the participants (95%) considered that useful coping strategies in infant crying were inappropriate.

CONCLUSION: The consequences of shaking an infant were common knowledge in a normal population, whereas there was a knowledge gap regarding the management of excessive crying infants. Prevention programmes should mainly focus on male caregivers during postnatal care.

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