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Safe Haven Law & Shaken Baby Syndrome

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Presentation on theme: "Safe Haven Law & Shaken Baby Syndrome"— Presentation transcript:

1 Safe Haven Law & Shaken Baby Syndrome

2 Safe Haven Law Law that allows a parent to legally and safely relinquish their unharmed newborn anonymously without fear of arrest or prosecution for abandonment, with no questions asked No Shame, No Blame, No Names

3 How Does it Work? Parents who are unable or unwilling to care for an infant can legally, anonymously, and safely relinquish their unharmed newborn up to 30 days old. The only requirement is that the unharmed newborn be brought to: A hospital, a fire station, police station, sheriff office, or an emergency care facility in Illinois, and handed to any staff member.

4 Can Only a Parent Bring in a Newborn?
In most cases, a parent will bring in the infant. The law allows another person to safely relinquish the unharmed newborn if the person has lawful custody, or is acting on behalf of the parent.

5 Does the Parent have to Call Before Bringing in the Newborn?
No A parent can safely relinquish an unharmed newborn anytime, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week. The Safe Haven law is good 24-7.

6 What Does the Parent have to Say to the People?
Nothing is required to be said. The parent can walk with no questions asked. A packet of information is available to the parent but the parent is not required to accept it. This packet contains information about: Adoption Medical/family history form Written notice of the process to terminate parental rights

7 What Happens to the Newborn?
The newborn will be examined and given medical treatment if needed. If the examining doctor determines the newborn has been harmed, the parent could be prosecuted The newborn will be placed in a pre-adoptive home.

8 What Happens to the Parent of the Newborn?
Once the infant has been safely relinquished, the parent is free to go. Nothing happens to the parent.

9 What if the Parent Wants the Newborn Back?
Under the Safe Haven law, a parent who has safely relinquished an unharmed newborn has 60 days to petition the court to prevent the termination of parental rights and regain custody.

10 Why is Illinois Doing This?
The purpose of the Safe Haven law is to save the lives of newborns and keep them from being unsafely abandoned. This law provides a safe and legal alternative to parents who May be under severe emotional distress Are unable to provide for the basic needs of an infant.

11 Is the Safe Haven Law Effective?
The intent of the law is to assure the safety of unwanted newborns that might otherwise be unsafely abandoned, though it's hard for a law to change the way a very frightened person may act. Between August 2001, when the law was first passed in Illinois, and August 12, 2009 56 babies have been unsafely abandoned (27 did not survive) During this same time frame 53 newborns were safely relinquished in Illinois under the Safe Haven law

12 Why do Parents Abandon their Newborns?
Babies have been abandoned for many reasons: Mother denies pregnancy, keeps it a secret, gives birth in private and abandons or kills the newborn Mother's husband is not the father Mother fears she doesn't have enough money to care for the infant Mother has other children, can't afford to take care of another Mother is afraid or ashamed to tell her parents or others Mother is afraid of being abused if the pregnancy/newborn is discovered

13 More Reasons Parents Abandon their Newborns
Mother is afraid of the humiliation of having a baby out of wedlock Pregnancy discovered too late Infant is the result of rape or incest Mother fears social services will take away her other children Mother fears an ex-spouse will take her other children Some parents who have experienced any of these circumstances may have been under severe emotional distress. They were afraid and had nowhere to turn for help, the parents unsafely abandoned their newborn.

14 Contact Resources Child Help USA (Abuse Hotline)
Safe Haven Crisis Line BABY ( ) Save Abandoned Babies Foundation Safe Haven PSA Critical Thinking Worksheet

15 Partner Activity One partner is responsible for thinking like the distressed parent with a newborn that they don’t want to keep. They will write an argument as to why they feel the best thing to do is abandon the baby. The other partner will be responsible for writing up an argument for why they feel their partner (the distressed parent) should relinquish the baby safely using the Safe Haven Law Assignment Requirements Both arguments should use the content covered in PPT to develop their argument. Both arguments should be at least a paragraph long (4-5 sentences) Some groups may be asked to present their argument in a skit in front of the class if time permits it.

16 Shaken Baby Syndrome SBS/AHT (shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma) is a term used to describe the constellation of signs and symptoms resulting from violent shaking or shaking and impacting of the head of an infant or small child

17 Signs & Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome
There are various signs and symptoms of shaken baby syndrome. The consequences of less severe cases may not be brought to the attention of medical professionals and may never be diagnosed. In most severe cases, the child usually becomes immediately unconscious and suffers rapidly escalating, life- threatening central nervous system dysfunction. Any of these injuries can lead to severe disability or death. If you suspect a child has been shaken, seek medical attention This could be the difference between life and death.

18 Signs & Symptoms Cont… Common Physical Signs/Symptoms
Lethargy / decreased muscle tone Extreme irritability Decreased appetite, poor feeding or vomiting for no apparent reason Grab-type bruises on arms or chest are rare No smiling or vocalization

19 More Signs & Symptoms Common Physical Signs/Symptoms Cont.
Poor sucking or swallowing Rigidity or posturing Difficulty breathing Seizures Inability to lift head Inability of eyes to focus or track movement or unequal size of pupils

20 Consequences of SBS What Happens:
The brain rotates within the skull cavity, injuring or destroying brain tissue. When shaking occurs, blood vessels feeding the brain can be torn, leading to bleeding around the brain. Blood pools within the skull, sometimes creating more pressure within the skull and possibly causing additional brain damage. Retinal (back of the eye) bleeding is very common

21 Consequences of SBS Why:
Babies' heads are relatively large and heavy, making up about 25% of their total body weight. Their neck muscles are too weak to support such a disproportionately large head. Babies' brains are immature and more easily injured by shaking. Babies' blood vessels around the brain are more susceptible to tearing than older children or adults.

22 Consequences of SBS When:
Often, perpetrators shake an infant or child out of frustration or anger. This most often occurs when the baby won't stop crying. Other triggering events include toilet training difficulties and feeding problems.

23 Consequences of SBS Immediate Consequences:
Breathing may stop or be compromised Extreme irritability Limp arms and legs or rigidity/posturing Decreased level of consciousness Vomiting; poor feeding Inability to suck or swallow Heart may stop Death

24 Consequences of SBS Long-Term Consequences: Learning disabilities
Physical disabilities Visual disabilities or blindness Hearing impairment Speech disabilities Cerebral Palsy Seizures Behavior disorders Cognitive impairment Death

25 Purple Crying Phase Purple Crying Period
The phrase used to describe the time in a baby's life when they cry more than any other time. This period of increased crying is often described as colic, but there have been many misunderstandings about what "colic" really is.  Why is it Labeled the Purple Crying Period The Period of PURPLE Crying is a new way to help parents understand this time in their baby's life, which is a normal part of every infant's development. Purple Crying Explanation Video

26 What does PURPLE Stand for in Purple Crying?

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