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Abusive Head Trauma is On the Rise for Babies

Doctors in our area are seeing a rise in the number of children coming in with abusive head trauma..               

The number of cases have doubled since this time last year.

Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin are not certain what is causing the increase.

This year, seven cases of abusive head trauma have been confirmed and 348 cases of potential child abuse.

"Shaking is one cause and it has to be very violent shaking where the baby’s head is rotating back and forth or slamming the baby onto a hard surface where the brain rotates in skull," says Dr. Angela Rabbitt, a child abuse pediatrician.

The biggest trigger for parents is crying, but that one moment can affect the rest of a child's life.

"With abuse of head trauma. It can just be a moment of losing control and they do something to hurt the child and they can be a perfectly good and reasonable parent," says Dr. Rabbitt.

MRI photographss have shown the differences between a healthy baby's brain and the brain of an abused baby. Blood is collected around the outside of the brain.

Doctors say these moments of frustration can happen to any parent, but they are here to help.

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