Children's Hospital sees increase in abusive head trauma

NOW: Children’s Hospital sees increase in abusive head trauma

The Children's Hospital of Wisconsin have seen 348 cases of potential child abuse this year. 

The sad reality is that this is about average. However, doctors have noticed a rise in the number of abusive head trauma cases. This time last year there were three cases and as of April of 2017, there were seven. 

Doctor Angela Rabbitt, a child abuse pediatrician said there are a multitude of things that can happen. 

"Shaking is one cause and it has to be very violent shaking where the babys head is rotating back and forth or slamming the baby onto a hard surface where the brain rotates in skull," said Rabbitt.

The biggest trigger for parents is crying. 

Abusive head trauma can affect the rest of the child's life. "Children who experience severe stress in childhood like the type of stress you see with abuse or neglect can have changes  in the development in the social and emotional and that can cause lifelong problems in their health," said Rabbitt. 

While a crying baby can be frustrating at times, Rabbit said there are ways to cope. 

"Every caregiver that is caring for the baby needs to understand what infant crying looks like and how to cope with it. Sometimes that means just walking away," said Rabbitt. 

Doctors said this can happen to any parent and they are there to help. 

"Making sure we are also supporting parents deal with the stresses of raising a child. That's a way to prevent abuse too," said Rabbitt. 

Doctors are not sure why there has been an increase. Many of the cases they've seen are out of Racine, Kenosha and the Fox Valley areas. 

For more information on how to cope visit,

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