Teen Parents More Likely to Abuse Children - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/7/05

Teen Parents More Likely to Abuse Children

A 3-month-old baby remains in critical condition at University Medical Center after allegedly being shaken by his father. The boy's father, 17-year-old Ricardo Arizaza Junior is behind bars with a half-million dollar bail. He's charged with injury to a child.

NewsChannel 11 learned that most child abuse cases have teenage parents to blame. Last year Lubbock County alone reported 811 victims of child abuse, one resulting in a death. Nationally, four children die from child abuse everyday; nearly 30% are from shaken baby syndrome. Lubbock ISD and the community are taking a pro-active approach to preparing teenagers for parenting.

Student teacher Kyle Talbert says, "Some sit there and think, 'It's never gonna happen to me,' but we do have teen parents in class, and they do take all of the information in."

Kids having kids is a reality, which is why Lubbock high schools offer a class teaching teens how to be parents. "We teach them all of the physical things like bathing a baby, and putting it in a car seat. We try to constantly cover child abuse, it's not a unit, we try and learn about child abuse everyday."

Kim Camacho from the Family Guidance and Outreach Center shows us that even the most non-violent shaking can result in major damage to a baby. "There's never a safe way to shake a baby. When people leave here they should know one thing, never shake a baby and ask for help if you need it."

Camacho says teenage parents sometimes lack the support from family or friends to help when the baby is crying. "It's okay to let babies cry, it's their job. It's our job to learn to cope with the crying; and it's okay to be mad, but it's not okay to take it out on a child."

Kim has some tips to calm a crying baby.

  • Give the baby a warm bath.
  • Take it for a car ride.
  • Turn on music.

A Closer Look At Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken Baby Syndrome is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States. Take a closer look at this tragic event that happens all too often.

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