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Local family raises awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome in Idaho

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Apr 14 2013 07:22:38 PM CDT

Caleb James reports.

RIGBY, Idaho -

Shocking new numbers on Sunday suggest a rise in Idaho cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome may have some connection to the failing U.S. economy.

Sunday marks the beginning of Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week.

One Rigby woman deeply touched by the condition is working hard to prevent it.

“That loss has absolutely devastated our family,” said Karla Covington. “We have our family prior to Hannah's death, and then we have a very fragmented, shattered family after Hannah's death.”
 
For Covington, the echo of her granddaughter Hannah's laugh in a home movie is a reminder of a little girl who was once her grandmother's devoted shadow.

“Hannah spent that morning reading to her baby doll and singing ‘I'm a Little Teapot,’” recalled Convington, of a day in 2008.
 
“By 9 o'clock that night we received news from the surgeon that she had died on the operating table,” said Covington.

Only 18 months old, Hannah was shaken to death by a daycare provider in Rigby.

“Your life is forever changed,” said Covington.
 
Losing Hannah to Shaken Baby Syndrome made Covington into a warrior for awareness.

“We believe it's through education and public awareness that we can stop this from happening,” said Covington.
 
Covington has an uphill battle to fight.

New numbers from St. Luke's Hospital in Boise show just under 9 cases of SBS per 100,000 Idaho infants prior to the United States economic recession.

Since the beginning of the recession, there are nearly 15 cases of SBS per 100,000 Idaho infants.

“We're asking businesses to allow us to place these bouquets in their businesses,” said Covington.

In the midst of Child Abuse Awareness Month, and Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week, Covington is calling on local businesses to place donation cans for Shaken Baby Prevention of Idaho -- donations that go directly back to generating more awareness about the condition.

“It's like drunk driving, if we bring awareness we can stop it,” said Covington. “We see this as a way to prevent this 100% preventable travesty from happening to our kids.”

If you own a business and are interested in placing a Shaken Baby Baby Prevention of Idaho donation box at your establishment, you can contact the organization on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shaken-Baby-Prevention-of-Idaho/

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