04/19/2013 -- Clothed in the color purple, pre-K students sang songs to start the Child Abuse Proclamation Ceremony, April 9, at the Base Theater, here.
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Commanding Officer, Col. Don Davis, signed a proclamation designating the month of April as Child Abuse Awareness Month.
“We all have a responsibility, as individuals, neighbors, community members and citizens to help create healthy, safe and nurturing experiences for children,” the proclamation states.
Scott Juceam was the guest speaker of this event. Juceam travels the U.S. to inform people of the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
On May 11, 2006, Juceam and his wife, Lorena, lost their 16-month-old daughter, Hannah Rose, who was shaken by their nanny.
“I want to take my family’s loss and turn it into a something positive,” he said.
Juceam has dedicated his life to the memory of his daughter. He and his wife created the Hannah Rose Foundation to prevent tragedies like this from happening to other families.
Five thousand children in the U.S. are shaken and 50 percent of them die, Juceam noted. It takes only 10 seconds to shake a child and harm them, he said.
According to Juceam, in SBS cases, the brain swells in a manner similar to a concussion. Children’s brains, ages five or younger, cannot sustain the damage of swelling and their life will never be the same if they survive, he added.
Juceam has consulted with police agencies, fire departments, prevention centers as well as Navy and Marine Corps officials to spread the word about SBS.
He has also requested the governor of California to create a task force on SBS to take additional steps to stop babies from being shaken.
“It is very difficult to prosecute SBS cases even in videotaped confessions,” Juceam said.
Proceeding Juceam’s speech, Davis presented and signed the proclamation to declare the protection and health of our children.
“Everyone is capable of doing something bad,” Davis said. “Talk about issues and try not to lose your temper with your children.”
Cpl. James Ethridge, noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Military Personnel, agreed with Davis’ sentiments on understanding what people can do.
“Everyone should be aware of the consequences of their actions,” Ethridge said. “Ten seconds of irrational thinking can cost the life of a child.”
For more information, call the Child Abuse Prevention Hotline at 1-800-244-5373.