Shaking Small Children


The tragic Matthew Eapen case in Massachussets has made us all more aware

of the dangers of hitting or shaking small children. Members may be

interested in the following excerpts (please feel free to share these with

any parents of young children you happen to know):



Extract from UK Sunday Times report, 28 Jan 1996


<< The UK Sunday Times ran a report on the origins of violence on Sunday

28 Jan (1996), giving both the genetic and behavioural viewpoints. One of

their prime sources said violent behaviour in children can be caused by

brain damage caused by excessive shaking while young, by parents who think

they are just disciplining the child. >>



Extract from UPI Report, Nov 16, 1996 (full report available on request):


<< For example, workers are now concentrating their attention on

children who are younger than 5 when ICAN reports showed about 90 percent

of children's deaths occurred in this age group, Digre said.

ICAN statistics also showed that more efforts should be made to

educate men about child deaths, since they are convicted more often than

women in those deaths and are often unaware of the deadly effects of

shaking, hitting or throwing a young child. >>



Recent e-mail from Jordan Riak, with some poetic licence about bricks


<< It would seem even the recent well-publicized shaking death of infant

Matthew Eappen and the trial of the nice young girl who shook him hasn't

penetrated some people's awareness. Were there a choice between shaking a

baby or

throwing a brick at a baby, the thrown brick would be less risky.


... Parents who use baby shaking as a means of settling children need to

quit baby-shaking before

they cause permanent damage to their children's optic nerves or brain. >>


To any of us who have brought up small children, we know what a challenge

it can be at times. Information on positive, non-violent means of dealing

with difficult behaviour in small children can be obtained from:


EPOCH, 77 Holloway Road, London N7 8JZ Tel: (44)0171-700-0627



Positive Parenting: web site:


(This organisation offers both training courses and online advice)


Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir.

Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE)

P.O. Box 1033, Alamo, CA 94507-7033

Tel: (510) 831-1661; Fax: (510) 838-8914

Web site: "Project NoSpank" at



 Return to Main Menu