By Dr. Kelli Marvin
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - All babies cry and cry a lot. It is perfectly acceptable to walk away from a crying baby that cannot be soothed and come back when you calm down.
Parents must be aware that we cannot discipline one year olds - we can redirect and distract children this age. However, time-out, swats on the bottom, and explaining why what this child did was wrong are pointless– the child is unable to understand what you are saying and cannot grasp the meaning of the punishment.
We see an increased number of abuse and neglect cases that are directly linked to toilet training expectations and behaviors. While toddlers are ready to begin training in earnest at the age of two years, it is not uncommon or atypical, especially for boys, for true interest in training to develop until 2 1⁄2 - 3 years. These are developmental danger zones that put children at risked of being killed by abuse.
In the Kosair Charities Division of Forensic Medicine, there have been a number of deaths from acts of physical abuse in the age range spanning birth to four years. Although the risk of death is at its highest within the first year of life, medical professionals have moved away from use of the term "Shaken Baby Syndrome," because this term is not limited to babies—abusive head trauma does occur in older children, even up to 5 years of age.
Regretfully, the NFL player, Adrian Peterson's two-year-old son was a recent and tragic example that death is a very real outcome when toddlers are subjected to such an assault.
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