Doctor: Slapping an infant can cause permanent damage with just one incident

Doctor: Slapping an infant can cause permanent damage with just one incident

TYLER (KYTX) - A Port Arthur woman is behind bars facing child abuse charges after cell phone video showed her repeatedly slapping her eight-month old baby and telling it to shut up.

As CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey explains, slapping, shaking or any other extreme force on a baby can result in more than jail time...for a baby, it can result in serious bodily injury, permanent brain damage, and even death.

You know what it is when you hear it. A crying baby is one of the un-mistakable sounds that leaves you looking for answers on what to do to make it stop.

"Just to stop what I'm doing, whatever I'm doing is not that important that i can't just hold him for a second and comfort him for a second," said Adrianne Miller. She has two boys ages 2-years-old and 3-months old.

"Crazy days are when we're trying to get things done, but the two year old is having discipline issues and the three month old is crying and having tummy trouble and it all seems to happen at the same time," she said.

Even with the crazy days, she learns to cope or just take a break. That's a lesson a Port Arthur mother is learning behind bars.

A neighbor caught 27-year-old Tieralynn Angelle slapping her crying baby.

"Just one blow with enough force with a child...can cause a significant amount of damage," said ER doctor Sean Denham.

He said slapping a baby, is never the route to go.

"You have to understand infant and up until they are one or two years old they're developing and their head is actually larger disproportionately to their body."

He said in babies, their brains don't fill their skulls, so when force is applied, it's easy to cause damage.

"You may think it's a very light hit but it can be harder and do more damage than you can even imagine," he said.

"They're crying for a reason and you want to offer them comfort," Miller said.

Doctors say chldchildren most at risk for injury between zero to 18 months old. They say even slapping or shaking a baby one time can cause damage, and in some cases, the results may not be visible for up to days, months and even years.


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