Safe With You  

October 10, 2012

Safe With You is a curriculum for child care providers to meet the requirements of the Nebraska State Statute 43-2606. This bill, signed by the Governor Heineman would require licensed child care providers to complete training that will meet the health, safety and developmental needs of children. This bill however, is not part of the child care licensing regulations at this time. The Safe With You training covers Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), and Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect. ESU 10 currently has two employees who are trained in the Safe With You program, Roxanne Vipond, Early Learning Connection coordinator and myself, Kristine Frerichs, School Psychologist.

As a parent with a son who has suffered from Shaken Baby Syndrome, I have a passion for educating others about Shaken Baby Syndrome. My oldest son Ethen was shaken by his child care provider when he was eight months old. 

At the time we were living in Bellevue, Nebraska. I received a phone call from the provider informing me that Ethen was not acting right and I may want to take him in to see the doctor. Ethen initially had swelling on his brain, subdural hematoma (bleeding on the brain), retinal hemorrhaging (bleeding on the retinas), seizures, and paralysis on the right side of his body. We spent 3 ½ weeks in Children's Hospital in Omaha. While in the hospital Ethen had to relearn how to suck and swallow and he started occupational and physical therapy. Ethen also developed a blood infection and was given antibiotics which lead to kidney failure. He had surgery and was on dialysis for 2 ½ days.

A year and a half after his injury Ethen developed severe epilepsy. Ethen participated in a epileptic study at Children's Hospital in St. Louis. One week after his study he went back to Children's Hospital in St. Louis for brain surgery. The neurosurgeon performed a functional left hemispherectomy (disconnecting the left hemisphere from the right hemisphere). Ethen only uses the right side of his brain.Today Ethen is in 4th grade. He continues to have paralysis in his right arm and right toes. He has been seizure free for seven years. Ethen does perform lower than his peers when it comes to academics, however, he is learning to read, does basic math facts and loves to sing. While he can't always do what his peers are doing, he enjoys life and always has a smile on his face. That is what most all mothers want for their children, to lead a happy life.