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Baby’s Death in Dauphin County Ruled a Homicide, This Can Be Prevented

Devine A. Davis, a 29-year-old man from Dauphin County, has been charged with murder after inflicting abusive head trauma on his baby daughter that resulted in her death in February, following months of treatment.

The incident occurred on August 18, 2022, in Davis’ apartment on the 5200 block of Wynnewood Road in the Pennswood Apartments complex. Davis initially claimed that his three-month-old daughter drowned in the bathtub while he left her unattended for 30 seconds to answer his front door. When he returned, he slipped and fell into the tub, causing him to become unconscious. When he awoke, he found his daughter lying on her left side in the water and struggling to breathe.

However, doctors at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where the baby was transferred, found that head trauma caused her injuries, not drowning, as initially claimed by Davis. Child abuse medical experts noted that the baby’s injuries were consistent with “shaking/impact” and included retinal hemorrhages, a skull fracture, and subdural hemorrhages. The baby was transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she died more than six months later on February 22, 2023. Her death was ruled a homicide caused by complications resulting from these traumatic injuries during a Feb. 28 autopsy.

Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a form of abusive head trauma that can result in brain damage or death in infants and young children. It is caused by violently shaking or throwing a child, resulting in their brain moving back and forth inside the skull, leading to bleeding, swelling, and other injuries.

SBS is preventable, and parents and caregivers must take necessary steps to protect their children. Some measures to prevent SBS include:

  1. Learning about SBS and the risks associated with shaking a baby.
  2. Ensuring that all caregivers are aware of SBS and the dangers of shaking a baby.
  3. Taking breaks when feeling overwhelmed or stressed and seeking help from family, friends, or professionals.
  4. Keeping infants in a safe environment and attending to their needs promptly.
  5. Placing infants on their backs when putting them down to sleep.
  6. Never shaking, throwing, hitting, or tossing an infant.
  7. Never leaving a baby unattended in a bathtub, on a changing table, or other elevated surfaces.

Prevention is Important

The tragic death of Davis’ daughter highlights the importance of understanding and preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome. It is vital for parents and caregivers to educate themselves about SBS, recognize its symptoms, and take necessary steps to prevent it. By following the preventative measures outlined above, we can reduce the number of SBS cases and prevent other children from experiencing the same fate as Davis’ daughter.

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Pamela K Coyle 1949-2024

Pam received her Master’s degree in library science from Clarion University in 1978. She never lost her love of reading or her enthusiasm for libraries.

Daily Forecast, April 21, 2024

Franklin County Forecast: In the forecast for today, we are expecting overcast clouds, with a high of 52.23°F and a low of 35.2°F. The humidity

Candie Sue Diffenderfer 1963-2024

Candie worked in the Prothonotary’s office at the Fulton County Courthouse, and later at Irving Accounting and U.S.A. Cartage in Williamsport, MD.

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