Articles from August 2013

Slapping Kids Upside the Head Causes Traumatic Brain Injury

Help prevent shaken baby syndrome

  • Never shake a baby. Also, do not slap or hit a child of any age on the face or head. A child’s brain is very delicate. Shaking, slapping, or hitting a child can cause serious harm, even though it may not leave any obvious sign of injury. –Healthwise staff, Shaken Baby Syndrome: Home Treatment

From Chapter 5 Birth Trauma/Traumatic Brain Injury, taken from this work by David H. Jones:

Other impacts of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) include children bumping and falling into coffee tables, falling against the brick fireplace, or misjudging their distance when coming around the corner in the kitchen and slamming their little heads into the corner of the counter.

Also, contact sports, such as boxing, kickboxing, football, wrestling, and soccer. All of which are quite common and the long lasting effects and strain it imposes upon the body are not widely known.

As well as auto, bike, skiing, and any sport that leads to fast and dramatic contact that is directed to the head and upper neck region.

Slapping someone up along or upside the head also can cause minimal damage at the time but the long-term results are traumatic and detrimental to the body as a whole.

Most of us at some point have seen fathers pop their sons along side the head, usually in the temple region above their ears. Remembering that in this region there are four interconnecting cranial faults/membrane/joints that interact with one another.

This author personally asks parents not to slap, pop, or smack your children up along side the head.

When this does happen it is usually done out of frustration and with the mind set that the youth will get some sense knocked into them. This is not the case and the direct effect of such will dramatically be the opposite.

By doing so the child is in danger of altering and preventing the development and ability to understand and comprehend as well as reasoning and learning.

Remembering; that these events and gestures even in the lightest cases will build up over time causing added unnecessary pressure upon not only the nervous system but on the brain as well.

The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment describes intentional head trauma to a child, saying that a blow to the face “may fracture teeth or put them through the lips,” while “[t]he eardrum may be ruptured by a blow to the ear from a hand or object.”

According to Healthwise, Shaken Baby Syndrome can still affect children up to age 5:

Shaken baby syndrome occurs mostly in children younger than 3. It is most common in babies younger than 1 year of age. But it also can affect children up to age 5. Shaken baby syndrome can cause serious long-term problems…..

Shaking or throwing a child, or slamming a child against an object, causes uncontrollable forward, backward, and twisting head movement.

Brain tissue, blood vessels, and nerves tear. The child’s skull can hit the brain with force, causing brain tissue to bleed and swell.

Young children are most likely to have brain injury when they are shaken or thrown because they have:

  • Heavy, large heads for their body size.
  • Weak neck muscles that do not hold up the head well.
  • Delicate blood vessels in their brains.

This tells us that we need to protect young children’s heads, not go around slapping them willy-nilly.  Maybe slapping is not the same as shaking or throwing, but considering the vulnerability of a child’s head, and how hard slaps can get from an enraged adult, it’s very easy to make the leap to slapping being dangerous as well.

Before you think I’ve completely lost it, let’s look at what we now know about head trauma/CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.) These are things even the NFL front office knows, although it took them an amazingly long time to figure them out:

  1. Head trauma is cumulative.
  2. It doesn’t require a particularly forceful blow to cause damage.
  3. Any damage is bad. (See Item No. 1.)

……..This comment made me really start paying attention to how often players slap each other’s helmets or use their own helmeted head to hit the helmet of a teammate.

A touchdown catch appears to require head slaps or bumps from any and all surrounding teammates. (The picture heading the article shows Heath Miller being mugged by Ramon Foster and Maurkice Pouncey..)

When the player returns to the bench, the coaches start slapping them upside the head. But almost any play considered to be well-done can bring on a volley of head-bumps or slaps.

I realize they are wearing helmets. But as I discovered at a press conference announcing a material designed to reduce head trauma, the helmets most NFL players wear were designed before the effects of concussions were known, and are designed to prevent skull fractures.

This is obviously a good thing, but the current helmets do essentially nothing to minimize the effects of impact on the brain.

It may seem silly to worry about a friendly head slap or bump, but my question is, why even take the risk it is adding to the burden playing football places on the player’s brain?

If you are going to play anything resembling what is currently called “football,” there is going to be some amount of unavoidable brain trauma. Why not remove the avoidable forms?

If nothing else, I would hope coaches and parents of children will eliminate this practice at the youth level. It is already clear that children’s brains are more easily damaged than even those of young adults.Rebecca Rollett, Unnecessary Head Trauma

If this is a risk for adult football players with friendly slaps, how much more a 3-year-old subjected to a wrathful slap from a large parent!

Shaking or hitting a child’s head or face is always dangerous. Young children cannot control the movement of their head as well as adults can.

Shaken baby syndrome (shaken baby–impact syndrome) is brain damage caused when a baby is shaken, slammed, or thrown against an object. —HealthLink BC

According to the Perspective Network‘s TPN Fact Brochure: Prevention,

The third most common cause of brain injury is assault. A blow to the head, a gunshot wound or even shaking a person can cause serious and permanent injury….

It is extremely important to learn proper methods of disciplining children.

Shaking a child can result in brain injury. Any hit or slap to the head can cause the brain to whip back and forth in a quick motion, resulting in damage similar to that caused by whiplash.

If you lack the appropriate parenting skills, seek help.


NSPCC boss Mary Marsh said: “There is a risk parents may choose to hit children on parts of their body where injury is less visible, such as the head, which can cause serious harm.

Defining acceptable ways to hit children should become a thing of the past.  It should be just as wrong to hit a child as it is to hit an adult.” —New Smacking Law Comes Into Force


From 27 October 2003, it will be illegal to punish children by:

  • Shaking
  • Hitting on the head
  • Using a belt, cane, slipper, wooden spoon or other implement……

Smacking is not completely prohibited. Whether a physical punishment is legal or not will depend on the factors detailed previously under ‘changes in the law’. However, smacking is not advisable as a method of disciplining children since it:

Can be dangerous – it is easy to forget how delicate children are, particularly if you are frustrated or angry. What feels to you like a light slap can have the potential to cause real harm to a small child.

Sets children the wrong example – rather than correcting misbehaviour, it can teach children to hit out at people who are doing things they don’t like or who don’t do what the child wants them to do.

Has effects which last long after the physical pain dies away – young children will not necessarily associate the punishment with their behaviour. It can make them angry and resentful and can be damaging to their confidence and self-esteem.

Smacking is not an effective way to teach children discipline

‘Smacking’ is only one word used by parents in Scotland for physical punishment. Others include spanking, hitting and slapping. This leaflet applies to all forms of physical punishment. —A Guide for Parents in Scotland, put out by the government

I also found this, though I don’t know the credentials of the person who answered:

Can getting slapped in the head give you brain damage?

Yes. Repeated blows to the head can give you brain damage. One hard blow or many small blows can do great harm.

Unlike the other organs in your body, the capillaries in your brain are totally closed. Blood stays inside the capillaries as it circulates through your brain.

If you get slapped and a capillary breaks, blood can ooze out into your brain. You may have gotten a bruise on your arm or leg sometime in the past.

A bruise in your brain kills the brain cells where you get the bruise. A slap to your head can cause a bruise in your brain. Constant slapping can cause brain damage. –HubertB,


Also see Don’t smack your kids: Research into teenage football concussions, Child Abuse, Examples of Child Abuse, Hitting Kids Upside the Head is ABUSE, and  …Because slapping kids on the head is ABUSE!  STOP THE VIOLENCE!.

Nature as Balm for the Soul







I took these pictures with my cellphone on a little biking path not far from my house.  (Not bad for a cheapo $30 pay-as-you-go phone.)  One of our local college campuses has this wildlife preserve, just on the other side of a busy main artery street.

Getting a bike last year, and finally having the skill and weather to explore with it this summer, has wonderful healing powers.  I had no idea there were biking trails near my house, and with such beauty.

It’s one of the many perks of living on the edge of town: all the benefits of city life, with essential services in walking distance, but also close to the countryside.  Meaning we occasionally see snowy owls, deer, cranes, and lots of rabbits.


Idealizing Phase and Early Sign of Control–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–February 1994, Part 4

Krueger visiting rules were the same as for Grossheusch and Muehlmeier: No opposite-sex visitors in anyone’s room past visiting hours.  You had to go into the lounge.  But did people follow that?  No.  I did, though, this year, anyway.  (I was trying to do better than I did with Shawn.)

I didn’t let Phil stay in my room overnight, even when it was very late, because I didn’t want to break the rules and I was pretty sure Clarissa didn’t want him spending the night, even chastely.

Once or twice, he slept in his van in the parking lot instead of going home, with an extra pillow and blanket that I gave him.  He was so happy when I gave them to him, and acted as if I were a saint.  (It didn’t seem so remarkable to me to give him a pillow and blanket: I had them, after all.)

As I mentioned before, Mike and Phil met at a special needs camp in S– a summer or two before, when Phil was working as a counselor and Mike’s brother was there.  Because of this I thought Phil was a special person himself, with a big heart willing to care for special needs children.

Though Mike and Phil had hung around together and been such great friends fall semester, now it seemed that all of a sudden they didn’t hang around much anymore.  I kept wishing they would.

That month, in a scale of musical taste that went from “made in heaven,” through pop etc. to “made in hell,” YM Magazine called Alice in Chains “made in hell” music.  I considered this a good description, and laughed that my favorite music was “made in hell.”  Phil, however, seemed to find that troubling.  (He wasn’t a metal or alternative fan.)

When he left me at night, Phil would say “Dream of me,” blow kisses at me, and wave as he walked away.  He made sure I could see him through the big windows of the entryway and the kitchen window, and kept waving and blowing kisses at me until he’d passed by them.

I thought this was so cute.  I was so happy in those early days, before anything bad began to happen.

Phil didn’t want to pledge a fraternity.  He tried pledging the Zetas, but they were too hard on him.  They connected the pledges with rope and said he was the weakest link.

He went to a Zeta party and got a negative image of Pink Floyd’s The Wall because the Zetas would sit around listening to it and smoking weed.  He and maybe Pearl also talked about how depressing Zeta parties got late at night after the guests left, with people sitting around, smoking weed, and complaining about life.

This becomes important here.

I went to every one of Phil’s Choir concerts.  As his girlfriend, I felt it was my special duty, especially since none of his family ever did go.  I thought this was strangely unsupportive of them.

I discovered that Phil hadn’t been to church in quite some time.  In fact, his whole family hadn’t been to church lately.  So I talked Phil into going to church with me.  He simpered and joked that he hadn’t been a good boy, and he may have said that now I was going to be a good influence on him.

When we first went to his church, we stopped at a tiny doughnut shop or bakery for breakfast.  The baker was talkative, so we barely got out of there in time to get to church before the service was supposed to start.

I loved the Gothic style of the architecture of the Congregation of the Holy Name of Jesus in S–, and was far more interested in going to this one than to another, more modern-looking one.  This was Phil’s church.

I saw the holy water basin in the little foyer, and wondered what it was for.  A collection box sat out there, too.  Phil may have taken some of the holy water and splashed it on himself.  He genuflected–a new thing to me–before the altar when we went in (he used to be an altar boy), and then we found a seat in the packed sanctuary.

To our shock, church was in session already; why was it over in only half an hour?  Last Phil knew, it started at 11.  We were to find out that it now started at 10:30.

I loved the many statues, the pipe organ in the balcony, and the ornate detailing of the sanctuary.  It was gorgeous.  Though many Protestant groups consider the statues idolatrous, to me they were beautiful.  It was so odd and beautiful to hear the choir’s voices singing out from the balcony over the hundreds of churchgoers.

I was surprised to see so many people wearing jeans, and to be the only one I could see with a Bible.  Phil had wondered at me for bringing one, and I had wondered at him for not bringing one.

Phil’s reasons for not having a Bible in church had, I believe, something to do with listening and concentrating better when the priest reads from the Bible.  (Okay, with me that’s totally the opposite.  My mind goes all over the place without a text to follow!)

My reasons for having a Bible in church included the tradition of our church, so I could follow along, and so I could be sure the pastor was reading it right and not taking anything out of context.

I wondered why the adults didn’t have Sunday School.  This is when I first discovered these particular differences between Protestants and Catholics.

During the Mass, Phil leaned and stood and bowed his head and prayed silent prayers in total immersion in the spirituality of the liturgy.

I was totally lost during the liturgy.  I knew none of it, and the songs were unfamiliar.

If memory serves, even the Lord’s Prayer was said differently.  In Catholic and Lutheran services I’ve attended, the last part (after “Deliver us from evil”) always got cut off, so I’d stumble over it, expecting from long habit to say, “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen.”

I wasn’t quite sure what to do during the sign of peace, so just followed what I saw other people doing: shaking hands and saying “Peace.”  I didn’t initiate it with anyone because I was too uncertain–and because I, being shy, didn’t usually greet people even when my own Nazarene congregation was called to do so.  (I suppose it was our own version of the sign of peace: saying hello, shaking hands.)  But as always, I did return the greeting whenever anyone initiated it with me.

I kept wondering if my Protestantism showed, and if anyone minded.

Phil told me that I could participate in the Eucharist if I wanted to, but I didn’t feel right doing it.  In my church, anyone can participate in communion, but in Catholic churches, you have to be Catholic.

I especially didn’t feel comfortable drinking the wine, when I’d been raised drinking yummy grape juice. (I didn’t know it yet, but wine is NASTY tasting stuff.)

I certainly wouldn’t want to share the same cup rather than using individual communion cups, even though the smiling woman holding it in front of our section did wipe it off with a towel after each person drank.

Several people remembered Phil, and greeted him after church.  One was his teacher back in junior high, and remembered him being very spiritual and wanting to be a priest (which had been his plan for seven years).

I don’t think he admitted to her that he was no longer becoming a priest, and that I was his girlfriend.  In fact, now he wanted to be an actor and study math as a backup.  His dad was a math teacher, so I guess he was just following in his footsteps, since he was gifted in math.

Phil said that many of the people were there because they were “supposed” to be, and not because they wanted to be.

Though I only have one bulletin now–one from March 6, 1994–I believe we went to Phil’s church several times that semester.  On the back were tons of ads, which I’d never seen in a church bulletin before.  I believe Phil said they were part of the reason the church didn’t rely on tithes: The advertisers paid for their ads, and helped keep the church running.

He’d never heard of a 10% tithing obligation, which surprised me, because I’d read about the medieval Catholic church requiring tithes as a tax, which you had to pay lest you go to Hell when you died.

My church didn’t require it, but unless you were poor, you felt a spiritual obligation to tithe 10%, which my parents did.  So I would take 10% out of each paycheck, put it in an envelope, and give it to my church whenever I went home to South Bend.

On February 6, we went to the S– Evangelical Free Church.  I felt much more comfortable there, and loved how happy and jumping the church was.  (I didn’t yet know about the problems of emotionalism.)

Yet one Sunday, after we got to his house and I said how spiritually alive the church was, Phil said, “I’ve seen more alive ones.”

(I figured he must have been comparing it to a Pentecostal church, because every church looks dead compared to that!)

He even said he didn’t think he wanted to go to my church anymore!

For one thing, I wanted to go to church with him, not without him, and for another, he talked as if my beloved church were a bad place to be.  And who would drive me there?

I got upset while still wearing my dress from church.  He finally relented, and said,

“You can’t deny we almost broke up just now.”  From the context, I knew he meant that I nearly broke up with him.

I could deny it, though, because breaking up with him never even entered my mind.  But things seemed better now.

Later on, when I told Pearl about us going to each others’ churches, she said to me in Phil’s hearing, “That’s good.  You should go to each others’ churches.”  I had said nothing to her about the disagreement.  So I knew I wasn’t alone in that feeling, and was glad for her unwitting support.

I sometimes wonder if this was an episode of him trying to control me, an early sign of him trying to get me to become Catholic against my will.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:


%d bloggers like this: