Altoona man charged with shaking baby, experts urge prevention

By: Joe Nelson Email
By: Joe Nelson Email

EAU CLAIRE COUNTY, Wisc. (WEAU) - An Altoona man is accused of shaking his infant daughter.

Investigators said she suffered abusive head trauma over the past year.

Kraig Link, 36, is charged for abuse and neglect causing possible permanent injuries to his 11-month-old daughter.

If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.

Prosecutors said with two open cases of shaking baby crimes in Eau Claire and Chippewa counties, there's added pressure to find the truth.

"Damages often are permanent, they can result in physical disability," Eau Claire District Attorney Brian Wright said. "It's very important in these types of cases to rely on the medical opinions of doctors. The overriding goal is the safety and well being of the child."

Although Wright said these cases are rare in the area, experts at Eau Claire's Family Resource Center said the risk is common, but all can be prevented through education and stress relief.

"When you are a new parent, and you have lack of sleep, and it's a whole new situation for you, anyone is at risk, really for shaking their child," the center's executive director Brook Berg said.

The Family Resource Center has a shaken baby simulator to show what parts of the brain are affected, and uses the doll to educate families in their homes and through parenting and emotion management classes where families can get advice to prevent future cases from happening.

"Personally, I've called my neighbor once before and said, 'My child has been crying for four hours, I can't get her to stop, and I need you to come over, so I can just walk around the block for a second. And my neighbor did that so, just find ... anything that you can do to just calm yourself down, but also make sure that the baby is safe while you're doing that," Berg said.

"Those feelings of frustration are normal, and that everyone goes through them and that there are appropriate ways to handle the stress and taking that action, of course, so that you never ever shake a baby."

For more information on home visits and classes, visit the Family Resource Center's website at http://www.frcec.org/.


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