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Bullitt County Public Schools: The Leader in Educational Excellence

Doll is a Powerful Tool in the Right Hands

North Bullitt High School teacher April Roberts holds the Real Care Shaken Baby Simulator during class

A mannequin is being used in high school Early Lifespan Development (ELD) courses as a teaching tool to demonstrate the devastating effects of shaken baby syndrome, or abusive head trauma.

The $950 Real Care Shaken Baby Simulator Program with doll and curriculum was funded by the Bullitt County Foundation for Excellence in Public Education. The doll is equipped with sensors that signal when trauma is inflicted.

North Bullitt High School teacher April Roberts wrote the proposal and has used the simulator in her class.

“The early childhood pathway includes providing students with knowledge of appropriate care for infants,” Roberts said. “This program will allow students to see the immediate impact of shaking a baby.”

Roberts and other ELD course instructors have used Real Care babies to demonstrate proper care of infants.

Once activated, the simulator begins crying and the teacher will shake the baby. As the shaking occurs, the simulator’s clear head will illuminate the specific locations where brain damage is occurring, allowing students to witness the effects of only a few seconds of violence.

Students in Roberts’ class exhibited shock at how little impact was needed for the sensors to activate. Several said they were uncomfortable with even touching the doll, let alone shaking it.

Roberts understood those feelings and will work with them on how to properly address a crying infant simulator without shaking the baby.

Those students who did hold the simulator were gentle enough the sensors did not activate.

Roberts asked students to time various degrees of shaking. For one demonstration, she held the simulator with her hand just under its arms. It took less than 2 seconds for the sensors to respond to shaking.

She also held the simulator with one hand (3 seconds), by its head (2 seconds) and by the feet (7 seconds).

The curriculum includes a video detailing real-life stories of parents whose children have died or suffered life-changing injuries due to abusive head trauma.

Roberts said between 120-150 North Bullitt students will see the effects and learn how to prevent them this school year.

Other schools are welcome to borrow the doll for the classes. For more information, please contact Director of Secondary Education Rachelle Bramlage-Schomburg at (502) 869-8083.





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