Understanding Shaken Baby Syndrome

There is hardly a parent out there who hasn’t been frustrated with their baby, especially if their baby has sleep problems. The vast majority of parents find ways to cope with this frustration, and realize that their baby’s sleep problems are something that will, eventually, pass, and aren’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

Some parents who have a baby with sleep problems or with colic, though, don’t handle the frustration well. They wind up taking that frustration out on their baby, with disastrous consequences. What you may feel is not a significant or particularly violent shake can be horribly damaging to a baby. This kind of practice can eventually lead to something known as Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Shaken Baby Syndrome may be known by other names, such as abusive head trauma, infant whiplash syndrome, shaken impact syndrome or an inflicted head injury. Essentially, what happens in Shaken Baby Syndrome is that the baby actually experiences a brain injury due to being shaken. Shaken Baby Syndrome is responsible for a number of problems, including destroying brain cells and preventing the baby’s brain from getting the oxygen that it needs in order to function properly.

Make no mistake about it: Shaken Baby Syndrome is child abuse. It can result in permanent damage to a baby’s brain. In some cases, it can even lead to death.

The good news is that Shaken Baby Syndrome is preventable. The biggest weapon that we have when it comes to fighting Shaken Baby Syndrome is education. Educating new parents on the dangers of shaking their baby, and educating them on other ways to relieve frustrations and stress is imperative.

Here are some of the common symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Shaken baby syndrome is preventable. Help is available for parents who are at risk of harming a child. Parents also can educate other caregivers about the dangers of shaken baby syndrome. If your baby has any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor right away:

  • Extreme irritability
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Breathing problems
  • Poor eating
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Pale or bluish skin
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Coma