Saturday, March 31, 2012

Shaken Baby Syndrome

This is something that we have all heard about and know it has negative consequences but what exactly is Baby Shaken Syndrome and why is it so detrimental? Shaken Baby Syndrome is “a type of inflicted traumatic brain injury that happens when a baby is violently shaken” (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2010). Shaking a baby causes their brain to bounce back and forth inside the skull. This causes bruising, swelling, and bleeding of the brain which leads to permanent, severe damage and even death.
Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome include:
·         Extreme irritability
·         Lethargy
·         Poor feeding
·         Breathing problems
·         Convulsions/seizures
·         Vomiting
·         Pale or bluish skin

Shaken Baby Syndrome injuries usually occur in children younger than 2 years old. However, injuries may be seen in children up to 5 years old. Some injuries of Shaken Baby Syndrome include:
·         Bleeding in the brain
·         Bleeding in the retina
·         Damage to the spinal cord and neck
·         Fractures of the ribs and bones

These injuries can lead to blindness, neurological or mental disabilities that can require lifelong medical care.

Remember Baby Shaken Syndrome is something that can be easily prevented. It is not the baby’s crying that is the problem it is how the parents or caregivers respond to the crying. Here are some helpful tips you can use if you ever find yourself in this situation:
·         Cuddle or stroke your baby
·         Hold your baby close and rock your baby in your arms
·         Wrap your baby snugly in a blanket to prevent arms and legs from swinging and kicking
·         Give your baby something to suck – a pacifier or a clean finger
·         Give your baby something pleasant to look at or listen to such as music, a baby rattle, or a mobile above their crib
·         Give your baby a warm bath

A crying baby can be stressful and exhausting. Remember losing your temper, shouting, or getting rough with your baby will only make things worse. Whatever the situation is, NEVER SHAKE YOUR BABY. If you have reached the end of your rope you could:
·         Put the baby down safely and comfortably in the crib and leave the room for a few minutes
·         Ask someone else to look after your baby for an hour or so

I have posted a link below to my video that demonstrates what happens to a baby’s brain when they are shaken.


Center For Disease Control. (2010, July 07). Heas up:prevent shaken baby syndrome. Retrieved from
Coping with crying babies. (2011). Retrieved from
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2010, may 06). Ninds shaken baby syndrome information page. Retrieved from

1 comment:

  1. These are really great tips for dealing with a crying baby. I nanny a 4 month old, and his crying can be very intense. As a nanny it is nice to have more ideas how how to calm him down. He is partial to being swaddled, and then the "mommy bounce" from side to side to calm him. I thought my arms were going to fall off when the mom showed me how she calms him. I'll have to try some of your suggestions!