Every day three to four children are victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) with 20 percent of the cases proving fatal in the first few days after injury. SBS is the leading cause of child abuse death in the United States and it is 100 percent preventable.
Shaken Baby Syndrome, also known as inflicted Traumatic Brain Injury (iTBI) happens when a parent or caregiver shakes a child so hard that the unsupported head moves about violently, causing damage to the brain and blood vessels as the brain repeatedly hits the skull.
Shaking a baby can trigger a "whiplash" effect that can lead to internal injuries including bleeding in the brain or in the eyes. It is important to understand that SBS is the result of violent shaking that leads to a brain injury, which is much like what an adult may sustain in repeated car crashes. Often there are no obvious external physical signs, such as bruising or bleeding to indicate an injury.
The Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance offers training to teen parents, community members and professionals on Shaken Baby Syndrome. For more information, contact Breanna at 612-378-2742 or 800-669-6442.
You should know:
Be meticulous in choosing a day care provider or baby sitter. Always check references or get referrals from close friends or professionals.
If you think something is wrong with your child after being at a day care get medical attention for you baby right away.
If you feel like you may be on the verge of losing your temper with an infant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend placing the baby in a safe environment (a crib or play yard) and leaving the room, checking back every five minutes. The CDC also stresses the importance of asking for help from a friend or family member if the crying gets to be too much and keep in mind that it will get better.
Prevention is the only key – never shake a baby!
If you have questions about Shaken Baby Syndrome, please contact the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance at 612-378-2742 or 800-669-6442.
If you believe yours or another child is the victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome, call 911.
If you have concerns regarding the welfare of a child, please contact your local County Child Protection office which can be found here.
All information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Brain Injury Association of America