Shaken Baby Syndrome
Take a Break, NEVER Shake
As a new parent, you want to know all the ways you can keep your baby safe.
Southeast Georgia Health System is here to help. We’ll provide you
with important information and support you can use to prevent risks to
your child’s health and well-being, including shaken baby syndrome.
Take a few minutes to learn about shaken baby syndrome and the simple
steps you and other caregivers can take to avoid it.
What is shaken baby syndrome?
Shaken baby syndome is the abusive head trauma and inflicted traumatic
brain injury that results from violently shaking an infant, not normal
play. It can cause bleeding within an infant’s brain or eyes and
lead to death, mental retardation, developmental delays, cerebral palsy,
severe motor dysfunction, blindness and/or seizures. Shaken baby syndrome
is the leading cause of child abuse deaths in the United States: 1 in
4 victims die and others have serious, long-term health consequences.
Inconsolable or frequent crying is the most common trigger for a person
to cause shaken baby syndrome, but it is completely preventable.
What are the signs of shaken baby syndrome?
- Convulsions or seizures
- Inability to be awakened
- Inability to be consoled
- Inability to nurse or eat
- Increasing irritability
- Loss of consciousness
- Significant change in sleeping patterns
- Uncontrollable crying
What are parent/caregiver risk factors?
- Feelings of inadequacy, isolation or depression
- Frustration resulting from an infant’s crying
- Limited anger management/ coping skills
- Limited social support
- Low socioeconomic status
- Neglect or abuse in childhood
- Rigid attitudes and impulsivity
- Unrealistic expectations about child development/child rearing
- Unstable family environment
- Victim or witness of intimate partner violence
- Young parental age
Crying is normal for infants. Shaking or otherwise hurting a baby out of
frustration is never an appropriate response. It is child abuse. To learn
more, contact the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome by calling 801-447-9360