Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention

Submitted by Nick on January 19, 2012

Shaken baby syndrome or SBS is a form of child abuse, mainly the result of failed attempts to calm a crying baby. Caring for a child can be trying at times, especially when nothing seems to stop the child from crying or whining and many people tend to lose control at such a stage. Vigorously shaking up the baby in order to get him or her to calm down is one of the erroneous methods that people resort to out of impatience. The whiplash action of the violent shaking causes permanent brain damage that in turn affects the effective functioning of the body. In extreme cases, the shaking is also known to result in death of the baby.


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Shaken Baby Syndrome Symptoms

Shaken baby syndrome symptoms include listlessness, dilated pupils, irritability and altered breathing. The baby may not take any feeds or may not be able to retain any food or beverage as e resulting of vomiting. Swelling in the brain, hemorrhaging and oxygen deprivation are the most common effects of shaken baby syndrome.

Since a baby’s bones are still hardening, fractures of the skull, long bones, vertebrae and ribs may also be noticed. Impaired vision and hearing abilities and hindered motor and cognitive development are other serious effects of shaken baby syndrome.

Shaken baby syndrome awareness is essential to create a better understanding of the serious effects of shaking up a baby violently. In order to stop the instances of shaken baby syndrome, people need to be educated on methods of dealing with stress. Most cases of shaken baby syndrome are linked with a sense of frustration on the part of the caregiver revolving around the belief that all their attempts at caring for the child are inadequate. Hence, a caregiver must learn to accept that no one can read a baby’s mind and a baby is bound to cry because of a lack of communication skills. When a toddler is crying uncontrollably, the first step is to lower the volume of any sound or light in the surroundings. Placing the baby on your chest and allowing him or her to listen to your heartbeat is a good calming agent. Waltzing or swaying with the baby to soft, light music is known to calm both, the baby as well as the caregiver. ‘Timeout’ by calling in a close friend or relative to care for the baby also plays an important role in calming a caregiver who is stressed out, mainly as a result of inadequate rest. Even a short nap will definitely benefit the caregiver, ensuring that he or she is rejuvenated and prepared to care for the baby with a clear mind.

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