Signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken baby syndrome is a head injury which causes brain damage. This syndrome is also known as intentional head injury. This can be caused if the baby is shaken violently or slammed against a hard object. This is most often an intentional abuse caused by the care giver of the baby.
Baby's heads are extremely soft and may be get grievously injured by the slightest of trauma. Viewing the fragility of the baby's head, shaking it or striking it can be extremely dangerous and sometimes even fatal. A baby's head is quite large as compared to the body and the neck muscles are not very well developed as a result of which, shaking a baby hard may result in ...
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...severe jerking of the child's head to and fro.
Symptoms of shaken baby syndrome
The symptoms of this syndrome may not appear right away. In a lot of cases, the baby may seem normal initially but the initial symptoms begin to appear after a few days of the incident. There are several factors which are responsible for it. The age of the child and the type and number of episodes of abuse faced by the child are some of the factors that govern the effects and the symptoms.
The child may initially show mild symptoms. Sluggishness, nausea, high irritability, loss of appetite and vomiting are some of the first symptoms. A lot of times, these symptoms are misjudged as flu or other illnesses. Due to the vagueness of these symptoms, most often, it is difficult to place them.
If the degree of force used with the baby is extreme, a child may lose consciousness for several minutes or even hours. This may happen immediately after the episode. The child may even stop breathing and may have to be revived. The child may require CPR in such a case.
In many cases, the child goes comatose and stops making sounds. The child is unable to perform basic functions like swallowing, smiling etc. The heart rate of the child may become slower and the child may eventually die. If the child survives, there may be lifelong brain problems and other health problems.
Some of the other symptoms are bleeding in the eyes, bruises and some other signs of abuse. If the child has been shaken vigorously, there may be fractures in the arms, ribs or legs. Long term effects of such abusive episodes may be permanent blindness or deafness, mental retardation, paralysis, behavioral problems and seizures.
Shaken Baby Syndrome Symptoms