Shaken Baby Syndrome Causes

Submitted by Nick on January 13, 2012

Children are as delicate as the petals of a flower and any violent behavior has the ability to affect the child's life permanently. Shaken baby syndrome is one such brutal form of child abuse caused by the violent shaking of an infant or toddler. It could result in irreversible damage and even death, in severe cases. Shaken baby syndrome causes are mainly triggered by an inability to control a sobbing baby or as an outlet for frustration when one does not have any idea of what the baby wants. Shaken baby syndrome is commonly seen in the case of caretakers who find it difficult to soothe and comfort the babies in their care.


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Shaken Baby Syndrome Symptoms

However, it is not uncommon for relatives and friends to succumb to this form of child abuse when they are unable to handle a crying child. In rare cases, parents are also known to lose their cool and shake up their babies violently in an unfruitful attempt to keep them quiet.

Shaken baby syndrome symptoms are dependent on the severity of the abuse.

Extremely harsh cases are known to cause death. More often than not, babies that have experienced shaken baby syndrome end up in a vegetative state, completely dependent on others. As a result of the whiplash action of shaking the baby, the baby's head falls forward and backwards in quick succession. This firstly causes damage to the baby's delicate brain as it rams into the cranium. In most cases, this leads to bleeding in the brain. Oxygen deprivation to the brain is another common effect of shaken baby syndrome. Brain damage in turn affects the proper functioning of the body. The severity of the shaking can also cause damage to the spinal cord resulting in loss of sensation and paralysis. The damage to the brain also leads to varying levels of weakened auditory abilities as well as visual impairment. Dislocations, and bone fractures especially of the long bones, vertebrae and ribs are also observed as a result of shaken baby syndrome. Sluggishness, irritability, seizures, bulges on the head, increase in head circumference, altered breathing and dilated pupils are other symptoms of this form of child abuse. Since shaken baby syndrome rarely leaves visible signs, a loss of appetite and failure to thrive are commonly seen in cases that are not very severe. Read more on shaken baby syndrome prevention

Shaken baby syndrome awareness is essential as most individuals do not realize the consequences of their actions. Handling a baby may be difficult at times. However, people need to learn to understand children. Knowledge of coping with stress and controlling frustrations is also essential.

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