Effects Of Shaking Baby Syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome is also known as shaking baby syndrome and is a whiplash-like injury that is associated with small babies. The diagnosis of the condition actually hides a more sinister problem - that of child abuse at the hands of a care giver.

One of the most famous cases that brought this problem to the mainstream was the case of Matthew Eappen in 1997, who was an infant that was shaken violently by his caregiver and subsequently died of his injuries. This does not mean that babies are so fragile that they cannot tolerate shaking but any kind of shaking that is violent and brought on to inflict discipline or to make a child quiet will definitely cause the condition.


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Shaken Baby Syndrome Facts

Whiplash is the closest form of injury to Shaken baby syndrome but the latter is more serious. One can recover from whiplash but in the case of shaken baby syndrome, one third of the victims will die and another third will suffer from serious neurological damage. There are three signs that warn doctors of this problem in babies: a subdural hematoma (bleeding in the brain), retinal detachment and bleeding, and in some cases the presence of bone fragments in different areas of the body. If all these signs are seen with no bruising, then shaken baby syndrome is suspected and the doctor is obligated by law to involve the authorities.

Conditions During Shaken Baby Syndrome

The problem is nearly always caused by frustrated caregivers that are trying to calm the baby down but are simply unable to. This frustration then leads to shaking the child. A baby skeletal and neural systems are simply too weak and underdeveloped to deal with any kind of major movement until the age of three.

In this time, even a regular fall can have disastrous consequences let alone a violent shaking. With the shaking usually comes a blood vessel rupture in the brain that is the cause for a subdural hematoma. Bleeding in the brain can cause death because of the pressure build up that occurs. Even if this does not occur, neurological damage can occur due to the immature nature of a child's brain with is more water-filled than an adult's.

How much is too much handling is a matter of conjecture so there should be no sudden movements made until the child is able to walk comfortably. Additionally, as a first-time parent, you should try and seek the advice of other parents to understand what it takes to get over parenting frustrations.

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