What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?
Babies are delicate human beings. They rely on their parents and other loved ones to take care of them and provide for all of their needs. Being a parent can be frustrating and tiring.
Sometimes, that frustration can lead to unintentional injuries to baby. One such dangerous injury is Shaken Baby Syndrome. It results from a violent shaking of the baby that can be potentially fatal.
According to experts, 1 in 4 babies that are shaken will die from shaken baby syndrome. Hopefully, with increased public awareness, that statistic can be reduced.
All parents gets tired and frazzled when there is a newborn in the home. Any parent can tell you stories of staying in their pajamas for days on end as they tended to a crying baby. It only gets worse when baby is sick. But, these feelings do not create a good reason to physically shake a baby.
It is a fact that children will cry. They can’t talk so crying is how they get attention when something bothers them or they need something. Some babies wake up more often than others at night as they adjust to life outside the womb.
Shaking a baby is dangerous for a number of reasons. First, a baby does not have fully developed systems. Their muscles in their neck are weak so they can’t hold their heads up unsupported. Then, the head can flop around on the shoulders tearing delicate blood vessels in the head and leading to hemorrhages.
A baby that has been the victim of shaken baby syndrome will exhibit tell-tale signs. The child becomes lethargic. As a result, they may not eat well. When they do eat, their response is not strong. The head may lie to one side all the times instead of moving from side to side.
With brain injuries, the pupils may dilate and not react to light. All of a sudden, baby may experience seizures, which are a result of a brain condition. Baby could also appear rigid or have a head that is swollen due to hemorrhaging.
Any of these conditions may send a parent to the hospital. Hopefully, health care professionals will recognize the signs and know how to deal with the situation. Depending on whether the baby was shaken or slammed on a hard surface and how long ago the incident happened, the treatment may vary. Sometimes, there is nothing that can be done and the baby dies as a result of their injuries.
Shaking baby syndrome is a horrible condition that results in injuries to the brain. If the baby survives they may have to live with brain damage. One in four children will die.