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Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken baby syndrome (Shaken impact syndrome) is a serious form of abuse inflicted upon a child. It usually occurs when a parent or other caregiver has shaken a baby out of anger or frustration, often the baby will not cry.

Babies have very weak neck muscles that cannot fully support their proportionately large heads. Severe shaking causes the baby's head to move violently back and forth, resulting in serious and somethings fatal brain injury. These forces are exaggerated if the shaking is interrupted by the baby's head hitting a surface.

Is a serious brain injury caused by forcefully and violently shaking a baby? Other names for this condition include abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, and whiplash shaken syndrome. it can result from as little as five seconds of shaking.

Babies have soft brains and weak neck muscles. They also have delicate blood vessels. Shaking a baby or young child can cause their brain to repeatedly hit the inside of the skull. this impact can trigger bruising in the brain, bleeding in the brain, and brain swelling. Other injuries may include broken bones as well as damage to the baby's eyes, spine, and neck.

The shaken baby syndrome is common in children under age 2, but it can affect children up to ae 5. Most cases of shaken baby syndrome occur among infants that are 6 to 8 weeks old, which is when babies tend to cry the most. Playful interaction with an infant, such as bouncing the baby on the lap or tossing the baby up in the air, won't cause the injuries associated with the shaken baby syndrome. Instead, these injuries often happen when someone shakes the baby out of frustration or anger.

Symptoms of Shaken baby syndrome:

Symptoms include:

. Difficulty staying awake

. Body tremors

. Trouble breathing

. Poor eating

. Vomiting

. Discolored skin

. Seizures

. Coma

. Paralysis

Deceleration of the head when it impacts a surface can cause the following:

Subdural hematoma, which is a collection of fo blood between the surface of the brain and the dura.

This occurs when the veins that bridge from the brain to the dura are stretched beyond their elasticity, causing tears and bleeding.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is bleeding between the arachnoid and the brain.

Direct trauma to the substance itself, caused when the brain strikes the inner surface of the skull.

Shearing off or breakage of nerve cell branches in the cortex and deeper structures of the brain caused by violent motion to the brain.

Further irreversible damage to the brain substance from the lack of oxygen if the child stops breathing during shaking.

Further damage to the brain cells when nerve release chemicals that add to oxygen deprivation to the brain.

Retinal hemorrhages ranging from a few scattered hemorrhages to extensive hemorrhages involving multiple layers of the retina.

Skull fractures resulting from impact when the baby is thrown against a hard or soft surface.

Fractures to other bones, including the ribs, collarbone, and limbs, bruising to the face, head and entire body.


. Encephalopathy, brain swelling

. Subdural hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain

. Retinal hemorrhage or bleeding in a part of the eye called the retina.

The doctor will order a variety of tests to check for signs of brain damage and to help confirm the diagnosis. These tests may include:

. MRI scan, which uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of the brain

. CT scan, which creates clear, cross-sectional images of the brain

. Skeletal X-ray, which reveals the spine, rib, and skull fractures

. Ophthalmic exam, which checks for eye injuries and bleeding in the eyes

Irreversible brain damage from shaken baby syndrome can occur in a matter of seconds. Many babies experience complications, including:

. Hearing loss

. Seizure disorders

. Development delays

. Intellectual disabilities

. Cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects muscle coordination and speech

Shaken Baby Syndrome is preventable. You can avoid harming your baby by not shaking them under any circumstances. It's easy to become frustrated when you can't get your baby to stop crying. However, crying is a normal behavior in infants, and shaking is never the right response.

It's important to find ways to relieve your stress when your child cries for extended periods. Calling a family member or a friend for support can help when you feel yourself losing control. Some hospital-based programs can teach you how to respond when infants cry and prevent the injuries associated with the shaken baby syndrome. Make sure your family members and caregivers are also aware of the dangers of shaken baby syndrome.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is completely preventable. Taking care of a baby can present challenges, especially for first- time parents. However, it is important to remember that it is never acceptable to shake, throw or hit a baby.

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