What is shaken baby syndrome?
Created by Dr Himani Narula Khanna Updated on May 26, 2020
Shaken baby syndrome is an abusive head trauma. It is caused when the baby or toddler is shaken forcefully. It is also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome. This forceful shaking sometimes leads to fatal head injury which can destroy a baby's brain cells and prevent the brain from getting enough oxygen. In some of the cases, it can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Shaken baby syndrome is preventable. Parents need to handle the baby carefully while expressing their feelings of love or anger. Handling our emotions appropriately will prevent us from taking out our frustration and anger through inadvertent methods on our little ones.
Affected age group: Under 5 years. However infants are more commonly affected .
Young or single parenthood
Alcohol or substance abuse
A history of abuse as a child
When parents or caregivers out of frustration tend to shake the baby when she doesnt stop crying.
Babies in infancy have weak neck muscles and if baby is shaken forcefully, her brain moves back and forth inside the skull leading to bruising , swelling and bleeding .
Normal play, such as bouncing a child on a knee or gently tossing a child in the air, does not cause shaken baby syndrome.
Symptoms and signs:
Child may appear normal but over a period of repeated shaking can develop some learning and behavioural changes.
Bleeding inside one or both eyes.
May have other signs of child abuse like bruises, burns , fractures etc.
How to diagnose ?
A thorough medical history followed by a detail physical exam to look for signs of injury, an increased blood pressure.
A CT scan or an MRI to look for bleeding or other injury in the brain.
X-rays to check for fractures.
An eye exam can reveal bleeding and other eye injuries.
Some blood tests to rule out some metabolic and genetic disorders, some
bleeding and clotting disorders that can lead to similar presentation.
What are long term effects?
Partial or total blindness
Developmental delays, learning problems or behavior issues
Coma and death.
Treatment: This will include life saving measures, may require breathing support and methods to stop bleeding in brain and methods to reduce the swelling in brain.
How to prevent It?
We can prevent this problem by teaching parents healthy ways to relieve stress and anger. To carefully choose child care provider.
| Jun 29, 2016
You should also read the blog - WHEN WILL MY BABY TALK - https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/when-will-my-baby-talk/754
| Mar 16, 2017
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