Shaken Baby Syndrome review article, video help, and tips
The shaken baby syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms seen in a baby who has been shaken violently either by a parent or a caregiver. On average 1,000-1,500 babies are admitted to hospitals due to this condition. Statistics have shown that most of the people that harm babies and children as young as 5 years old are male: it can be a frustrated father, the boyfriend of the mother, or a male that is in his early 20’s. This can be due to a lack of knowledge in baby care, or transferred anger or frustration felt by the person about anything other than the baby.
How does this happen?
The shaken baby syndrome can happen due to:
- Vigorous shaking
- Head trauma
- Throwing of a baby or child
- Careless and abrupt dropping on a bed, crib, sofa, or the floor.
what happens to the baby?
Mostly, the part that is most affected is the brain. Because of weak and underdeveloped muscles, vigorous shaking or sudden movement can cause the baby’s head to whiplash back and forth. This, in turn, will result in the brain hitting the skull. Constant trauma can cause contusion which will result in cerebral edema and even rupture of major nerves and blood vessels. The ruptures will cause cerebral hemorrhage, causing further brain impairment, and even death. Severe damage is most acquired when something abruptly stops the motion of the baby’s head such as a bed or a crib. Depending on the severity of the trauma, a baby will manifest these signs and symptoms:
- Hearing impairment
- Blindness due to ocular hemorrhage or retinal detachment
- Irritability due to increased intracranial pressure.
- Cerebral palsy
- Difficulty staying awake
- Anisocoria (unequal size of pupils)
- Poor sucking or swallowing
- Difficulty of breathing
After a while, your baby will manifest these late signs and symptoms
- Developmental delays
- Impaired intellect
- Speech and learning difficulties
- Problems with memory and attention
- Severe mental retardation
When a baby is brought to the hospital, several diagnostic procedures will reveal the following results:
- A physical examination will show:
- Bruises around the head, neck, or chest
- X-ray and/or CT-Scan will reveal:
- Fractured skull
- Swollen brain
- Blood clots or blood collections located at the brain’s surface
- Fractures in the arms and legs
- Ophthalmoscopy will reveal
- Retinal hemorrhage
- Papilledema (swollen optic disc)
- Retinal detachment
Is there a way to avoid it?
There are several ways to prevent shaken baby syndrome:
- Never leave your baby in the care of an incompetent caregiver. Screen your baby sitter and look for references that indicate she is capable to care for your baby without inflicting harm, deliberate or otherwise.
- If you’re the one who’s taking care of your child, have plenty of rest and eat right. If sleep deprivation is a problem, sleep when your baby’s asleep. Invest in a good baby carrier so you can eat and do chores while still giving your baby warmth and comfort.
- the bouncer that is appropriate for your baby’s age to keep her entertained.
- Utilize these five “S” formulated by Dr. Harvey Karp to help soothe your baby safely:
- Shush – turn on a vacuum cleaner, dryer, a TV that is not tuned, or play a CD that plays white noise.
- Siding/Stomach time – lay your baby on the left side to help her sleep comfortably. Give your baby supervised tummy time just in case your baby is having colic.
- Sucking – your baby may be hungry and just wish to be soothed with a pacifier
- Swaddle – your baby has been in a confined space for 9 months inside your womb. Swaddling will give him that same sense of security that she experienced during that period.
- Swing – rock your baby softly back and forth while in a rocking chair, an infant swing, or an infant seat that can be rocked.
- Never hold the baby while in the middle of an argument, or while you’re feeling intense emotions.
Sometimes, the signs and symptoms of SDS are not noticeable until it’s too late. The damage done to a baby can be felt for a long time and can require the need of therapy. It is important that you put your baby down for 10 minutes on her back when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Prevention is better than cure, so do not bottle up your frustration in the belief that you can cope with the stress of taking care of a baby.
Note: For more info about this topic visit your doctor and ask question………? Very important…. or here is a link for shaken baby syndrome stories