SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME
(information provided by Mayo Clinic)
• It is estimated that 1,000-3,000 children in the United States suffer from SBS each year.*
• One fourth of victims of SBS die, and 80 percent of survivors suffer from permanent damage.*
• In the United States, the costs of hospitalization and continuing care for SBS victims can total 1.2 to 1.6 billion dollars each year.*
• Some estimate that up to half of infant deaths caused by child abuse are due to shaken baby syndrome.*
Shaken Baby Syndrome and its resultant injuries can occur within seconds of a child be shaken violently.*
Shaken baby syndrome — also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome — is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler.
Shaken baby syndrome destroys a child's brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen. Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse that can result in permanent brain damage or death.
Shaken baby syndrome is preventable. Help is available for parents who are at risk of harming a child. Parents also can educate other caregivers about the dangers of shaken baby syndrome.
Shaken baby syndrome symptoms and signs include:
• Extreme irritability
• Difficulty staying awake
• Breathing problems
• Poor eating
• Pale or bluish skin
Other injuries that may not be initially noticeable include bleeding in the brain and eye, damage to the spinal cord and neck and fractures of the ribs, skull and bones. Evidence of prior child abuse also is common.
In mild cases of shaken baby syndrome, a child may appear normal after being shaken, but over time he or she may develop health, learning or behavior prob-lems.
When to see a doctor
Seek immediate help if you suspect your child has been injured by violent shaking.
Contact your child's doctor or take your child to the nearest emergency room. Get-ting medical care right away may save your child's life or prevent serious health problems.
Health care professionals are legally required to report all suspected cases of child abuse to state authorities.
Babies have weak neck muscles and often struggle to support their heavy heads. If a baby is forcefully shaken, his or her fragile brain moves back and forth inside the skull. This causes bruising, swelling and bleeding.
Shaken baby syndrome usually occurs when a parent or caregiver severely shakes a baby or toddler due to frustration or anger — often because the child won't stop crying.
Shaken baby syndrome isn't usually caused by bouncing a child on your knee, mi-nor falls or even rough play.
For parents and other caregivers, factors that may increase the risk of inflicting shaken baby syndrome include:
• Unrealistic expectations of babies
• Young or single parenthood
• Domestic violence
• Alcohol or substance abuse
• Unstable family situations
• A history of mistreatment as a child
Also, men are more likely to inflict shaken baby syndrome than are women.
Just a few seconds of shaking an infant can cause irreversible brain damage. Many children affected by shaken baby syndrome die.
Survivors of shaken baby syndrome may require lifelong medical care for condi-tions such as:
• Partial or total blindness
• Hearing loss
• Developmental delays, learning problems or behavior issues
• Mental retardation
• Seizure disorders
• Cerebral palsy
WHAT CAN KIWANIS CLUBS DO?
• Educate the public by distributing this information at Health Faits, Pediatrician’s Offices, OB/GYN Offices, Urgent Care Facilities, Day Caare providers etc.
Also attached in this email is a pdf brochure from Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute, Bost, MA/ and a pdf from
Kiwanis International called “All Babies Cry”. Both attach-ments can be reproduced and distributed.
Young Children Priority One, District Chair
New Egland and Bermuda District