Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) – also commonly known as abusive head trauma (AHT) – is a severe and preventable form of child abuse which often results in traumatic brain injury, and in extreme cases can lead to death. Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs when a child (usually under the age of five), is forcibly shaken. Even if the shaking is done only for a few seconds, the resulting injuries are almost always severe, and life altering. Children who have been shaken often experience bleeding behind the eyes, and around the brain which can lead to a variety of disabilities.
Most survivors of SBS suffer from long term disabilities due to being shaken as a child, including: vision problems, physical disabilities, hearing loss, delayed learning, and many others. One in every four children who go through this abuse perish from their injuries.
Shaken Baby Syndrome and abusive head trauma happen most frequently when a parent or guardian becomes angry or frustrated with the child, and resort to shaking him or her. This most commonly happens to infants who are crying for long periods of time. When the child won’t stop crying, sometimes frustrated adults will shake the child in an effort to stop the crying. However, the actions committed in those few moments of anger can drastically change a child’s entire life.
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a form of abuse that is completely preventable. It is normal for infants to cry for long periods of time, and as they grow older, the crying will subside. Frustration is a natural feeling, but shaking a baby is NEVER the correct response.
If you have a baby that won’t stop crying, take a step back and realize that even just a few seconds of shaking can take your child’s life.
Never shake a baby!