Shaken Baby Syndrome: What you need to know

Babies are such little, fragile, and adorable creatures. Anyone would enjoy watching them giggle and laugh. And when they cry, you would do all you can to make them stop. To make them laugh or prevent them from crying, people tend to hold them in the air and shake them. If you do this, please stop.

Sometimes, you shake your babies to make them laugh or stop them from crying

Shaking a baby violently causes brain movement within the skull, stretching and possibly tearing their fragile blood vessels. This results in Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). It is also called shaken impact syndrome. Statistics show that about 25% of infants who suffer from SBS die within days or weeks. It can also occur in children up to 5 years old. If it doesn’t result in death, it could cause permanent brain damage, skull fracture, etc.

Signs of shaking baby syndrome (SBS)

Physical signs of SBS are not always present, but you should look out for the following:

  • Neurological problems such as vomiting, fainting spells, and seizures
  • Bleeding or leakage of clear fluid from ears, nose, or both
  • Unexplained injuries such as bruises or broken bones

What to do instead of shaking your baby

Never shake the baby when trying to console a crying baby, no matter what. Instead, you should try to identify why the baby is crying, as this will inform your next line of action. Here are ways you can soothe your baby;

  • Ensure your baby doesn’t have a fever (Body temperature above 37.8⁰C indicates fever)
  • Ensure your baby is not hungry
  • Ensure your baby has a clean diaper
  • Sing or talk to your baby
  • Give your baby a warm bath
  • Offer your baby a pacifier
There are many ways to stop your baby from crying

A word from HealthFacts to you

Shaken baby syndrome is a traumatic injury to the brain that results from shaking babies violently. It is a form of child abuse complicated by mortality or lifelong morbidity. Please do not shake your babies out of frustration because you can’t stop them from crying. If you suspect your baby to have SBS, see your doctor!

Till next time, stay informed and stay healthy!

Suggested Reading: Newborn baby mistakes you should stop making.