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What is shaken baby syndrome, and how can I protect my child?

 

A:

One of the most devastating things about child abuse is that victims rarely speak up. They suffer in silence, perhaps because they love and trust their abuser, and their misery is prolonged as a result.

When it comes to babies, however, they are truly silent victims. Unable to speak or defend themselves, their small growing bodies are particularly vulnerable to abuse. When most people think of child abuse, they picture clear signs such as bruises, broken bones, or black eyes. The scariest thing about infant abuse, though, is that one of the deadliest forms of abuse has no outward signs until it is too late.

Shaken Baby Syndrome: Traumatic Brain Injuries at Day Care

Shaken baby syndrome is a particularly deadly form of abuse that breaks all of the stereotypes associated with child abuse. With little to no outward symptoms, no particular abuser profile, and silent victims, it can be nearly impossible to predict if and when it may happen.

When a baby is shaken, their brain “bounces” against the walls of the baby’s skull, very similar to what happens with adults in a particularly violent whiplash injury. This causes the brain to bleed, bruise, and swell. In only a few seconds of shaking, permanent damage can be done.

The symptoms associated with shaken baby syndrome are very similar to a baby simply being in a fussy mood, which makes pinpointing the cause difficult. Commonly, a baby that has been shaken will be have a poor appetite, and be either extremely fussy or extremely lethargic. Like other head injury victims, they may vomit or lose consciousness.

If you suspect that your child has been shaken, seek treatment immediately.

Can Shaken Baby Syndrome Be Prevented?

One of the most frustrating things about shaken baby syndrome is that the guilty party is never someone anyone would suspect. Often, it is a parent or caregiver with no history of abuse or anger problems that simply lost patience with an inconsolable baby.

If you suspect that your baby is being shaken at day care, your first call should be to your healthcare provider to ensure the welfare and safety of your child. It could save your child’s life. If you have questions about abuse at your child’s day care, your next call should be to us—click on our live chat link to be connect with our firm now.

 


Damian Mallard, Esq.
Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney