Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a serious form of child abuse that is 100% preventable. When someone forcefully shakes a baby, the child’s head whips back and forth, causing ripping and tearing of blood vessels and nerve endings in the brain, and tearing of brain tissue.
Shaking a baby can result in lifelong disabilities, such as brain damage, seizures, paralysis, and even death.
The number one reason a baby is shaken is due to frustration from non-stop crying. If you find yourself being overwhelmed:
- Place the baby in a safe place, like a crib, and leave the room
- Slowly count to ten while taking deep breaths
- Call someone to take over for a while
- Contact the 24-hour crying baby helpline at 866-243-BABY
If all else fails, put your baby down in a safe place and walk away—be sure the baby is safe before you leave the room.
Return only when you are calm and ready. It’s important to talk to everyone who will be caring for your baby about the dangers and preventions of shaken baby syndrome.
Crying is a baby’s way of communicating – Try some of these calming tips:
- Remain calm and try to relax
- Take deep breaths, count to ten
- Gently rock the baby
- Read, sing or talk to the baby
- Take the baby for a ride in a stroller
- Put the baby in a swing
- Offer the baby a pacifier
- Give the baby a bath
- Put the baby in a car seat and go for a drive
- Call the 24-hour crying baby helpline at 866-243-2229 (BABY)
Shaking a baby can result in lifelong disabilities, such as:
- Brain damage