Infants’ heads are very large and heavy in proportion to the rest of their bodies. When a child is shaken, his or her brain bounces back and forth against the sides of the skull. Shaking can cause bleeding in the brain (subdural hemorrhages, or hematomas) or in the retinas (retinal hemorrhages).
How long after a baby is shaken do symptoms show up?
Symptoms and Signs
They may appear immediately after the shaking and usually reach a peak within 4-6 hours. The following signs and symptoms may indicate shaken baby syndrome: Altered level of consciousness. Drowsiness accompanied by irritability.
What are 3 immediate consequences of shaking a baby?
When a baby is shaken hard by the shoulders, arms, or legs, it can cause learning disabilities, behavior disorders, vision problems or blindness, hearing and speech issues, seizures, cerebral palsy, serious brain injury, and permanent disability.
What is the punishment for shaken baby syndrome?
Normally a defendant will face a mandatory five year minimum jail sentence for these charges. When the baby dies, the charge is murder or manslaughter and these jail sentences can be much longer. 20 to 40 years for third degree murder.
How do they test for shaken baby syndrome?
To confirm a diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome, a doctor will:
- Ask about the child’s medical history, including when changes in behavior began.
- Do a physical exam to look for signs of injury and increased blood pressure.
- Do imaging tests such as a CT scan or an MRI to look for bleeding or other injury in the brain.
Can a baby fully recover from shaken baby syndrome?
The majority of infants who survive severe shaking will have some form of neurological or mental disability, such as cerebral palsy or cognitive impairment, which may not be fully apparent before 6 years of age. Children with shaken baby syndrome may require lifelong medical care.
How do I know if my baby has been shaken?
Shaken baby syndrome symptoms and signs include: Extreme fussiness or irritability. Difficulty staying awake. Breathing problems.
Can a bumpy car ride cause shaken baby syndrome?
New parents are often anxious about inadvertently injuring baby, but for the most part you can relax. Jiggling baby while adjusting them in a carrier, seeing their head accidentally flop to the side as you pick them up or going over a bumpy road in the stroller or car seat won’t cause shaken baby syndrome.
Is it OK to shake baby to sleep?
When they are shaken, the brain slams back and forth inside the skull, resulting in bleeding around the brain and damage to the brain itself. Some babies may even stop breathing, which can cause further brain damage. The shaking can also cause bleeding into the back of the eyes.
Who is most likely to shake a baby?
Canadian research has shown that the babies who are shaken are most often male and under six months of age. The research also identified biological fathers, stepfathers and male partners of biological mothers as more likely to shake an infant. Female babysitters and biological mothers are also known to shake babies.
Can shaken baby syndrome go unnoticed?
They can go undetected or be confused with those of other health problems, such as minor falls, regurgitations, crying spells, or irritability. Usually, Babies with SBS do not experience fever or diarrhea.
Is Shaken Baby Syndrome Real?
Unequivocally, shaken baby syndrome is real. Unfortunately, controversy exists in the courtroom, in the media and online due to a few irresponsible individuals who continue to distort the medical literature and perpetuate implausible theories. There is little controversy in the medical community .
When is shaken baby syndrome no longer a risk?
SBS happens most often in infants up to one year, with infants aged two to four months being most at risk. SBS does not usually happen after age two, but children as old as five or six can be damaged in this way if the shaking is extremely violent.
What can mimic shaken baby syndrome?
Some metabolic and genetic disorders, as well as bleeding and clotting disorders, can lead to symptoms that may mimic shaken baby syndrome.
Can adults get shaken baby syndrome?
Although intracranial and ophthalmic injury secondary to shaking happen principally in pediatric individuals, it may also occur in adults.