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Caregivers Must be on the Lookout for Signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome

Caregivers Must be on the Lookout for Signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome

The thought of someone abusing a child, especially an infant, is heartbreaking. Unfortunately, it happens every day. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is the number one killer of child abuse victims.

These children, most just infants, sustain these injuries at the hands of the very people who are supposed to take care of them: their parents and their caregivers.

What Is SBS?

Shaken Baby Syndrome is a form of traumatic brain injury that occurs when a child, most often an infant, is shaken violently, hit, or dropped. The majority of victims of SBS are infants less than 1-year old, when they are most vulnerable due to their neck muscles not being well developed.

The act of shaking causes their head to rotate at a high speed and their brain can move back and forth within the skull. This movement can cause bruising of the brain, swelling and hemorrhaging. If there is impact with a solid object, such as a mattress, wall or floor, the damage may be even worse.

Symptoms Of SBS

Unless there is impact, most victims of SBS do not have any outside signs of the abuse, making it all the more dangerous. A child may not have any bruising or bleeding on the outside, while inside their brain is bleeding and possibly causing irreparable damage. Some signs to look for that a child may have SBS are:

  • Unresponsiveness or unconsciousness
  • Breathing problems
  • Inability to be consoled; will not eat or stop crying
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions or seizures

The long-term damage to victims of shaken baby syndrome can be devastating. Just like any traumatic brain injury, the damage can last a lifetime or even end their life. Some affects of SBS can be:

  • Death
  • Blindness
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Mental or muscle dysfunction
  • Blindness
  • Spasticity or seizures

Reasons For Prevalence

Most SBS victims sustain their injuries from their caregivers due to frustration or exhaustion. Crying is a major factor in infant SBS, as infants 2-4 months of age are more prone to prolonged periods of crying. As frustrating as it may be, crying is a healthy, normal behavior that should be expected by anyone caring for an infant. Caregivers, who are under stress, either in their personal lives or on the job, are more likely to snap and take it out on the crying baby.

Anyone who is a caregiver of infants and children needs to understand how to handle frustration in a constructive manner. It never should be taken out on the child, whether it is hitting, shaking or verbal abuse. Learning how to read the signs that you are becoming frustrated or upset is the first step. Know when you need a break and or get away from the situation to stop any regrettable behavior.

The worst part of SBS is that it is never warranted and it is always preventable. The children who succumb to this abuse are only doing what comes naturally, making it even more tragic.

Lawyers for Shaken Baby Cases

If your child suffered injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome while under the care of a child care facility, you may have legal rights which could enable you to provide for your child’s medical expenses for the remainder of his life. Further, if a health care provider failed to diagnose and intervene with respect to signs of shaken baby syndrome, you may similarly be have legal rights for their respective negligent acts. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers knows the sensitive nature of these cases and works hard to provide for the child’s best interests in these delicate matters.

Shaken Baby Syndrome Resources:

http://www.cdc.gov/Concussion/pdf/SBS_Media_Guide_508_optimized-a.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/sbs.html

 

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