Memorial Hermann - A New Beginning

Shaken Baby Syndrome

When you’re a parent of a new baby, there may be times when you feel frustrated and even angry when your baby cries. Maybe you’ve tried everything to comfort them, but nothing seems to help. You’re not getting any sleep. You’re frustrated.

No matter how you feel: NEVER, EVER SHAKE YOUR BABY!

When a baby is violently shaken, it’s called Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). SBS is one of the leading forms of child abuse—it’s a subset of Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) and is very dangerous for your baby. Many shaken babies die or have irreversible brain damage. Those who survive may have vision problems or blindness, mental injury, paralysis, seizure disorders, learning and speech disabilities, or neck and back damage. When a baby is shaken, the back and forth movement of their head can cause bleeding and pressure on the brain. A baby’s neck muscles are not strong enough and their brain is too fragile to handle this motion.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET FRUSTRATED

DO NOT SHAKE YOUR BABY

Take some deep breaths to calm down

Put your baby in their crib and leave the room

Ask a trusted person to take over for a while

SEE PAGE 25 AND 26 FOR WAYS TO COMFORT YOUR BABY.

WARNING

If you or a caregiver has violently shaken your baby for any reason, get medical attention immediately. Do not let fear or shame keep you from doing the right thing. Getting treatment right away may save your baby’s life. If you think your baby has been shaken, call 911 or take the baby to the emergency room immediately.

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Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care

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