What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?
Shaken baby syndrome is a severe form of head injury that occurs when a baby is shaken forcibly enough to cause the baby's brain to rebound (bounce) against his or her skull. This rebounding may cause bruising, swelling, and bleeding of the brain, which may lead to permanent, severe brain damage or death.
The condition is usually the result of non-accidental trauma or child abuse. Of those responsible, approximately 37 percent are the baby's father, 20 percent are the mother's boyfriend, 17 percent are a female caregiver other than the mother, and 12 percent are the mother. Any adult is capable of injuring a baby.
NEVER, EVER SHAKE YOUR BABY!
Losing control, even for a very, very brief time, and shaking your baby can cause irreparable damage to your baby and even death. Half of the children who are victims of shaken baby syndrome die from their injuries.
The injuries that can result from shaking a baby include:
- Learning disabilities
- Delays in development
- Speech problems
- Impaired use of arms and legs
- Brain damage and seizures
- Hearing loss
- Partial or total blindness
- Spinal injury
- Mental retardation
How are Colic and Shaken Baby Syndrome Related?
The technical definition of colic is "crying lasting for three hours per day for more than three days a week for longer than three weeks." Any extended inconsolable crying is enough to fray the nerves of even the most tranquil parent. To deal with this screaming day after day for hours on end and not be able to stop it, can drive some to the brink of absolutely losing their temper. It is this potential loss of control, which links colic and Shaken Baby Syndrome.
What can I do to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome from happening to my baby?
A large percentage of Shaken Baby Syndrome cases are the result of extreme frustration on the part of a care giver who can not calm a crying baby , and have come to the end of their ropes and lost control.
|Dr. Karp's method provides the tools necessary to help you cope with your crying baby. |
If you are taking your child to a care giver and you find that Dr. Karp's method is effective with your child, be sure to share the video or dvd with her and ask her to use the method if you child gets upset. If your care giver does not seem willing to spend a little time learning how to effectively and safely care for your upset baby, perhaps finding another care giver is in order.
If you can't calm your baby, and you are feeling closer and closer to losing control:
STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
Put your screaming baby down in a crib, swing, or other safe secure spot.
Walk a way. Go stand on the porch. Go take a shower. Go do something that will get you away from the situation until you have regained your composure and are able to deal with your baby.
REMEMBER---It's normal to feel upset and angry. Taking care of a baby can be tiring and sometimes extremely frustrating. But there are ways to comfort him and yourself, and people nearby to help. Never yell at, hit, or shake a baby!!
What are the symptoms of shaken baby syndrome?
Symptoms may include changes in behavior, irritability, lethargy, loss of consciousness, pale or bluish skin, vomiting, and convulsions. Although there usually are no outward physical signs of trauma, there may be broken, injured, or dislocated bones and injuries to the neck and spine.
If you baby suddenly starts to show any of these changes please contact your health care professional IMMEDIATELY!