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SBS Frequently Asked Questions

What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?
Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is also known as Shaken Baby – Impact Syndrome.

Babies have very large heads and very weak neck muscles. An infant’s head is about 1/3 of its body weight.

When a baby is shaken the brain is slammed against the inside of the skull back and forth in a whiplash motion. The brain has a consistency of gelatin and this motion causes the brain to tear, swell and bleed. Many babies who fall victim to Shaken Baby Syndrome endure torn retinas and bleeding behind the eyes.

What's the result of shaking a baby?
Any of the following can be a result from shaking a baby/child: Fractures, Hearing Loss, Blindness, Brain Damage, Learning Disabilities, Seizure Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Paralysis & DEATH.

Why do babies cry?
Babies cry for many of the following reasons: Hungry, Thirsty, Tired, Diaper needs, wants to be held, Lonely, Sick or Hurt, Hot or Cold, Colic or No reason at all. This is how they communicate!

What are the symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome?
Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome: Irritability, Sluggishness, Vomiting, Poor appetite, Difficulty Breathing, Loss of Consciousness, Seizures, Not Sucking or Swallowing, Unable to Track Movement with Eyes, Not Smiling or Making Sounds.

What are the statistics of the victims?
The statistics of the victims are about a third of babies who have been shaken die from the injury.

About a third have seizures, mental retardation, impaired vision or blindness, behavior problems, or developmental delays and may need care for the rest of their life. Behavior or learning problems related to being shaken may not be noticed until the child enters school.

About a third return to good health.

Who usually shakes a baby?
Most studies indicate that two-thirds to three-quarters of the perpetrators are male, often biological fathers of the victims, or boyfriends of the victims’ mother.

The age of perpetrators range from 11-67, although the most common age is the early 20’s.

Day Care Providers are also among the perpetrators inflicting this devastating abuse. NO ONE IS IMMUNE FROM SHAKING A BABY! Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs in families of various backgrounds. Race, religion, family composition and socioeconomic status does not exempt anyone! Any one can shake a baby!

How do I prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome?
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome is Simple……….


Education is the key to prevention!
Educate Day care providers, Babysitters and family members and any others who may care for the baby about the importance of not shaking the baby for any reason.

• Always provide support for the baby’s head.
• Never throw a baby around, even in a playful manner.
• Never Shake a baby to make him stop crying or coughing.
• If the baby continues to cry and all needs are met, safely place them in the crib and shut the door. Take a time out. Call a friend. Ask a neighbor to relieve you while you take a quick walk. Turn on the TV or the radio.



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