Shaken Baby Syndrome is a severe form of child abuse caused by violently shaking an infant. Shaken Baby Syndrome, also known as Abusive Head Trauma, is responsible for between 1400 and 3000 infant deaths and injuries each year. While deadly, Shaken Baby Syndrome is entirely preventable. If you or a loved one suspect that a baby has been forcibly shaken, call 911 immediately.
Can Shaken Baby Syndrome Cause Brain Damage?
Babies have soft brains and weak neck muscles that struggle to support their heavy heads. When a baby is violently shaken, their brain can repeatedly bounce against their skull. This severe impact can cause bruising, bleeding, and swelling in the brain. These injuries can lead to permanent, irreversible brain damage or even death. A child that survives Shaken Baby Syndrome may permanently suffer from the following conditions.
- Learning disabilities
- Intellectual disabilities
- Seizure disorders
- Cerebral Palsy
While none of these conditions are guaranteed, it is essential to have regular checkups with a pediatrician after an event of Shaken Baby Syndrome to monitor the child for these potential conditions.
Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome
The symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome can be visibly apparent in affected infants. Sometimes symptoms may not be noticeable because they are invisible injuries such as spinal cord damage or brain bleeding. Some visible symptoms may include:
- Acute fussiness or irritability
- Trouble staying awake
- Difficulty breathing
- Poor appetite
- Pale or bluish skin
It is critical to call 911 or take your child to the nearest emergency room if you notice any of the symptoms above. Shaken Baby Syndrome is life-threatening and can result in permanent brain damage.
Shaken Baby Syndrome Causes and Risk Factors
Shaken Baby Syndrome is typically caused by a parent or caregiver violently shaking a child because they will not stop crying. While the shaking usually stops the crying, it is likely because the child has suffered a brain injury. Even shaking for less than five seconds can lead to severe complications. Shaken Baby Syndrome is not typically caused by bouncing a baby on the knee, minor falls, or playing rough.
While parents and caregivers can usually handle the joy and stress of child-rearing, certain risk factors could lead to baby shaking in some instances. These risk factors include:
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Young or single parenthood
- Domestic violence
- Unstable family situations
- History of child abuse
If you suspect a parent or caregiver has mistreated your child, get your child medical care, contact proper authorities, and reach out to a brain injury lawyer to learn about your next steps.
Partner with an Experienced California Brain Injury Lawyer
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a condition with devastating, long-lasting consequences. The resulting brain trauma may result in a lifetime of medical care and needs. You can pursue a legal claim for damages against the liable party to cover the child’s current and future needs. Partner with an experienced California personal injury lawyer to get help building a solid traumatic brain injury claim.
Jeremy Winter is an experienced brain injury lawyer helping clients in California rebuild their lives. Attorney Winter understands helping your child recover from a damaging brain injury can be traumatic and stressful for clients. J.G. Winter will hold liable parties accountable for your losses and pain so that you can focus on your child’s recovery. Call (844) 734-2626 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.