Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs when a child or a young baby shaken vigorously and sometimes repetitive (again and again), with or without head hit something. The effects can be very serious and can cause lifelong injuries or death.
Shaken baby syndrome is a form of abusive head injuries, which can lead to:
Damage to the brain of a child.
Permanent disabilities such as blindness or paralysis.
Children under 1 year of age most at risk because they cry more often, but older children can also suffer serious injury if shaken vigorously. No child at any age, should always be shaken.
What can parents do to help calm a crying baby?
The Canadian Paediatric Society has more information for parents about colic and crying. The following suggestions may be helpful.
Check if the crying is a sign that your baby needs something specific, like a diaper change, feeding, relieving too hot or too cold, attention, or have a fever.
Keep your baby. This is not to spoil. However, some babies do not like to be passed from person to person.
Wrap or wrap your baby in a soft blanket.
Turn off the lights and maintaining a peaceful environment. Cause excessive stimulation or worsen the crying.
Soft music, white noise or noise silent smooth soothe some babies.
Many babies are soothed by the movement. Trying to walk with the baby in a sling or a stroller. Rock or sway with the baby in a soft, rhythmic motion. Or try for a ride in a car.
Suck sometimes helps babies to soothe and relax. You can do this by your baby nurses or offer a pacifier.
Give your baby a warm bath.
What if my baby cries?
If your baby is crying, after making sure that there is no specific problem try to stay calm and be aware of how you feel. Are you angry? Do you feel frustrated? Are you angry? Take a moment to relax.
Here are some suggestions to help calm yourself:
If you believe you can lose control, stop! Place your child safely in the crib, take a break and let your child's room during the time that you to feel calm.
Breathe slowly and deeply.
Take a shower.
Talk to a friend, family member, neighbor or another person you trust, and get support. Ask someone you trust to take your baby for a while, so you take a longer break.
If you ever feel you may hurt your baby, get help: a relative, a neighbor, local crisis line, your youth welfare office or the police. Check the first pages of the local telephone directory for emergency numbers in your area.
It is a good idea to have a plan in place before you get frustrated or angry. Keep a list of useful numbers by hand and are clearly visible to all caregivers.
What signs may indicate that a baby has shaken?
Often there are no marks or bruises on the baby's skin. Common symptoms are:
Unusual sleepiness or extreme irritability.
The refusal to eat for no apparent reason, loss of appetite or vomiting.
The baby does not smile, eye contact, or babbling.
Rigid body, or seizures (arms and legs become stiff or move in a repetitive unevenly).
Baby's body is limp.
Breathing, or when a change in the respiratory pattern.
The baby's eyes are turned or distracted.
What should you do if you think your baby has shaken?
Call 911, ask your doctor or go to an emergency room immediately.
You're not shake first aid!
If your baby is not breathing, shook it will not help. The only way to help is to breathe a baby's word of mouth breathing (with proper technique for young children). Call 911 and begin artificial respiration. Many community organizations, such as St. John Ambulance or the Red Cross offer courses little or no cost for these first aid skills.
Where can parents find help and support?
One Parent or caregiver is not always easy. Constant of a crying baby can be stressful and you feel frustrated. You are probably not getting much time to meet the needs of your baby throughout the day.
Try to organize relief for regular child care, so that you can get some rest. Find a friend, family member or other trusted person that can take care of your baby at a time, while taking a break. If people offer trust, accept. Know your caregiver. Let your child with someone you do not trust, someone who has strong reactions, or someone who is not comfortable with babies.
Remember, no matter how bad you feel, do not shake your baby.
If you have questions, talk to your pediatrician, family doctor or public health nurse, and find local community resources to support the parents.
If you think you may be struggling with depression, or someone with a new baby to know, talk to your doctor. The CPS also has information about depression in mothers and how they affect children.
Not hurt a baby in a moment of frustration. The effects can last a lifetime.