What can cause injuries seen in shaken baby syndrome?
Shaken baby syndrome serves as one of the biggest concerns of parents who must leave their children in the care of other people. This syndrome could result in a permanently altered life or may even lead to the death of a child.
When handling this syndrome, the signs may not prove immediately noticeable. It is important to know the signs and potential causes in order to get to the bottom of things.
What causes SBS?
Cleveland Clinic takes a look at the injuries seen in shaken baby syndrome. This syndrome (SBS) occurs when a child or toddler ends up shaken violently. As their heads are disproportionately large compared to their bodies at these ages, the simple act of shaking a child can result in brain injury. The brain may swell, bruise or bleed, especially if they then get thrown down onto a hard surface, known as shaken impact syndrome.
In many cases, SBS occurs when a caregiver experiences frustration or anger and shakes the baby out of this emotion, or because they believe shaking the baby will get them to stop crying. Some caregivers do not know that shaking a baby can pose such a danger, either.
What are the signs?
Signs include convulsions, trouble breathing, lethargy, discolored skin, tremors, dilated pupils, and unconsciousness. You may also notice bruising on the chest or arms, and an enlarged head or forehead. If left untreated, SBS can lead to severe complications like cerebral palsy, brain damage, paralysis, blindness, hearing loss or even death. Thus, it is important to recognize the signs and seek immediate medical attention.