What is Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)?
• SBS is the injury to an infant, toddler or young child resulting from being shaken violently.
• SBS can occure when a child receives as few as three (3) rapid shakes; head impact is not necessary although frequently occurs.
• SBS injuries can include: brain damage, blindness, seizures, speech and learning disorders including mental retardation, cerebral palsy, damage to neck vertebrae and spinal cord resulting in severe motor dysfunction, paralysis, and death.
Why does it happen?
• A baby’s head is 15% of its body weight, compared with 2-3% for an adult. A baby's brain tissue is softer. In addition, the protective tissue that surrounds the brain only begins to form at birth.
• Even when caregivers, well-intentioned parents and babysitters become angry, enraged and lose control, this serious form of child abuse too often arises.
• Caregivers may be inadequately prepared for parenting, or may be under such stress that they cannot deal with the frustrations of parenting.