Abusive Head Trauma/SBS

CWAVusa encourages you to be a voice for change in the life of underserved and abused children. Please be aware that “Abusive Head Trauma/SBS (Shaken Baby Syndrome)” has been proven to be one of the earliest forms of physical abuse and generally takes place within the first three months of a newborn’s life.

“Abusive Head Trauma/Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)” is the result of when a young child’s head is whiplashed back and forth while being shaken. Within just a few 3 seconds of shaking, the child will experience retinal bleeding behind the eyes and on the brain. This will result in brain damage and a short lifetime of mental and physical disabilities and insurmountable financial problems. The average age of a SBS survivor is 12 years of age…because the multitude of medicines eventually fail their bodies. If a baby is shaken, they can be injured very easily. Their neck muscles are not strong enough to control head movements. Rapid head movement can cause the brain to be bruised from impacting against the skull wall.

Approximately 20% of cases are fatal. Signs and symptoms range on a spectrum of neurological alterations from minor (irritability, lethargy, tremors, vomiting) to major (seizures, partial or total blindness, paralysis, mental retardation, coma, stupor, death.) In constant and less violent shaking, a young child can have lifelong effects such as learning disorders, behavioral changes, and attention deficits.

People usually shake children because they are constantly crying or they may have colic. Parents and childcare givers often get frustrated and angry and before you know it, they lose control. Other reasons why people shake babies are over: eating problems, toilet training, the child making noise, or their interruption of watching TV. Not knowing that baby shaking is harmful and dangerous is another factor.

What To Do When Your Baby Cries

Rather than shaking your baby, try these calming tips:

  • Feed your baby slowly and burp him/her often.
  • Give you baby a pacifier.
  • Check your baby’s diaper to see if it needs changing.
  • Hold your baby against your chest and walk or rock him/her.
  • Sing to your baby or play soft music.
  • Take your baby for a ride in a stroller or car.
  • Swaddle your baby in a blanket.

Be patient. If you don’t know how, learn. It will help your baby and . it will help you!
No matter how impatient or angry you feel, DO NOT SHAKE YOUR BABY.

If you find you’re at the end of your rope, wrap your baby snugly in a soft blanket. Put him/her in a safe, quiet, dark room, and close the door and take a break. If you can call someone you trust to take care of your baby, call them. When they arrive, go out and take a walk . a drive . do anything that will calm you down!
It’s Time To Stop Child Abuse Before It Starts!

Physical Signs/Symptoms:

There are various signs and symptoms of Abusive Head Trauma/SBS. The consequences of less severe cases may not be brought to the attention of medical professionals and may never be diagnosed. In most severe cases, which usually result in death or severe neurological consequences, the child usually becomes immediately unconscious and suffers rapidly escalating, life-threatening central nervous system dysfunction.
Any of these injuries can lead to severe disability or death. If you suspect a child has been shaken, seek medical attention immediately.

Common Symptoms of Abusive Head Trauma/SBS:
  • Lethargy / decreased muscle tone
  • Extreme irritability
  • Decreased appetite, poor feeding or vomiting for no apparent reason
  • Grab-type bruises on arms or chest are rare
  • No smiling or vocalization
  • Poor sucking or swallowing
  • Rigidity or posturing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Head or forehead appears larger than usual or soft-spot on head appears to be bulging
  • Inability to lift head
  • Inability of eyes to focus or track movement or unequal size of pupils

NOTE: These symptoms are serious, and if not the result of Abusive Head Trauma/SBS, may indicate other life-threatening conditions. In general, unexpected vomiting may be caused by a “stomach bug”, but when combined with other central nervous system related symptoms suggests a serious condition. Prompt medical care is required no matter the cause.