Shaken Baby Syndrome

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A parents frustration with a child can sometimes result in devastating consequences. Shaken baby syndrome is the leading cause of child abuse death in the United States. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Shaken baby syndrome is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler. It usually occurs when a parent or caregiver severely shakes a child in frustration or anger.

Babies heads are larger in relationship to their bodies, and their neck muscles are not well developed. If a baby is forcefully shaken, the brain moves back and forth striking the inside of the skull. This type of injury can cause bruising, swelling or tearing of the brain.

Brain injury and bleeding can cause increased pressure in the brain, which can lead to permanent brain damage. There can also be damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye, which may cause bleeding inside the eye, vision problems and even blindness. If the injury is severe enough, the baby could die.

If you know a baby has been shaken, it is your responsibility to notify a health professional. Adults need to protect babies from these injuries. They cannot protect themselves.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.