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Shaken Baby Syndrome: What Causes It And How To Treat It

5 min read
Shaken Baby Syndrome: What Causes It And How To Treat It

Shaken Baby Syndrome: What Causes It And How To Treat It

As your baby has opened its eyes to this world, there are a large number of things that need to be taken care of to avoid any kind of problem. Especially, nowadays, as both of the parents are working and limited support from the family, parents, are forced to entrust their baby in the hands of a maid. Do you know a fact that nowadays toddlers are subjected to different kinds of abuse in their own homes? You might have seen various videos that went viral on social media which evidently prove how cruelly some caretakers “console” an unhappy baby. This kind of child abuse can have a permanent effect on the baby’s physical and mental health.
In this guide, you will come across a serious issue that can affect your baby’s brain health adversely and even lead to a permanent disability. The name of this syndrome is Shaken baby syndrome.

What Is Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Shaken Baby Syndrome refers to severe brain injury, which is caused due to forcefully shaking an infant or a toddler. It is an abusive head syndrome that damages the brain cells and decreases the amount of oxygen to enter the brain. A head injury can result in permanent brain trauma or even death. Moreover, if an infant or small child (especially preterm babies) is subjected to vigorous shaking, it may lead to other injuries, such as damage to the neck, spine, and eyes.

Are All Infants At Risk Of Shaken Baby Syndrome?

This syndrome is commonly seen in babies below two years of age group. On an average scale, this disease mostly occurs to the children between 3 to 8 months of age. Children usually get this trauma because of domestic violence at their home or because of unfavorable stress conditions to the parents creating a violent behavior.

What Causes A Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Given below are some of the major causes of the shaken baby syndrome, which can damage the functioning of the nervous system and make him irritated and nauseous:

  1. Violently shaking a child a baby or toddler and throwing all the anger and frustration on the baby.
  2. Vigorous shaking will result in the bouncing of the brain back and forth against the skull. This will increase the chances of internal bleeding as the large veins that go through the outer surface of the brain are more likely to tear by means of these vigorous movements.
  3. Infants having weak muscles and bones are often prone to the shaken baby syndrome as they find it difficult to support their head.
  4. Similarly, babies with a big head and delicate blood vessels are more prone to shaken baby syndrome.
  5. Babies might have to suffer from internal bleeding, bruising, and swelling of the brain leading to memory loss or unconscious mind, permanent brain damage, or even death.

What Does Not Cause A Shaken Baby Syndrome?

As we all know that shaken baby syndrome is caused by aggressive shaking of the baby’s head leading to damage to the blood vessels of the infant’s brain. Thus, this syndrome is not caused by the following acts:

  1. Tossing your baby.
  2. You are running quickly with the baby in your arms.
  3. You are vaccinating the baby
  4. If the baby falls from low heights.
  5. You are swaying your baby in your arms.
  6. Driving with the baby on bumpy roads.
  7. Bouncing baby on the legs.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shaken Baby Syndrome?

The Symptoms Of Shaken Baby Syndrome

The Symptoms Of Shaken Baby Syndrome

Symptoms of Shaken baby syndrome vary with different factors like age of baby, frequency and duration of the abuse, etc. What you should note that in a mild case of the shaken baby syndrome, the symptoms may not surfaces soon enough. However, eventually many of the following symptoms arise
Now let’s have a look at some of the signs and symptoms of shaken baby syndrome:

  1. Difficulty staying awake
  2. Dilated pupils that do not respond to light
  3. Vomiting
  4. Breathing problems and irregularities
  5. Drowsiness accompanied by irritability
  6. Pale skin
  7. Posture in which the head is bent back and the back arched
  8. Coma
  9. Decreased appetite
  10. Paralysis
  11. Altered level of consciousness
  12. Cardiac arrest
  13. Convulsions or seizures

How Is Shaken Baby Syndrome Diagnosed?

Some of the minor indicators of this disease are variations in the behavior and feeding patterns of the baby. Apart from this, lethargy, seizures, fuzziness, inflammation, headache, and bleeding are some other signs which can be easily detected by the doctor’s consultancy. Following are the three most popular tools that are used to identify the in-depth damage to the baby’s brain:

  1. Computed Tomography Scan
  2. X-rays
  3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Keep an eye on the reports and immediately stop doing anything that is classified as a cause of Shaken baby syndrome. Along with this, follow the doctor’s advice and start with the medications right away!

What Are The Long Term Effects Of Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Shaken baby syndrome can take a severe turn. It can take the child to a coma stage or even death. Even the children who survived this issue may contract lifelong issues that affect their vision and brain development. Here are some of the long term effects of Shaken baby syndrome:

  • Seizures
  • Blind or severe issues related to vision
  • Behavioral issues
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Spasticity (muscle stiffness)

Is Shaken Baby Syndrome Treatable?

Is Shaken Baby Syndrome Treatable

Is Shaken Baby Syndrome Treatable

Yes, Shaken Baby Syndrome can be treated, but the treatment varies depending upon the condition of the baby. Given below are some of the common medications and treatment are given to different babies suffering from shaken baby syndrome:

  1. In order to treat the external bleeding, antibiotic dressing, and liquid dosage of medicines can work effectively.
  2. In case of serious damage to the brain, surgery is the most appropriate option.
  3. Rehabilitation therapy is considered as the most fruitful way to regain the memory loss of the infant and to make him emotionally and mentally fit and strong.

How To Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Shaken Baby Syndrome can be easily prevented by using some healthy tips and guidance of the baby specialists. Also, be patient and calm if the baby keeps on crying as sometimes silence is the only solution to the mental irritability of the infant. Not only this, but you can also hire a babysitter or choose the best daycare center for your baby in case the parents are working. Make sure that you follow all the rules of positive parenting and balance your emotions accordingly.
Now that you are fully aware of all the essential points about this hazardous disease, it is time to take appropriate actions to prevent it in the first place. Do realize that babies are quite tender and need your care and love, so opt for only those habits that are harmless to the baby and are only helpful in keeping your baby healthy.

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