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Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome has only recently begun to be recognized as a severe and critical condition. As the name indicates, this condition occurs when a child is subjected to forceful shaking. The parents or the care provider of the child may become frustrated, and as a result, they may shake the infant. Shaking an infant, even for only a few seconds, may result in extensive and irreversible injury.

A child who is suffering from Shaken Baby Syndrome and survives through the initial trauma will experience crippling physical and mental disabilities. The infant may or may not show physical indicators that they have been subjected to this trauma. Because of the harmful consequences of this condition, many states have developed laws specifically related to this syndrome. Various organizations have been established in order to help raise awareness about it, as well as to develop programs that help in the prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome.


Shaken Baby Syndrome has a very short history compared to many other severe diseases and conditions. It has only been receiving public attention for less than fifty years, though it was occurring long before this. Shaken Baby Syndrome was first described about seventy years ago, and it took roughly thirty more years for this condition to receive recognition from medical professionals, research professionals, and the media.

Within the last forty years, many cases have surfaced that have brought national attention to this condition and have raised concerns about the effects of this syndrome. As a result of the negative consequences that occur due to violently shaking a child, many states have begun to develop child abuse laws that are specifically aimed at preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome from occurring. The public has finally begun to take notice of this severe condition. However, more needs to be done to prevent it from occurring. A great deal of research is continuing to take place in order to better understand the effects of this type of abuse.


Shaken Baby Syndrome is a severe consequence of subjecting a child to violent shaking or throwing. In many cases, an individual does not intend to subject a child to harm. However, their actions can be extremely detrimental to a child's health and development.

Shaken Baby Syndrome usually occurs due to stress or frustration. It may occur because an individual becomes annoyed with the behavior of an infant and resorts to shaking the child in order to make the infant stop this behavior. The physical trauma that is caused to the child is a result of the slow development of the child's key organ. The time that it takes for a child's brain to develop and to grow to a normal size leaves the child susceptible to the severe and irreversible injuries that can be caused by shaking the child.

Shaken Baby Syndrome very rarely occurs due to accidents. However, there are some actions that may result in a child sustaining the injuries that are associated with this syndrome. In most cases, Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs because of one thoughtless and irresponsible action by an adult. This one action can instantly change the life of the child and the child's family.


Many people are not aware of the extremely harmful effects that may occur due to shaking a child. A child may be subjected to shaking for only a few seconds, but these few seconds are long enough to inflict the child with permanent and severe damage. Shaking a child will result in the bruising of the child's brain and will cause permanent brain damage.

Children who survive forceful shaking may never have the ability to lead a normal life. A child who was perfectly happy and healthy will sustain extensive physical and mental disabilities. They may be unable to carry out normal motor function, and they may lose many of the senses that most individuals enjoy. These children will require constant care for the rest of their lives due to mental retardation and physical disabilities.

A child who is suffering from Shaken Baby Syndrome may develop conditions that make normal physical activity impossible. In many cases, the result of shaking a child will result in much more serious consequences. Shaking an infant will destroy any normal future that the child may have had, and it will cause heartbreak and pain for the child's family.

Signs and Prevention

In some cases, a child may not display many physical indicators that they have suffered from forceful shaking. However, in other instances, an infant that has been shaken may display a vast array of signs that they have been subjected to this type of abuse. A child may display both physical and behavioral indicators that they are suffering from Shaken Baby Syndrome. Often, a child's personality will be noticeably altered due to the injuries that they have sustained. A child may not appear to be as energetic or active as they usually are. Many of the physical signs will be indicative of brain trauma.

A child who is suffering from Shaken Baby Syndrome will display a variety of physical symptoms in the area of their head. The effects of this type of abuse are extremely horrific, and many programs have been developed in order to prevent it from occurring. Shaken Baby Syndrome is a completely preventable condition. Educating the public, as well as new parents, is one method of helping to prevent infants from being subjected to Shaken Baby Syndrome. If individuals are aware the negative consequences of shaking a child, then they will be less likely to take part in this detrimental behavior.


The statistics regarding Shaken Baby Syndrome illustrate a very dismal and tragic story. Far too many infants are being exposed to behavior that leaves them with permanent and extensive brain trauma. In most instances, a child who survives this abuse is left with severe mental and physical disabilities. The majority of children who experience injuries due to being violently shaken will never recover from these injuries.

Most of the children who are exposed to this abuse will experience consequences that are much worse than physical disability. In most cases, the individual that is responsible for subjecting the child to this horrific form of abuse is a person who should be most concerned with the health and the well-being of the child.

Statistics regarding the occurrence of Shaken Baby Syndrome, as well as information related to death due to this syndrome, may not be accurate. Shaken Baby Syndrome may be misdiagnosed because the symptoms may resemble those of other diseases or conditions. Reviewing the statistics related to Shaken Baby Syndrome may help individuals to become aware of how severe and detrimental this type of abuse is. Information is continuing to be collected on this condition so that we may have a better understanding of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Legislative Focus

Shaken Baby Syndrome is a very harsh and harmful condition that thousands of infants are inflicted with every year. This form of abuse causes children to face some of the most cruel consequences of physical altercations. A child who is suffering from Shaken Baby Syndrome will suffer from irreversible and crippling brain damage. This damage will cause a child to experience extensive physical and mental disabilities. These disabilities will prevent a child from ever living a normal life. They will need to be provided with constant care from another individual.

As a result of these extremely harmful consequences, Shaken Baby Syndrome has begun to be the focus of new child abuse legislation. Many states have begun to develop laws related specifically to Shaken Baby Syndrome. Many of these laws focus on mandatory education of new parents, as well as the education of health professionals. Education is often the key to prevention and many states realize that this is the most effective way to decrease the instance of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome is a non-profit organization that is aimed at educating both professionals and parents about the causes and the effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome. The Center has created a variety of different programs that focus on understanding this form of abuse and preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome from occurring. Many of these programs are specialized in order to provide individuals in specific situations with the tools and the skills that they need in order to effectively raise a child. Many of these programs focus on teaching individuals how to successfully cope with the stresses of parenting and how to deal with frustration without resorting to aggression.

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome is also responsible for hosting the world's largest conference dedicated to Shaken Baby Syndrome and brain trauma. The Center is helping to make great progress in educating individuals about Shaken Baby Syndrome, as well as in creating programs that assist in preventing this type of abuse from occurring.

The Shaken Baby Alliance

The Shaken Baby Alliance is a very successful and productive organization that has been formed out of the pain and the negative experience of mothers who have suffered from Shaken Baby Syndrome. The Alliance seeks to educate the public and professionals about Shaken Baby Syndrome, including the causes and the effects of this condition.

The Shaken Baby Alliance provides individuals with a variety of different services, including case consultations for criminal justice professionals that are involved in cases regarding child abuse. One of the resources that the Alliance provides individuals with, that other organizations do not, is the personal stories and pictures from families that have had a child die from this condition. These stories illustrate the consequences of Shaken Baby Syndrome in a very effective way. The Alliance distributes resources to people in order to help educate them about the condition. The founders of this organization have taken their negative experiences and have used them as a way to help other families.

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