Family Advocacy NPSP

shaken baby syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome

SBS/AHT (shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma) is a term used to describe the constellation of signs and symptoms resulting from violent shaking or shaking and impacting of the head of an infant or small child.
Abusive head trauma results from injuries caused by someone (most often a parent or other caregiver) vigorously shaking a child or striking the child's head against a surface. In many cases, the caregiver cannot get the baby to stop crying and, out of frustration or anger, will shake the baby. Unfortunately, the shaking may have the desired effect: Although at first the baby cries more, he or she may stop crying as the brain is damaged.

Children with special needs, multiple siblings, or other conditions like colic or GERD have an increased risk of AHT. Boys are more likely to be victims of AHT than girls, and children of families who live at or below the poverty level are at an increased risk for these injuries and other types of child abuse.

The perpetrators in about 70% of cases are males -- usually either the baby's father or the mother's boyfriend, often someone in his early twenties. But anyone has the potential to shake a baby if he or she isn't able to handle stressful situations well, has poor impulse control, or has a tendency toward aggressive behavior. Substance abuse often plays a role in AHT.

For more information please go to http://dontshake.org/

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