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Shaken Baby Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

In caring for a baby, you need to be careful and gentle because the child’s body is still fragile. However, there are some parents who treat babies with excessive force. This is certainly dangerous for babies because it can cause head injuries or what is known as shaken baby syndrome.

Shaken Baby Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

What’s that Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Shaken baby syndrome is a serious head injury from violently shaking a baby. This action will cause brain damage, even if it is only done for a moment or less than five seconds.

In fact, the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) stated shaken baby syndrome as a form of violence against children.

Injury commonly found in infants aged six to eight weeks, at which age the baby cries a lot.

Also Read: Don’t get me wrong, here’s how to dry babies properly

Symptom Shaken Baby Syndrome

Symptoms of this syndrome can appear immediately after the baby is shaken. Some symptoms may also appear after a few years.

The child may have behavior and attention problems in the coming years because of this.

Some of the symptoms that can occur include:

  • Not smiling, talking, or babbling.
  • Throw up.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • It’s hard to breathe.
  • Overly tired.
  • Skin color becomes blue or pale.
  • Bruises on the arm or chest area.
  • Enlarged head.
  • Unable to lift head
  • The pupils of the eyes dilate.
  • Tremors.
  • Coma.

Immediately take it to the emergency room or doctor if your baby has the above symptoms. This condition cannot be taken lightly because it can be fatal. Your little one may also experience long-term effects in the form of permanent brain damage.

Important to know, symptoms shaken baby syndrome Severe cases include loss of consciousness, convulsions and shock.

Reason Shaken Baby Syndrome

This condition occurs when someone shakes the baby roughly. Adults may shake a baby out of anger or frustration, which usually happens when a baby won’t stop crying.

Babies have weak neck muscles and a wide, heavy head. When the baby is shaken hard and rough, the baby’s brain in the head will move back and forth in the direction of the shock.

This movement will cause bruising, swelling, and bleeding that can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

Please note that interaction with the baby to play; such as lifting the baby in the air or swinging the baby will not cause any associated injuries shaken baby syndrome. This injury occurs when shaking the baby in anger.

Complications That Can Occur

Shaken Baby Syndrome can cause several health problems in babies, including:

  • Cerebral hemorrhage. A condition in which there is bleeding in the area between the brain and skull due to torn blood vessels.
  • Brain damage. This condition occurs when oxygen intake is reduced when the body is shaken. The result is damage to the brain’s nerve cells.
  • Retinal bleeding. Bleeding occurs at the back of the baby’s retina.
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries. This injury will cause injury to the spinal cord.
  • Fracture. Pfractures can occur, ribs, arms, legs, to the skull.

How to Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome

You can prevent this condition by not shaking the baby under any circumstances. You may feel frustrated when your little one doesn’t stop crying. However, the habit of crying in babies is normal.

If you feel like you can’t handle it anymore, ask a partner or other family member to help you for a while. This action can prevent you from losing your temper and control.

Here are some ways you can soothe a crying baby:

  • Give a pacifier.
  • Holding the baby gently while rubbing his back lovingly.
  • Let him suckle.
  • Provide a blanket or swaddle if the baby is under two months.
  • Install sound whitenoisein order to make it more convenient.
  • Take a warm shower.
  • Rock the baby slowly or take the car for a ride but stay on top car seats.

Please note, in severe cases, surgery is needed to treat bleeding in the brain. Therefore, you need to be careful in caring for the baby so that unwanted things don’t happen.

  1. Anonymous. Shaken Baby Syndrome. (Accessed January 12, 2023).
  2. Anonymous. 2016. Shaken Baby Syndrome. (Accessed January 12, 2023).
  3. Anonymous. 2021. Overview: Subdural Haematoma. (Accessed January 12, 2023).
  4. Anonymous. 2022. Shaken Baby Syndrome. (Accessed January 12, 2023).
  5. Higuera, Valencia. 2016. Shaken Baby Syndrome. (Accessed January 12, 2023).

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