We hear a lot about it but it is very important to make as many parents and future parents aware of this form of abuse that can be fatal for your child.
This syndrome affects more than one baby a day in France!
What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?
Shaken Baby Syndrome happens when a baby or young child is violently and voluntarily shaken by its carrier. The gestures are violent, baby's head is shaken back and forth. The baby is carried by the armpits or the chest without the head being supported. Consequence? His brain hits the walls of his skull. And because the brain baby is soft, the shaking can cause it to swell and bleed much more easily.
It is also called non-accidental head trauma.
What are the consequences for baby?
Clearly, you should NEVER shake baby. There can be serious after-effects, not just death.
At such a young age, the consequences on the child's brain development are important and irreversible.
Sometimes the consequences are immediate, but not always! They can appear later.
The repercussions can be:
- intellectual: learning difficulties, diction...
- ocular: this can go as far as going blind
- motor: the spinal cord can be affected so paralysis, epileptic seizures ...
Key figures on Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)
|400 children per year KNOWN are affected by SBS||1 in 10 children die from it||50% of shaken children are shaken a second time at a minimum||75% retain severe|
While 400 children are reported as affected by SBS, the number is actually much higher due to lack of diagnosis.
Shaken Baby Symptoms
You won't always physically see the symptoms of shaken baby. Then watch for these symptoms that may alert you:
- unusual sleepiness
- loss of motor skills/previously acquired skills such as holding his head or sitting up
- lasting irritability
- less good contact
- difficulty breathing
- abnormal movements
- vomiting without fever and diarrhea and for no apparent reason
- eye problems, no response to stimuli
If you spot any symptoms or hesitate, contact emergency services by calling 999 or 112. The faster the treatment, the less neurological consequences.
I'm afraid I shook my baby while rocking him
Being a parent is a constant anxiety where we all go through a lot of doubts and questioning: did I not rock him too hard? Is baby shaken too much in a stroller?
The movement for shaken baby syndrome is back and forth, violent and repeated. Rocking him with his head held fairly briskly to calm him down is not going to cause SBS.
But it's always good to ask the question to avoid any spillover! It shows you are good parents :)
Crying baby: main cause of parents' upset
We know that a crying baby can leave his parents distraught: lack of sleep, anxiety, misunderstanding.. It's always hard to see your child crying without managing to calm him down.
Crying is normal for a baby, it's his only means of expression!
You will succeed in calming him:
- check that he's not hungry or diaper full
- check that he's not too hot or too cold
- look for his first teeth coming in
- speak to him gently by rocking him
- give him a bath
To find solutions to a baby who cries all the time: My baby cries all the time: what to do?
Wearing in a sling or baby carrier to avoid shaken baby syndrome
Yes babywearing can be the solution to calm your baby without shaking, baby curled up against you.
Wearing has many benefits including reassuring baby while leaving your hands free. Carrying reminds you of the sensations known in the womb which soothes your child enormously, gently.
Shaken baby syndrome will not be possible in a sling or in a baby carrier !
|I CHOOSE MY baby wrap||I PREFER THE BABY CARRIER|
It is important to listen to yourself. If you feel that you are exhausted, angry, on the verge of a nervous breakdown (and it happens to everyone, don't feel guilty!): put baby down in his bed or entrust him to a relative. You have to know how to listen to yourself and take time to breathe when necessary.
Stop shaken baby: https://stopbebesecoue.fr/
CHU SAINTE-JUSTINE. "Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS): Everything you need to know". www.chusj.org