Shaken Baby Syndrome

The shaken baby syndrome or the shaken impact syndrome refers to a drastic kind of abuse that is inflicted on a child. When an angry parent shakes a baby vehemently, the baby unfortunately may develop this kind of syndrome.

Know About The Shaken Baby Syndrome
When you become a parent, you should know how to handle your baby. Babies have a delicate structure; they need to be handled very tenderly and lovingly. Some unfortunate babies have parents shaking them vigorously for a minor reason like crying continuously.

Babies have weak and fragile neck muscles that are unable to provide support to the head. The violent shaking of the baby makes the head move back and forth severely. This usually results in serious and even fatal brain injury. During shaking, if the baby's head hits a surface the problem is aggravated.

The Trauma
If the head of the baby hits a hard surface, the baby can develop subdural hematoma in which blood is accumulated between the dura (the fibrous outer membrane around the brain) and the surface of the brain. This is a direct outcome of the veins (connecting the brain to the dura) being stretched beyond its elasticity.

When the brain strikes the inner surface of the skull, the harm is inflicted on the brain substance itself. God forbid, if a child stops breathing during shaking, due to the lack of oxygen, irreversible damage can be caused to the brain.

The shaken baby syndrome can also lead to subarachnoid hemorrhage, which suggests bleeding between the brain and the aracnoid (web-like membrane filled with spinal fluid surrounding the brain).

Breakage of nerve cell branches (in the cortex and even in the deeper structures of the brain) can be caused by the vigorous shaking of the brain. When the injured nerve cells start releasing chemicals, it bars the brain from receiving oxygen resulting in further damage to the brain cells.

Apart from the brain-related injuries, the baby with the shaken baby syndrome may also suffer bone fractures, including limbs, collarbone and ribs. The baby has fair chances of suffering bruises all over the body too.

Shaken Baby Syndrome Symptoms
The babies within the age of 2 years stand chances of acquiring the shaken baby syndrome. The symptoms are essentially case-specific and keep changing for different babies. The symptoms usually appear soon after the shaking of the baby. The baby with the shaken baby syndrome may experience drowsiness with irritability, altered level of consciousness, decreased appetite, state of coma, seizures or convulsions; they develop dilated pupils that do not respond to light, breathing problems, vomiting, a posture with head bent backwards and back being arched, abnormally slow respiration, cardiac arrest and even death.

Word Of Advice For The Angry Parent...
If you are a parent and lose your temper very often, then you must vow to avoid the shaken baby syndrome under any circumstances. Firstly, learn to have a control over your rage and get it into your head that the baby must be dealt with affectionately and softness every time. If you find the crying of your baby unbearable, then leave the baby alone or call a trusted caregiver who can handle the baby well, but for God's sake do not abuse the baby.

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