Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a term used to describe the brain damage that results from the violent shaking of an infant or young child. The severity of the brain damage depends on the duration and severity of the shaking. Signs and symptoms can be minor and resemble illness or they can be life threatening.
It is estimated that there are about 50,000 incidents of infants or young children being shaken in the United States each year. However, only 600 to 1,400 cases are identified in hospitals. SBS is the leading cause of death and long-term disability in infants. Twenty percent of babies who are shaken will die as a result of the abuse.
In most cases, the abuser is a young man who is the father of the child or the boyfriend of the mother. In many other cases, the abuser is a childcare provider. It is important that all parents of infants be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of shaken baby syndrome.
Common Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome:
- Decreased muscle tone
- Extreme irritability or fussiness
- Decreased appetite or poor feeding
- Poor sucking or swallowing
- Vomiting for no apparent reason
- No smiling
- Eyes don’t focus or pupils don’t track
- Child stops cooing, babbling, or other vocalizations
- Bruising on arms or chest (rare)
- Rigid posture
- Inability to lift head
- Bleeding in eyes
- Fluid from ears or nose
- No response to sound
- Bulging soft spot
- Head or forehead appears larger than usual
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Only 80 percent of children survive SBS. Most of these children are left with disabilities caused by the injury to the brain. These disabilities range from learning disorders and behavioral changes to profound mental and developmental retardation, paralysis, or blindness. Some children are left in a permanent vegetative state.
If you suspect your child has been shaken at a Dallas daycare, get medical help right away. Then report the abuse to your local sheriff or police department.
The Dallas daycare abuse attorneys at the Rasansky Law Firm help parents whose children who suffer SBS injuries in Texas childcare facilities. To learn more about Texas daycare abuse claims, request a free copy of Jeff Rasansky’s book, Preventing, Discovering & Acting on Claims of Daycare Abuse, or contact Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313.