Facts you must know about SBS

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SBS or Shaken Baby Syndrome is caused from a form of child abuse that takes place at a very early age, right from the stages of infancy. Infants or young children shaken violently by parents or any adults can be the cause of Shaken Baby Syndrome. The reason for doing so could be out of anger and frustration when babies refuse to stop crying or as a result of some sort of personal stress vented out on babies. The consequences of SBS are extremely severe and can even be fatal in some cases, which is why it is essential that babies be treated with care and not be subjected to any form of abuse whatsoever.

Some of the recently discovered facts about SBD are:

Statistics report that on an average, 1000 ‘“ 3000 babies suffer from Shaken Baby Syndrome every year in the United States.

About one fourth of victims diagnosed with Shaken Baby Syndrome die. Even if they manage to survive, they end up with permanent damage to become physically challenged for life.

In the state of New York alone, 33 children on an average per day aged under 4 are hospitalised with Shaken Baby Syndrome and average hospitalisation charges could go up to as much as $65,000.

The symptoms of SBS are such that it often goes undiagnosed or doctors suspect the symptoms to be manifested out of some other cause of sickness. Even though no external injuries are found, the real problem lies in the brain which undergoes the trauma and this internal damage is what makes it so dangerous.

A baby’s brain at infancy is very delicate. Severe shaking causes the brain to hit the insides of the skull frame resulting in tearing of nerves and blood vessels that are at a delicate stage of development.

Violent shaking of a baby is 5-10 times more damaging than a baby simply falling and hurting its head.

SBS symptoms could vary from not eating or smiling, tiredness, vomiting or difficulty swallowing, rag-doll like stiff features etc.

Typical SBS injuries include mental retardation, brain bleeding, brain swelling and brain damage, blindness or hearing loss and even death in many cases.

Many caregivers are unaware of the consequences of severe shaking of a baby. Instead many believe that it is a life-saving technique in many cases. Babies may stop crying after being shaken but it is due to injury and not a technique to quieten them.

Parents to new born babies must be aware that it is but natural for new born babies to cry as much as up to 3 hours every day, sometimes even more.

It is always okay to put down a baby in its crib while it’s crying and let it calm down on its own if there is no suspected cause of hunger or sickness.

Increasing awareness and educating parents about Shaken Baby Syndrome is essential. More efficient steps must be taken to spread awareness and ensure that babies are not abused on any account. Babies must be handled with utmost care and gentility. Informing friends and family can also go a long way in spreading awareness about SBS.

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