Head & Spine Injuries – Part 4 “Shaken Baby Syndrome”
For this section we will focus on Shaken Baby Syndrome, a very deadly outcome in many ways that can and should be preventable. During this emergency many questions will start to be asked, who is more likely to cause this men or women? who is to blame? what are the effects? How do we recognize Shaken Baby Syndrome? What age does a child stop being susceptible to Shaken Baby Syndrome? The first thing to remember in this situation is to be calm, be gentle and most of all just take a moment to breath.
Shaken Baby Syndrome is when a baby or child is forcefully shaken or has a repetitive forceful motion exerted against their head, neck or spine, this causes his or her fragile brain to move back and forth inside the skull. This causes bruising, swelling and bleeding on or against the brain or spine, it may even sever the spinal column leading to severe injury even death.
What to Watch for:
When a baby won’t stop crying, some people get so angry and frustrated that they “shake” the baby. This can cause fractures of the baby’s skull, ribs, arms or legs; heavy bleeding; bruising and brain swelling that can stop oxygen from getting to the brain.
Often there is no intent to harm the child, but Shaken Baby is one of the most common causes of infant mortality. It is also the most frequent cause of long-term disability in babies and young children.
Unfortunately Shaken Baby Syndrome may also cause long term brain damage that with one or more serious problems, such as: Seizures. A baby or child may have uncontrolled muscle movement and be unable to speak, see, or interact normally. Blindness or trouble seeing or hearing are also some known side effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Ages Susceptible to Shaken Baby Syndrome:
- Shaken Baby Syndrome can occur in babies and in children between the ages of birth and up to Five or Six years old. The majority of cases happen in babies less than six months old with new parents.
How To Help:
- Many societies and organizations offer a series of violence-prevention education programs for adults, youth and children through local or even online training programs.
NEVER SHAKE A BABY OR A CHILD, NO MATTER WHAT!
The way to treat Shaken Baby Syndrome is to avoid it at all costs. To do this just remember the basics and what you can do to help keep “yourself” calm. If the baby is crying and you are unable to console or stop the crying:
- – Place the baby on his or her back “In a safe place like their crib, bassinet or rocker“
- – Never leave the baby “untended” in a home by themselves
- – Let the baby cry while you take a few deep breaths in a different room, or where you can just barely hear them. “Remember YOU are the key to stopping Shaken Baby Syndrome“
- – After a few minutes, try to console the baby again.
- – If the baby is not able to stop crying within 30-40 minutes contact your local Medical Health Link for assistance. In Alberta, Canada the Health Link can be reached by simply dialing “811” and you will be connected to a Registered Practitioner Nurse that can help you.
Things to Remember!
- 1) Never Shake a baby or Child
- 2) Take a breather and place the baby or child in a safe place.
- 3) You are not alone, if you need help call “811” and talk though it.
We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.
“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!