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Baby Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome is a term used to describe the group of signs and symptoms that can result from the violent shaking or the shaking and impacting of the head of an infant or small child. It can be a very serious condition that can even lead to the death of a child. The consequences of less severe cases may not be brought to the attention of medical professionals and may never even be diagnosed. In the most severe cases, which usually result in death or severe neurological consequences, the child usually becomes immediately unconscious and suffers rapidly escalating, life-threatening central nervous system dysfunction.

Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome include:

  • Lethargy/Decreased Muscle Tone
  • Extreme Irritability
  • Decreased Appetite, Poor Feeding, or Vomiting for No Apparent Reason
  • Lack of Smiling or Vocalization
  • Poor Sucking or Swallowing
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Seizures
  • Head or Forehead Appears Larger than Usual
  • Soft-Spot on Head Appears to Be Bulging
  • Inability to Lift Head
  • Unequal Size of Pupils
  • Grab-type Bruises on Arms or Chest (Rare)

It is important for everyone who has a child in his or her care – and those that know someone who does – to be familiar with the causes, symptoms, and possibly tragic outcomes associated with Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The Saint Louis County Department of Public Health offers classes to educate parents, family members, professional daycare providers, and other caregivers about the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome. To learn more about attending a class, please call (314) 615-6875.

For more information about Shaken Baby Syndrome, please visit the following sites: