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impact syndrome
head trauma
first few days
warning signs
many names
stigma
Living With Shaken Baby Syndrome: How One Second Can Change Lives For Parents And Children Forever
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Living With Shaken Baby Syndrome: How One Second Can Change Lives for Parents And Children Forever

It is known by many names: shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma and shaken impact syndrome. While it can occur at any age, the typical victim is very young, only a few months old in many cases and can be very serious. Statistics about the syndrome are hard to gather because of some irregularities for how the cases are listed and reported. It is estimated that nearly twenty percent of all children who are injured via shaking die in the first few days after sustaining those injuries.

Because of the stigma and the additional stress of raising a child that has been injured in this manner, there is a lack of support. Two women, both mothers of children who were shaken by caregivers, have founded a support group of their own, working toward creating more awareness in North Dakota and Minnesota with their group called Stop the Shake. The support group works in conjunction with other groups to educate and work toward prevention of the problems they themselves are facing with their own children.

Babies that have been shaken can suffer a number of different injuries that can depend on which part of their brain is damaged in the incident. It can also depend on how many shaking incidents there are before the major damage occurs. Problems can range from behavior and learning problems, developmental delays, blindness, deafness and physical mobility problems as well.

Stop the Shake has worked to distribute educational materials that not only defines what shaken baby syndrome is but also ways to handle the stress and frustration that can lead to a shaking incident, warning signs to watch out for and resources to use in times of serious stress that goes beyond what the parent thinks that they can handle. The group is also working to make the third week in April Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness week in North Dakota and Minnesota.

Babies injured in shaking incidents are often injured before the person becomes aware of what they are about to do, unlike other instances of abuse where the abuser actually makes a more conscious decision to grab a child and harm them. Times of frequent crying, such as when the baby is teething or has colic can increase the risk of shaken baby syndrome. Times of serious stress for the parents, such as when the economy is bad, can also increase the risk of the syndrome. It is important that anyone who cares for your child, even a well respected caregiver or family member is made aware of how dangerous shaking a baby can be.


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