Once termed Shaken Baby Syndrome, Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma is the third leading cause of head injury among children in the United States and is the leading cause of serious head injury in the first year of life according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov. Abusive Head Trauma can be cause by shaking a child, hitting their head against a hard object or a combination of shaking & impact. Inconsolable crying is the #1 reason people shake an infant. Other reasons include potty training difficulty, feeding problems, and interrupting an activity the caregiver is trying to complete.
The American Academy of Pediatrics aap.org Committee of child abuse and neglect (AAP) released a technical report on shaken baby syndrome in July 2001 stating that “Shaken Baby Syndrome is a serious and clearly definable form of child abuse. It results from extreme rotational cranial acceleration induced by violent shaking or shaking/impact which would be easily recognizable by others as dangerous.
SBS is the leading cause of death from child abuse with 1200-1400 deaths in the US each year according to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome dontshake.org. Babies under one years old are at greatest risk of being shaken and greatest risk of dying from their injuries.
Damage occurs the moment you begin shaking a child and injuries can occur in as little as 5 seconds.
Anyone male or female is capable of shaking an infant if they become frustrated and do not know how to handle their frustrations.
To learn about preventing SBS/AHT, please visit the “how you can help ” section of our webpage.