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Why do some people shake babies? In some cases, adults may shake a baby "for fun" because they don't understand the serious risks involved (permanent injury or even death). In other cases, some parents or caregivers may feel overly stressed or "fed up" with a crying baby. Whatever the motivation, please never - ever - shake a baby! For helpful tips on calming a crying baby, click here now. Or call the Kalamazoo CAN office at (269) 552-4430.
Why are babies and young children so vulnerable to shaking? What kind of damage can result.
The neck is very weak in small children and infants. When a child's head snaps back and forward, the brain violently strikes against the inside of the skull. This motion ruptures the bridging veins of the brain, causing pressure on the brain, possibly brain damage or death. Shaking or tossing an infant or young child may cause blindness, learning disabilities, seizures, hearing loss, paralysis and even death.
What kind of damage can result from shaking a baby? Shaking or tossing an infant or young child may cause blindness, learning disabilities, seizures, hearing loss, paralysis and even death.
What are some of the common symptoms that come from shaking a baby? Symptoms of a head injury in a child may include: swelling of the soft spots on the baby's head (called "fontanels"), bleeding in the eyes, seizures, projectile vomiting, irritability, excessive drowsiness and general unresponsiveness. If you suspect that a baby is suffering or exhibiting these symptoms, call 911 immediately and get help for that child!
How can I protect my child from shaking? Always support the neck of infants, babies, and small children. If you are upset because your child cannot stop crying, try to calm down before dealing with your child. (Read our helpful tips for calming a crying baby.) Also, make sure that all care providers, babysitters and family members understand that they should never, ever shake a baby - under any circumstances.
How can I select care providers who won't shake my baby? Choose child care providers and baby-sitters carefully. Allow time to observe how they play and interact with the children. How well do they handle stress? What is their plan if your child starts crying and will not stop? Do they understand the importance of never shaking a baby? Offer to give them a copy of this page or our helpful tips for calming a crying baby. Make absolutely sure they completely understand this important rule.
What is a screening? Screening provides a yearly opportunity for you to see where your child's progress fits in with standardized measures of child development. Screenings usually reassure parents that their children are meeting developmental milestones within usual age ranges. If delays are identified that may affect future learning, you can be referred to resources that will provide the help your child needs.
What other resources are available to help me and my family? Kalamazoo CAN offers free doorknob hangers on this topic that you can put on the nursery or bedroom door. We also offer two lending videos on the topic. To learn more, visit the Resources page on our website or call the Kalamazoo CAN office at (269) 552-4430.