When your crying baby can't be calmed, you may be tempted to try anything to get the tears to stop — but it's important to always treat your child gently. Nothing justifies shaking a child.
It only takes a few seconds of shaking to cause irreversible brain damage in an infant.
If you're having trouble managing your emotions or the stress of parenthood, seek help. Your child's doctor may offer a referral to a counselor or other mental health provider.
If other people help take care of your child — whether a hired caregiver, sibling or grandparent — make sure they know the dangers of shaken baby syndrome.
Oct. 18, 2014
- Allen KA. The neonatal nurse's role in preventing abusive head trauma. Advances in Neonatal Care. 2014;14:336.
- Reese LS, et al. Evaluation of period of PURPLE crying, an abusive head trauma prevention program. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing. In press. In press. Accessed Sept. 11, 2014.
- NINDS shaken baby syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/shakenbaby/shakenbaby.htm. Accessed Sept. 11, 2014.
- Shaken baby syndrome. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Shaken%20Baby%20Syndrome.aspx. Accessed Sept. 11, 2014.
- Never shake your baby. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.org/baby/never-shake-your-baby.aspx. Accessed Sept. 11, 2014.
- Christian C, et al. Child abuse: Epidemiology, mechanisms, and types of abusive head trauma in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 11, 2014.