Shaken Baby Syndrome
Alternate Names : Child Abuse
Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child
abuse that involves repeated shaking of a baby. The back and forth
movement causes the brain to slam against the skull, resulting in a head injury.
What are the causes and risks of the injury?
In nearly all cases, shaken baby syndrome is caused by shaking the baby
violently back and forth. A baby's head is much heavier than the rest of his or
her body. The neck muscles are very weak. As the child develops, the neck
muscles become stronger. Older children are better able to control the head so
damage to the brain does not occur as easily.
Shaken baby syndrome can occur in all races, cultures, and socioeconomic
groups. Males are more likely than females to be abusers. Males in their early
20's who are the baby's father or mother's significant other are often
identified as the perpetrator. Females who cause shaken baby syndrome are more
often child care providers, rather than the child's mother.