PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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. 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.
- Abusive head trauma: Shaken baby syndrome. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/Abusive-Head-Trauma-Shaken-Baby-Syndrome.aspx. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
- Never shake your baby! March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/prematurity/28127.asp. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
- NINDS shaken baby syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/shakenbaby/shakenbaby.htm. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
- Christian C, et al. Epidemiology, mechanisms, and types of abusive head injury in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 1, 2011.
- Christian C, et al. Evaluation and diagnosis of abusive head injury in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 1, 2011.
- Barnes PD. The imaging of nonaccidental injury and the mimics: Issues and controversies in the era of evidence-based medicine. Radiologic Clinics of North America. 2011;49:205.