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Shaken Baby Syndrome

Traumatic injury to the brain of an infant due to blows to the head, dropping, or shaking is referred to as SBS, or shaken baby syndrome. This is a kind of traumatic brain injury particular to infants.

Usually, this happens at the hands of a parent or caregiver, and is considered a type of child abuse, which can lead to permanent damage to the brain, and even death.

When a young child is shaking violently, receives a blow to the head, or is dropped, the results can be deleterious.

In particular, infants are susceptible to these acts of abuse, as the muscles in their necks are not developed completely.

This can cause their tiny hands to spin around rapidly when a blow, or shake, or force afflicts them in any way.

Brain injuries in a child can result in the following: seizures, spasticity, blindness, cerebral palsy, various physical and mental disabilities, and death.

The majority of cases dealing with shaken baby syndrome caused by frustration of the caregiver.

Crying infants are usually the victims of this kind of abuse, though they are innocent of doing what comes to them naturally.

Although infants with shaken baby syndrome won’t necessarily have external evidence of trauma, unless it impacted the head, there are several red flag symptoms which prove some kind of internal injury occurred.


A baby may suffer from shaken baby syndrome if: vomiting; seizures; lack of consciousness; trouble focusing or unequal pupil size; and difficulty in smiling, eating, sucking, breathing, or lifting head.

Treatment of Brain Injuries for Babies

According to the catastrophic nature of the damage depends on the treatment of the baby.

Medical physicians may examine difficulties in breathing and swelling of the brain. It may be necessary for the infant to have surgery to ease pressure on the brain.

The child may have extensive disabilities from the sustained abuse which are apparent, or the side effects may not be as pronounced, such as emotional problems or learning disabilities.

In a case of shaken baby syndrome, the best scenario possible is to identify it before the damage becomes permanent.


If a parent become suspicious of a care provider, such as a nanny or a daycare of this kind of abuse, it is necessary for immediate removal of the child, and to bring that child in for hospital observation.

This can be true also for caregivers who are suspicious of parents and guardians of abuse.

Professionals in the medical field also have a duty to report any suspected abuse to authorities if there are indications that an infant is a victim of shaken baby syndrome.

Providers of childcare which have inflicted this abuse can be subject to criminal and civil charges. Aimed at proving there was intent for harm, which are criminal charges, can be more complex.

Civil suits, however, only need to prove that proper care wasn’t provided, instead of proof of a motive to harm.


Civil lawsuits can make certain that professional abusers of children do not get an opportunity to harm another child, no matter of their intentions.

Contact us for a free consultation or call Anzalone Law Firm PLLC, at: 603.548.3797

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