Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines within all religions and at all levels of education. Child abuse being a preventable cause we as society , individuals , parents and caregivers needs to be emotionally intelligent to identify our emotions of stress, anger , frustration , depression, unhappiness at right time to handle them appropriately.Handling our emotions appropriately will prevent us from taking out our frustration and anger through inadvertent methods on to the tiny little, not so strong and innocent children.
Shaken baby syndrome is one such life threatening, preventable abusive head trauma.
What is shaken baby syndrome?
Shaken baby syndrome is a kind of child abuse where child is shaken by someone leading to serious brain injury.
It is also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome.
Age group affected : Under 5 years however infants are more commonly affected .
Young or single parenthood
Alcohol or substance abuse
A history of abuse as a child
When parents or caregivers out of frustration, anger or if the baby won’t stop crying tend to shake the toddler.
Babies in infancy have weak neck muscles and if baby is shaken forcefully, babies brain moves back and forth inside the skull leading to bruising , swelling and bleeding .
Normal play, such as bouncing a child on a knee or gently tossing a child in the air, does not cause shaken baby syndrome.
Symptoms and signs:
Child may appear normal but over a period of repeated shaking can develop some learning and behavioral changes .
A child may have
Bleeding inside one or both eyes.
May have other signs of child abuse like bruises, burns , fractures etc.
How to diagnose ?
A thorough medical history , followed by a detail physical exam to look for
signs of injury , an increased blood pressure.
X-rays to check for fractures.
An eye exam can reveal bleeding and other eye injuries.
Some blood tests to rule out some metabolic and genetic disorders,some
bleeding and clotting disorders that can lead to similar presentation.
What are long term effects?
Partial or total blindness
Developmental delays, learning problems or behavior issues
Coma and death.
Treatment will include life saving measures , may require breathing
support and methods to stop bleeding in brain and methods to reduce the
swelling in brain.
How to prevent It ?
We can prevent this problem by teaching parents healthy ways to relieve stress and anger.
To carefully choose child care provider.