• Hold the baby against your chest and gently
massage his/her back.
• Rock, walk, or dance with the baby.
• Be patient; take a deep breath and count to ten.
• Call a friend or relative that you can trust to take
over for a while, then get away, get some rest, take care
• Check to see if your baby is hungry, is too hot
or too cold, or needs a diaper change.
• Check to see if your baby is sick or has a fever.
• Feed your baby slowly and burp often.
• Rock your baby.
• Give your baby a pacifier or let your baby
• Play soft music, sing or hum to your baby.
• Take your baby for a ride in a car or stroller.
►Baby is very stiff or like a rag doll
►Not eating or poor appetite
►Blood spots in eyes
Most people who shake a baby in their care are not trying to hurt the child. They may become frustrated by nonstop crying, difficulty feeding a baby, or problems toilet training.
Shaken baby syndrome — also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome — is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler. Shaken baby syndrome destroys a child's brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen. Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse that can result in permanent brain damage or death.
Outside stresses like money, work, or personal relationships can add to this frustration. Adults may get so upset that they lose control and shake the baby.
• Will this person become angry if my baby cries or
bothers him or her?
• If this person is angry with me for leaving, will he
or she treat my baby roughly?
• Does this person have a history of violence that
makes him or her a danger to my baby?
• Has this person had children removed from his or
her custody because he or she was unable to
care for them?
• Does this person want to watch my baby?
• Will I have an opportunity to watch this person with
my baby before I leave?
• Is this person good with babies?
• Has this person done a good job caring for other
babies that I know?
• Will my baby be cared for in a place that is safe?
• Have I told this person that a baby should
never be shaken?
Tell anyone who cares for your baby to call you any time they become frustrated or have concerns.
Consider the following questions when choosing someone to watch your baby:
► Learn what to do when your baby cries
► Never, ever shake a child.
► Make sure that everyone who cares for your
child knows not to shake him or her.
Remember – If you ever feel like shaking, slamming, hitting, throwing, or yelling at your baby, stop what you’re doing! Take a few deep breaths, gently place your baby in the crib, then STEP AWAY, RIGHT AWAY and calm down! Take a break and relax . Know that even a lot of crying is normal and that you and your baby will get through this tough time..
► Sit or lie down, close your eyes , and relax . Slowly count to ten. Do some deep breathing. Listen to music. Take a shower or soothing bath. Imagine doing something you really like to do. Call a friend or relative and talk about what’s going on. See If someone can come by for a while. Check the baby every 15 minutes or so, but only if you are calm.
► Call 1.800.858.5222, the free, 24-hour National Hotline. Trained and caring staff are waiting to give you support and good advice. They know that taking care of a baby can be difficult, and that all parent s and caregivers need support from time to time.
► Never pick up your baby if you're feeling frustrated or angry FOR ANY REASON, (e.g. you’ve had an argument, your job is stressful, you’re upset over money problems). STEP AWAY, RIGHT AWAY, so you won’ t lose control
If you think your child has been shaken, call 911 or take your baby to the nearest emergency room IMMEDIATELY!! Getting medical attention right away could save your child's life!!
Be sure to tell the medical staff that you suspect your child was shaken. A doctor who is not aware that the child was shaken may treat the child's symptoms as an illness, not an injury. Injuries from SBS will only get worse without proper treatment and could lead to death.
It is important to understand that CRYING IS NORMAL! Crying is how babies communicate. They may be too hot or cold, want attention, be tired or hungry, or need a diaper change. If your baby is crying, CHECK ALL OF THESE THINGS FIRST.
The answers to these questions should be YES:
The answers to these questions should be NO:
► The brain rotates within the skull cavity,
injuring or destroying brain tissue.
► When shaking occurs, blood vessels feeding
the brain can be torn, leading to bleeding
around the brain.
►Blood pools within the skull, sometimes creating
more pressure within the skull and possibly
causing additional brain damage.
►Retinal (back of the eye) bleeding is very
National Center of Shaken Baby Syndrome
Medical Art Library.
IF YOU BECOME FRUSTRATED, IT'S OK TO WALK AWAY.
LAY YOUR BABY ON HIS OR HER BACK IN A SAFE PLACE OR IN HIS/HER CRIB.
LEAVE THE ROOM, SIT DOWN AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH. CALM YOURSELF.
THEN GO BACK AND CHECK ON THE BABY.
Sometimes babies will cry, no matter what you do. It doesn't’ t mean that you’re a bad parent, or not good at soothing your infant. It jus t means that sometimes, some babies just need to cry and that ’s normal . If the crying is getting to you and you’re beginning to feel upset by it
► Gently place your infant in the crib on his or her back. Go to another room, away f rom the crying. You know that it ’s okay to STEP AWAY, RIGHT AWAY and calm down. Remember, no infant has ever died from crying but babies do die from shaking and slamming injuries caused by angry parents and caregivers who didn't know it was okay to step away.