Shaken Baby Syndrome Is Real

Although the scientific and medical communities are in agreement: Shaken Baby Syndrome is real and that young children die from it every year, there still exists some who claim that it doesn’t, and those people are not basing this opinion on fact, but rather, some kind of pseudo-medical science.

According to, “Shaken baby syndrome was first described in the 1960s to describe the combination of several injuries: subdural hematoma (bleeding around the brain), retinal hemorrhages (bleeding at the back of the eye), and brain swelling. Rib fractures are also common because the person doing the shaking typically squeezes the child’s chest hard enough to crack ribs. How do these injuries happen with shaking? The fundamental cause is that a small baby has a relatively large head compared to the rest of his body and is unable to hold his head firmly in place because the muscles aren’t strong enough yet to do that. So shaking snaps the head back and forth, generating very large forces inside the skull as the brain bangs back and forth. This can lead to rupture of some of the small veins that surround the brain, as well as tiny vessels in the back of the eye. The brain then often swells afterward, as any tissue does when injured. If death or severe injury follows, it is generally because of the brain swelling. If ribs are broken from squeezing the chest, the fractures happen at the back of the bones where the ribs come off the spinal column. It is often illustrated in this way.”

There a few reasons that exist which explain why some individuals make the claim that Shaken Baby Syndrome isn’t real, but their primary argument revolves around a lack of understanding of medical science. According to a 2001 book The Shaken Baby Syndrome: A Multidisciplinary Approach, “’It is this absence of external signs of abuse which makes the early diagnosis of SBS so difficult.’ Shaken baby syndrome excites such controversy partly because it invokes the specter of horrible cruelty to an innocent, often in the immediate wake of the child’s death. Yet in the classic SBS case, signs of child abuse that one might expect– suspicious bruises, burns, cuts, or other injuries– are missing.” As it can be gathered from this quote, there is no factual evidence to prove what is being put forward here. In fact, victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome have the appearance of someone who has been violently stricken and beaten up.

As is the case with most things in life, remain calm and don’t let your anger get the best of you when you’re dealing with a young child! Anger and frustration are the lead causes for someone to lash-out and hurt their own baby or the baby they’re watching. Also, don’t let children handle babies by themselves, because children (under the age of 12) don’t fully know how much stronger they are than a baby, and they might shake a baby and not fully understand the ramifications of their actions.

Regardless, you as an adult are responsible for your actions, and you are never to shake a baby! It doesn’t matter what that baby has done to you… if you do something to hurt a baby, you’ll pay the price: you’ll go to jail, you’ll lose your family, and you might even kill someone. So think twice about shaking. And if you hear that Shaken Baby Syndrome isn’t real, remember that those people are liars, probably among the same order as people who used to claim that smoking was healthy for you, or that blood-letting was going to heal George Washington of his aliments.

Scott Juceam is an advocate against Shaken Baby Syndrome. He became one after his baby daughter was shaken to death by her own nanny.

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