Shaken Baby Syndrome: What Parents And Caregivers Must Do To Avoid An Accident

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald May 02, 04:00 am
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Shaken baby syndrome could happen accidentally if a parent or caregiver does not know how to handle a crying baby. PICTURED: Baby boy cries next to a stuffed panda toy at the German Red Cross Field Hospital.
(Photo : Andrew Wong/Getty Images)

Shaken baby syndrome, while usually associated with child abuse, could happen as an accident. When a baby won't stop crying no matter how much a parent or caregiver pacifies her, the adults' frustration can result in a long-lasting or deadly consequence that can never be reversed.

Jamie Thompson has an 8-year-old son who was a victim of child abuse. Colby suffered shaken baby syndrome under his babysitter.

Now, his mom is speaking up against its dangers to help raise awareness. Whether done on purpose or by accident, adults have to be aware of what happens when babies are mishandled when crying.

Colby's babysitter grew frustrated over his excessive crying. "She picked him up out of the exer-saucer that he was in and slammed him down on his bottom on the ground," Thompson related, as per NWCN. "His head snapped forward, and she said she heard an audible snap in his neck."

From a normal and happy baby, Colby is growing up with disability in the brain. Not wanting Colby's life to be without purpose and meaning, Thompson is telling his story so the public could be aware shaken baby syndrome happens at any time.

Thompson advised parents or caregivers who deal with crying babies to have a plan when triggered and frustrated. This way, they avoid pouring all those negative energies on the infant.

"I clench my teeth when I'm upset," Thomspon said. "So I know when I'm starting to do that, I need to find my out. What is my out?"

Christine Baker of the Protection Advocacy & Outreach Program at Seattle Children's said parents or caregivers should detach themselves from the situation. If they cannot calm the baby, they should set the child down in a safe place, such as a crib with no blankets and bumpers. Then, they should reassess the situation away from all the crying.

"It's easy to become upset and maybe shake the baby or move the baby forcefully in a way that could harm the baby and not all parents realize that can be harmful," pediatrician Dr. Tina Nichols said, as per My Twin Tiers. She also advised the same things as Baker. Parents should set the baby down, then leave the room and find someone else to watch the child so they can take a breather.

Parents and caregivers must also understand it's not always easy to detect shaken baby syndrome and this increases the risk for the child. Learn more about this in the video below.

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