Shaken Baby Syndrome
Babies and children under four can suffer from lifelong disabilities if shaken just a little too roughly. Shaken baby syndrome, or abusive head trauma (AHT), is the leading cause of abusive death for children in the United States. Additionally, AHT can contribute to lifelong disabilities in your baby.
Babies and young children are susceptible to shaken baby syndrome because they are not yet strong enough to have control over their heads. Their neck muscles are not developed enough to support their heads from rolling around when they are shaken.
When a baby is shaken, thrown, or dropped against a hard surface, the brain can bounce around in the skull cavity. Internally, this can cause torn tissue, ruptured blood vessels, and damaged nerves, as well as brain bruises and even internal bleeding.
Because the brain is such a delicate organ, abusive head trauma can cause permanent injuries to your child and may even lead to death. Shaken baby syndrome can contribute to the following:
- Hearing/vision damage or loss
- Delays in development
- Speech and/or learning disabilities
- Mental retardation
- Problems with memory and attention
- Cerebral palsy
AHT is often caused when a parent or caregiver becomes annoyed with a baby’s crying or whining and shakes the child to try to get it to be quiet. However, there are other, safer ways that caregivers should respond to a baby’s cries. Things like shushing, rocking, and giving a pacifier to a child can help prevent crying without damage.
Many parents entrust their children to caregivers so that they can run errands or complete other such tasks. However, some caregivers can fail in their responsibility to treat a child with gentleness and respect, which can lead to abusive head trauma.
If you or someone you know has used a negligent caregiver that resulted in injury to your baby, you should speak to a lawyer about what steps you should take. For more information regarding birth injuries or other forms of personal injury law, contact the Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at the Abel Law Firm today by calling (405) 239-7046.