To contact HKPR, call 1-866-888-4577     CONTACT US

Shaken Baby Syndrome

It can be overwhelming when you have tried everything to comfort your crying baby and he still keeps crying. No one thinks they would ever shake a baby out of frustration but research shows crying is the number one trigger for a parent, grandparent or a babysitter to get so angry they shake a baby. Shaking a baby causes permanent brain injury or death.

What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Shaken baby syndrome is a non-accidental head injury to the baby's brain caused by shaking a baby. Many babies die and those who survive have lifelong disabilities such as paralysis, physical and learning disabilities, developmental delays and seizure disorders due to brain damage.

Any baby who is shaken needs immediate medical attention!

What can you do to prevent shaken baby syndrome?

Learn about normal crying patterns. Most babies cry for two to three hours a day. Some cry more than that. Crying peaks at two months of age then decreases after that. Crying occurs more in the evening. Crying is unpredictable, can last for 30 to 40 minutes or longer and the crying continues despite efforts to soothe the baby.

What can you do if the baby won't stop crying?

Try to determine why your baby is crying. Does the baby need a diaper change, to be fed, or to be cuddled? Check for signs of illness such as a fever. Try to comfort the baby by rocking the baby, giving the baby a bath, swaddling the baby or taking the baby outside in the stroller or for a car ride.

If these efforts fail, remain calm. If you feel yourself becoming angry, frustrated and losing control put the baby in a safe place such as the crib. Take a break from the sound. Check on the baby every 10 minutes. Listen to some music, call a friend, remind and yourself the crying will end. If the problem is on going have a plan so that you have time to yourself to take care of yourself. Ask someone to watch the baby so that you can take a break.

Never shake a baby no matter how frustrated you get!

Additional Resources:

Public Health Agency of Canada

Caring for Kids - Never Shake a Baby

Period of Purple Crying