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Shaken Baby Syndrome (Abusive Head Trauma)

Shake a hand, shake a rug but never shake a baby. Shaking a baby can cause blindness, permanent brain damage, even death. Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is the leading cause of death in abusive head trauma (AHT) cases. An estimated 1,200 to 1,400 children are injured or killed by shaking every year in the U.S. Over 300 babies a year die from being shaken in the U.S.

Research shows crying as the number one trigger leading caregivers to violently shake and injure babies.

What you can do to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome:

• Never shake a child, especially under the age of six for any reason!

• Always provide support for the baby’s head when holding, playing with or transporting him or her.

• Learn what to do if a baby will not stop crying. Remember that all babies cry, some a lot, during the first few months of life.

• Make sure that everyone who cares for the child (including baby-sitters, childcare providers, and relatives) knows the dangers of shaking babies.

• Play gently with babies.

If you suspect a child has been shaken, seek medical attention immediately. This could be the difference between life and death.

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