Shaken Baby Syndrome

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Shaken Baby Syndrome Child Abuse and Neglect HD 300 Fall Semester 2011 Abstract This paper covers Shaken baby Syndrome. It is a form of inflicted head trauma. It can be caused by direct blows to the head, dropping or throwing a child, or shaking a child. Head trauma is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States. When someone forcefully shakes a baby, the child’s head rotates about the neck uncontrollably because the infants neck muscles aren’t well developed and provide little support for their heads. This paper examines the symptoms, prevalence, treatment, research and legal issues associated with Shaken Baby Syndrome. Shaken Baby Syndrome, trauma, abuse, hemorrhage When imagining a child under 2 years of age, most picture a smiling, curiously adorable baby, that brings joy to their parents. When that baby is crying and inconsolable most parents feel that frustration and helplessness to stop their crying. This is when a decision is made, a reactive decision to end the baby’s crying. This can result in the shaking of a baby. This frustration induced reaction has a grave effect on the child and will effect both the parent and baby for the rest of their lives. Shaken Baby Syndrome is the result of this action. It is a elusive and often misdiagnosed form of abuse. Shaken Baby Syndrome is the leading cause of death in abused children. A paper published in 1962 examined symptoms in infants unrelated to an accident but caused by abuse. The author, C. Henry Kempe looked at “outward physical indications of injury, such as poor skin hygiene, multiple soft-tissue injuries, malnutrition, fractures, and a history of previous episodes suggestive of parental neglect or trauma” (Isser & Schwartz, 2004, p. 291). In 1972 and 1974 a pediatric radiologist named John Caffey looked further at

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