Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is also called Abusive head trauma (AHT). This means an injury to a child's brain as a result of child abuse. It is never okay to shake or throw a young child. It may not leave any obvious sign of injury, but it can cause serious long-term problems or even death. This often occurs when a baby won't stop crying and a caregiver loses control of his or her emotions. Parents can help prevent this problem by learning healthy ways to relieve stress and anger. It destroys a child's brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen.
Anatomic features make infants especially prone to neurologic injury from excessive shaking or trauma. Infants have a large head compared with their body size, and the cervical paraspinal muscles are weak. The infant brain has a higher water content than that of the adult brain, and it is incompletely myelinated. The subarachnoid spaces are also larger in infants than in adults.
Nine cases were identified. While all children had an abnormal neurologic examination on admission, eight had a normal CT, and one had "widening of cranial sutures." In four cases, subdural hemorrhage was diagnosed on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 3 to 7 days after admission. Five children had bone fractures. The neurological outcome was normal in four of nine cases. Five children had long-term neurologic damage. The diagnosis of SBS was supported by either perpetrator confession, characteristic evolution of brain abnormalities on CT or MRI.