Tag Archives: ChildAbuseAwareness

Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Never shake a Baby for any reason, nor raise your voice to one.

SBS/AHT is the leading cause of physical
Child Abuse in the U. S.


Shaken baby syndrome — also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome — is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler.

Shaken baby syndrome destroys a child’s brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen.  Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse that can result in permanent brain damage or death.

Shaken baby syndrome is preventable.  Help is available for parents who are at risk of harming a child.  Parents also can educate other caregivers about the dangers of shaken baby syndrome.


Shaken baby syndrome symptoms and signs include:

  • Extreme fussiness or irritability
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Breathing problems
  • Poor eating
  • Vomiting
  • Pale or bluish skin
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Coma

You may not see any signs of physical injury to the child’s outer body.  Sometimes, the face is bruised.  Injuries that might not be immediately seen include bleeding in the brain and eyes, spinal cord damage, and fractures of the ribs, skull, legs and other bones.  Many children with shaken baby syndrome show signs and symptoms of prior child abuse.

In mild cases of shaken baby syndrome, a child may appear normal after being shaken, but over time he or she may develop health or behavioral problems.


Seek immediate help if you suspect your child has been injured by violent shaking. Contact your child’s doctor or take your child to the nearest emergency room. Getting medical care right away may save your child’s life or prevent serious health problems.

Health care professionals are legally required to report all suspected cases of child abuse to state authorities.


Babies have weak neck muscles and often struggle to support their heavy heads.  If a baby is forcefully shaken, his or her fragile brain moves back and forth inside the skull.  This causes bruising, swelling and bleeding.

Shaken baby syndrome usually occurs when a parent or caregiver severely shakes a baby or toddler due to frustration or anger — often because the child won’t stop crying.

Shaken baby syndrome isn’t usually caused by bouncing a child on your knee, minor falls or even rough play.


The following things may make parents or caregivers more likely to forcefully shake a baby and cause shaken baby syndrome:

  • Unrealistic expectations of babies
  • Young or single parenthood
  • Stress
  • Domestic violence
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Unstable family situations
  • A history of mistreatment as a child

Also, men are more likely to cause shaken baby syndrome than are women.


Even brief shaking of an infant can cause irreversible brain damage.  Many children affected by shaken baby syndrome die.

Survivors of shaken baby syndrome may require lifelong medical care for conditions such as:

  • Partial or total blindness
  • Developmental delays, learning problems or behavior issues
  • Intellectual disability
  • Seizure disorders
  • Cerebral palsy


New parent education classes can help parents better understand the dangers of violent shaking and may provide tips to soothe a crying baby and manage stress.

When your crying baby can’t be calmed, you may be tempted to try anything to get the tears to stop — but it’s important to always treat your child gently.  Nothing justifies shaking a child.

If you’re having trouble managing your emotions or the stress of parenthood, seek help.  Your child’s doctor may offer a referral to a counselor or other mental health provider.

If other people help take care of your child — whether a hired caregiver, sibling or grandparent — make sure they know the dangers of shaken baby syndrome.

Source:  Mayo Clinic Staff

Children Paint To Raise Awareness Of The Pain Of Child Abuse

GROTON, CONNECTICUT  –  Nearly 50 children from Naval Submarine Base New London’s (SUBASE) Youth Center participated in the Child Abuse Awareness Month (CAAM) campaign, held at the base’s commissary, April 16.

The event, sponsored jointly by the base’s Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) Counseling and Advocacy Program and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Department, allowed children a unique opportunity to draw pictures on the commissary windows to show their support for non-violence in the home.

“It was an amazing show of support everyone gave on Thursday to make this year’s CAAM Commissary event such a huge success,” said Dennis Goguen, FFSC counseling and advocacy program supervisor. “To see the kids from the base’s Youth Center come out and display their creativity in window drawings and have so much fun raising awareness for child abuse prevention month was very special – and it’s very rewarding to have the kind of support we received from base leadership, MWR, and the Commissary to all come together and show how committed we are here at SUBASE towards such an important cause.”

Following the children showcasing their artistic abilities, they were encouraged to sign the proclamation promoting CAAM, alongside Capt. Carl Lahti, SUBASE Commanding Officer.

“Unfortunately, child abuse does exist in some places in the United States, and that’s a sad thing, but what we want you to know is that SUBASE does not support child abuse – we take action against it,” proclaimed Lahti. “We have counselors readily available to help adults and children. If you think there is a problem, you can talk to your parents or your trusted adult and get help.”

The Department of the Navy Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign is committed to increasing awareness. This year’s theme, “Know the Difference – Discipline is Not Abuse,” emphasizes that awareness.

According to the American Humane Association, “Discipline is how children learn right from wrong, acceptable from unacceptable. All discipline must be age-appropriate. Disciplinarians are responsible for motivating children to improve their behavior and teaching them how to make better choices. The ultimate goal for discipline must be to guide children on how to interact with others and help them so that they mature into emotionally healthy, dependable, empathic, and responsible adults.”

The best way to combat child abuse is to raise awareness, stated Goguen.

After all the hard work the children did to raise awareness for child abuse, they were treated to a cake in honor of CAAM and provided access to resources addressing child abuse.

Navy Team New London Sailors, families and civilians can take a pledge to end child abuse by clicking the following link: http://www.takethecapmpledge.org and completing a pledge form.

“I would like to thank our Fleet and Family and our Child and Youth programs for helping out and to thank you children for helping decorate the Commissary, we always appreciate that,” concluded Lahti. “Thanks for the tremendous support we get throughout the year, highlighting the services we have to prevent child abuse and taking pro-active action to ensure that doesn’t happen.”