Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken baby syndrome, or abusive head trauma (AHT), is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States. However, AHT can also occur when someone handles your baby too roughly and ignores the fact that the child is not strong enough to control his or her head movements.
Babies and children under four are especially susceptible to shaken baby syndrome because their neck muscles are not strong enough to support their heads. Thus, when they are shaken or not moved gently, the brain slides around inside the skull cavity. This can tear blood vessels, nerves, and brain tissue, as well as bruise the brain itself, which may lead to internal bleeding.
Because the brain is such a delicate organ, especially at this age, unsafe handling of a child and AHT can cause long-lasting damage and even death. Aftereffects of shaken baby syndrome include:
- Partial or complete blindness
- Hearing loss
- Delayed development
- Mental retardation
- Learning and speech problems
- Difficulty with memory and attention
- Cerebral palsy
Abusive head trauma often occurs when a caregiver becomes annoyed with a baby’s crying or whining. This frustration may lead to the person shaking a baby, trying to get the child to cease crying. Unfortunately, the damage this may cause your child could be irreversible.
When you entrust your precious baby to a caregiver, you should be able to expect that person to treat your child with love and respect. However, a negligent or abusive caregiver can give your baby abusive head trauma, which can cause lifelong disabilities.
If you or someone you know has had your baby abused by a caregiver or other such person, you should speak to a lawyer about the best way to respond. For more information regarding birth injuries, as well as other forms of personal injury, contact the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® today at 800-242-2874.