Sunday, September 21, 2008

SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME can be FATAL but definitely causes BRAIN DAMAGE

Shaking a baby is a serious form of CHILD ABUSE that occurs mostly in infants in the first year of life. The act of severely or violently shaking a baby -- often the result of a parent's or care giver's frustration or anger in response to a baby's or toddler's constant crying or irritability-- can cause serious PHYSICAL and MENTAL DAMAGE, and even DEATH!

As the young child is shaken, his fragile brain moves back and forth within the skull. Serious injuries associated with this so-called SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME may include:
  • blindness or eye injuries &/or
  • brain damage &/or
  • damage to the spinal cord &/or
  • delay in normal development
Symptoms and signs of the above are:
  • irritability
  • lethargy (difficulty staying awake)
  • tremors(shakiness)
  • vomiting
  • seizures
  • difficulty in breathing
  • coma
The American Academy of Pediatrics feels that a BABY MUST NEVER EVER BE SHAKEN.

If you suspect that a caregiver, such as a babysitter or childcare maid has has shaken your baby -- or if you or your spouse have done so in a moment of frustration -- take your baby to the pediatrician or an emergency room immediately.

DON'T let embarrassment or fear keep you from getting treatment for your baby. Any brain damage that might have occurred will only get worse without treatment. No parents ever want to make such a mistake. As parents, since we first give life to a child, let us not in a misguided angry moment disable him for life.

If you feel as if you might lose control and might hurt your baby (believe me this happens more that we are willing to acknowledge, I consider myself a very patient parent, don't get angry easily, and love my kid more than anything in the world, yet there have been few days when I have felt like throwing him out of the window...!!) When you feel like this:
  • Take a deep breath count to 10
  • Put your baby down in a safe place, close the door, leave the room, let her cry alone for sometime. Remind yourself that your child is much more helpless than you are and totally dependent on you. Remind yourself how much she means to you. Let that moment of anger pass. Parenting is no easy job, but if there is a god then you are the god for your kid.
  • Call a friend/relative for emotional support
  • Give your pediatrician a call. Perhaps there's a medical reason why your baby is crying.
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