California Shaken Baby Syndrome
One of the most tragic and preventable forms of infant traumatic brain injury is called Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). The name of this condition is an exact description as the cause is the violent shaking of an infant or toddler, resulting in ruptured blood vessels in the brain. Vital brain cells are damaged and brain tissues (axonal tears) become compressed and swollen, leading to terrible injury or death.
Some Sad Facts About Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)
This form of child abuse (infant abuse) usually occurs as an intentional act - a choice made by someone much older to shake or hit a child out of irresponsible frustration. For example, when a home or daycare/childcare caretaker becomes frustrated with a baby or small child constantly crying or misbehaving. It is often spontaneous, and, while the damage inflicted is rarely intentional, it is usually permanent due to the fragility of a baby’s neck, skull and brain as those areas are usually still forming and not quite reinforced with load depending ligaments, and muscles.
Here are some facts about SBS:
- SBS is the most common cause of death in cases of child abuse;
- The most frequent victims are babies under the age of one year;
- Statistics reveal that children as old as four or five years can also fall victim to SBS;
- Doctors can use medical evidence to determine whether SBS caused injury or death;
Consequences of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)
When children or infants survive violent shaking, they are very likely to suffer multiple deficits for the rest of their lives. Common sense should tell the person that engage in this type of behavior that medical consequences can be severe; unfortunately, common sense is not too common when these people become frustrated with the infants they are overseeing. This is another reason to make sure you know who is watching your infant or toddler at all times. Now, the consequences of SBS can be severe, and these include the following:
- Retinal hemorrhaging;
- Fractured ribs and other bones from being held tightly;
- Patterns of brain injury such as blunt impact damage within the skull with or without signs of outside impact;
- Whiplash or other neck trauma;
- Physical disabilities;
- Learning disabilities;
- Damage or loss of hearing and/or vision;
- Speech impediment;
- Cerebral palsy;
- Behavior problems;
- Other cognitive impairments associated with any form of traumatic brain injury.
California Parents: What to Do If Your Infant Child is the Victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)?
Apart from the trauma of having an originally healthy child/infant suffer medical deficits and other conditions for the rest of his or her life, the associated costs of raising your child/infant will likely rise due to the need to provide continuous medical care, therapies, special learning assistance, supportive devices and other necessary accommodations. If you have reason to believe or suspect a infant or child caretaker inflicted this type of abuse on your child, seek medical attention immediately, and remove the caretaker from your child's environment. Once you have received the necessary medical help, you need to know that you have legal recourse, both in the criminal and civil courts.
You should contact the local city police (or any local law enforcement agency) and then follow up by contacting a California Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) personal injury attorney. Although these actions cannot heal your infant child, they can make it possible for you to get the justice your family deserves and to afford the care needed to continue raising your injured child to the best of your ability. Remember, part of your claim will be for future medical care and to enforce that part of the claim an injury lawyer will be required.
For more information regarding your child's legal rights in regards to being the victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), you can call me directly at (619) 813-7955 - or grab one of my FREE legal books on child abuse and injuries so you can make an informed decision on your legal options.