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Shaken Baby Syndrome - Home Treatment

What to do if you suspect shaken baby syndrome

  • Call911or other emergency services immediately if a child is unconscious, is having difficulty breathing, or is in immediate danger of further abuse. The 911 operator will guide you through resuscitation procedures if they are needed.
  • If you suspect child abuse and the child is not in immediate danger, contact your local child protective services or police. Do not confront the suspected abuser. This may cause more harm to the child. Another resource is Childhelp, a nonprofit agency that can provide telephone numbers and information about how to report suspected or observed child abuse or neglect. The national Child Abuse Hotline number is 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). The U.S. Administration of Children and Families, under the Department of Health and Human Services, has established a Child Welfare Information Gateway. The Gateway helps states provide child welfare services that are designed to protect children and strengthen families. For more information, see the Other Places to Get Help section of this topic.

Keep in mind that the types of falls that occur during normal play, from an infant swing, from a low surface such as an adult bed or couch, or even down stairs, will not cause shaken baby syndrome. It is the violent shaking, throwing, or slamming of a child that results in this type of injury. Although caregivers often first state that these types of scenarios have caused a child's injuries, most later confess to having shaken or slammed a baby against an object.

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