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.
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.