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What is SBS?

What does NOT cause SBS?

by Staff   7.10.2007

Activities that DO NOT cause shaken baby syndrome include:
tossing an infant in the air (although not recommended, especially under the age of 6 months)
bouncing an infant on the knee
running with the infant in a carry-on on your back
short falls from beds, couches, and change tables
administering CPR

Even though these activities will not cause SBS, it is important to remember how fragile an infant is and so any type of rough play is discouraged

To cause enough brain damage for clinical detection, severe forces similar to a 2 - 3 story fall or a 45 km an hour unrestrained car accident are indicated. It is considered extremely unlikely that short falls from sofas, changing tables or falls associated with the caregiver falling while carrying the child will cause the same brain hemorrhaging injuries or death. (Helfer et al 1977; Lyons & Oates 1993; Joffe & Ludwig 1998). Chadwick and colleagues (1991) report that it is very suspicious when caregivers claim the children attained their injuries from a short fall and yet they are diagnosed with severe brain damage. It is well known that people do not readily admit that they have harmed a child.

When someone is charged with child abuse because of a victim's traumatic head injury, it is expected that the defendant's lawyer present a good defence. In this context a common defence is whether there is a link between infant vaccinations and brain injury. Lawyers will claim that even though an infant was healthy at birth, they became sick after being vaccinated at two to six weeks of age. However, decades of research dismiss this possible connection. It should be noted that this is also the same time period where infants begin to increase in crying, especially inconsolable crying, which is the most common trigger to shaking. It is common for reporters to write stories about individual cases which highlight one or two "expert witnesses" who make a living by denouncing shaken baby syndrome, instead of highlighting the hundreds of experts fully supported by the medical community, who testify about the medical evidence which points to shaken baby syndrome (abusive head trauma).


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