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What is SBS?

What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) or Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) is the name given to the collection of signs and symptoms resulting from violently shaking an infant or a young child, with or without impact to the head. It is not caused by rough play or bouncing a baby on your knee.



The Canadian Joint Statement on Shaken Baby Syndrome states that the severity of the shaking force required to produce injury is such that it cannot occur in any normal activity such as play, the motions of daily living or a resuscitation attempt. The act of shaking that results in injury to the child is so violent that untrained observers would immediately recognize it as dangerous.

The most common signs and symptoms of shaken baby syndrome include:

Non-Specific Symptoms
irritability
tiredness
loss of appetite
poor feeding
vomiting
poor sucking and/or swallowing
lack of smiling and/or vocalizing
poor muscle tone
pinpointed, dilated or unequal pupil size

Severe Symptoms
bulging and/or spongy forehead
rigidity
seizures
loss of consciousness
difficulty breathing
death

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