Shaken Baby Syndrome


It’s common to see Kenyans shake a baby in an attempt to soothe or to make baby laugh. However, many don’t know that shaking the baby is dangerous since it leads to the shaken baby syndrome. The condition’s not only fatal but also a form of child abuse. So, how does the shaken baby syndrome happen, and what can you do to prevent it?

  • Kindly understand that your baby has weak neck muscles and a soft brain. By now, you have noticed that the young one’s neck cannot support the head, and you have to do it with your hand.
  • Therefore, when you shake the child, you cause the brain to move and hit the skull repeatedly.
  • Then the soft and delicate blood vessels cannot withstand the shaking. The tender brain also suffers trauma ad begins to bleed and swell. That’s why shaken baby syndrome is classified under severe brain injuries.
  • As the brain is bleeding, your baby could go blind, damage his spine, break his bones, or die.
  • Hence, no matter how irritated you are with your child, you should never ever shake a baby from zero to five years.
  • A small tickle on the feet, a lullaby, some slow dancing, and running around are enough to soothe and bond with a child.
  • Make sure that everyone who holds the little one understands that fact. That includes baby sitters, family members, and siblings.

Symptoms of the shaken baby syndrome

  • The baby struggles to breathe.
  • It’s hard for the child to stay awake.
  • Unexplained body tremors
  • Seizures
  • Poor appetite and vomiting
  • Coma
  • Paralysis

Shaken baby syndrome diagnosis

If the doctor suspects that your child is suffering from this condition, he will conduct the following tests:

  • MRI scan to see the brain in detail.
  • CT scan to get cross-sectional images of your child’s brain
  • Skeletal X-ray to know whether the skull and spine have sustained any injuries.
  • Blood tests to rule out any other disease.
  • The medic will also look out for bleeding in the eye, the brain, or any swelling in the brain.

How to prevent the shaken baby syndrome

  1. When holding the baby, place one hand beneath the head to support it. Your other hand should be under the buttocks.
  2. Choose the best car seat in the market.
  3. All babies cry a lot, especially during the first year. Hence, although it’s easy to be angry, be patient with your little one. Look for creative ways to console the child. For instance, singing lullabies, toys, and going out for walks.
  4. Resist the temptation to entrust your child to everyone you know.
  5. Somebody should supervise the siblings below the age of ten as they bond with the baby.
  6. No matter how furious you are with your child, don’t shake them.


The shaken baby syndrome can be prevented if all caregivers know the right way to handle a baby. If you feel like something has gone amiss with the child, go to the hospital immediately, and be honest with the doctor.