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Helpful Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe: Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) Pub. 5004

Adobe PDF Pub. 5004 (52k) in English and Spanish. Also available in Chinese, Russian, and Arabic.

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a preventable, acquired traumatic brain injury that is caused by the brain moving back and forth inside the skull and being bumped, bruised or twisted as a result of shaking, jerking and jolting. Babies are extremely vulnerable to injuries from shaking because their neck muscles are not strong enough to control the motion of their heads. Shaken Baby Syndrome can cause brain damage, blindness, paralysis, seizures, and fractures.

Shaken Baby Syndrome can result in the death of your child.

These tips have been developed to help prevent the occurrence of SBS.

  • Never, ever shake a baby.
  • Make sure everyone in contact with your baby is aware of the dangers of shaking infants, even in play. Anyone could shake a baby - a mother, father, sibling or child care provider.
  • Always support a baby's head. Make sure everyone who holds your baby knows how to properly support his or her head when holding, carrying or playing with your baby.
  • Holding your baby is important. However, when your baby is crying and you feel frustrated and unable to comfort your baby, consider that your baby may need a diaper change, be hungry, be too hot or cold or may actually be sick.
  • If nothing seems to work and you feel unable to cope with your baby's crying, place your baby in a safe place, like a crib or playpen, and take a break. You may also want to call a friend for support or contact your pediatrician for further guidance.

Pub. #5004 (01/05)

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