Shaken baby syndrome can occur from as little as 5 seconds of shaking.
Shaken baby injuries usually occur in children younger than 2 years old but may be seen in children up to the age of 5.
When an infant or toddler is shaken, the brain bounces back and forth against the skull. This can cause bruising of the brain (cerebral contusion), swelling, pressure, and bleeding in the brain. The large veins along the outside of the brain may tear, leading to further bleeding, swelling, and increased pressure. This can easily cause permanent brain damage or death.
Shaking an infant or small child may cause other injuries, such as damage to the neck, spine, and eyes.
The symptoms can vary from mild to severe. They may include:
Extreme irritability or other changes in behavior
Lethargy, sleepiness, not smiling
at 7:46 PM on Sep. 10, 2009