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how long does it take

for the first symptoms of shaken baby syndrome to show up? and what are the first noticeable symptoms?

Answer Question

Asked by Jessaroo1987 at 7:33 PM on Sep. 10, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 9 (313 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Symptoms

    Symptoms of shaken baby syndrome may appear right away or within several days. The child's age, the number of abusive episodes, and degree of force used are the main factors that affect when symptoms appear and how severe they are. Trust your instincts if something doesn't seem right with your child.
    Mild or vague symptoms

    Vague symptoms may include irritability, sluggishness, vomiting, and a poor appetite. At first, caregivers and doctors may assume that these symptoms are related to a common illness such as the flu. If these symptoms are more severe, meningitis may be suspected.

    Answer by abellvalerie at 7:46 PM on Sep. 10, 2009

  • Considerations
    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:

    Convulsions (seizures)
    Decreased alertness
    Extreme irritability or other changes in behavior
    Lethargy, sleepiness, not smiling

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:46 PM on Sep. 10, 2009

  • Severe symptoms

    In the most severe cases, a child loses consciousness or stops breathing right after being shaken or thrown. The caregiver may attempt to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and later claim that the CPR caused the child's injuries. The caregiver responsible for the abuse may put the child to bed, hoping the condition will improve after the child rests. By the time the caregiver seeks medical attention, the child may be comatose and unable to suck, swallow, smile, make sounds, or follow the movement of an object with his or her eyes. The child may also have great difficulty breathing or may completely stop breathing, have a slow heart rate, and require CPR. These children usually either die or have long-lasting problems from severe brain injury. 1

    Answer by abellvalerie at 7:46 PM on Sep. 10, 2009

  • Other symptoms

    Bleeding inside one or both eyes is a common symptom of shaken baby syndrome that can be detected by a pediatric eye specialist (ophthalmologist). Also, a child may have broken bones, often in the ribs or arms and legs, from violent shaking. Sometimes a child will have signs of other types of physical abuse, such as bruises or burns.

    Answer by abellvalerie at 7:46 PM on Sep. 10, 2009

  • Am I the only one concerned reading this question?

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:48 PM on Sep. 10, 2009

  • NO I was too

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:32 PM on Sep. 10, 2009

  • The only reason I asked was because I was driving over to my moms and i almost missed her driveway and when i came in i whipped in kind of fast running over the edge of the driveway, and my 7 year old said that my at the time 1 month olds head shook back and forth for a few seconds and it scared me. But that was 2 months ago and she is perfectly fine.

    Answer by Jessaroo1987 at 4:31 PM on Oct. 23, 2009

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