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Shaken Baby Syndrome Laws

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What Is Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Shaken Baby Syndrome describes the resulting symptoms arising from the violent shaking of an infant or small child. Symptoms can be minor:

  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

Symptoms can also be quite major:

  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

These symptoms arise from intracranial injuries, so unfortunately, in many cases there is no external evidence of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Are the Injuries from Shaken Baby Syndrome Serious?

Yes. In fact, the injuries from Shaken Baby Syndrome can be fatal. The victims that survive their injuries often suffer from debilitating conditions ranging:

  • Learning disorders
  • Permanent vegetative state
  • Blindness
  • Mental and developmental retardation

Can Falls Cause Similar Injuries to a Child as Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Unless the child fell from a distance several stories high, then probably not. Alleged child abusers often claim that the injuries were sustained when the infant fell a short distance from a sofa, bed or changing table. However, studies show that short falls do not generally cause the type of intracranial injuries associated with Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you believe that your child is suffering from Shaken Baby Syndrome, seek immediate medical attention and then call the police. If there is sufficient evidence, the police will then forward your case to the District Attorney's office to prosecute the person who committed the child abuse against the child. You should also strongly consider consulting a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help you hold the person who injured your child accountable.

Photo of page author Matthew Izzi

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 04-15-2014 04:18 PM PDT

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