NEVER Shake a Baby
What to do if you suspect your child has been shaken:
Physical consequences of shaking an infant - What happens:
• Breathing may stop or be compromised
• Extreme irritability
• Limp arms and legs or rigidity/posturing
• Decreased level of consciousness
• Vomiting; poor feeding
• Inability to suck or swallow
• Heart may stop
• Learning disabilities
• Physical disabilities
• Visual disabilities or blindness
• Hearing impairment
• Behavior disorders
• Cognitive impairment
Ways to Cope:
Caring for a child is a tough job. An adult’s frustration from nonstop crying is the number one reason a baby is shaken. Remember, crying is a way to communicate discomforts like:
If these basic needs have been met, try the following calming techniques with your baby:
- Gentle rocking or walking
- Use a swing
- Offer a pacifier
- Soft music, singing, reading or talking
- Soothingly rub the tummy or back
- Go for a drive
If nothing seems to be working, remain calm. Crying does not hurt the baby. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but it’s not okay to take that frustration out on a baby. Just a few seconds of violent shaking can change the child’s life and yours forever.
√ Place the baby in a safe place, like a crib, and leave the room.
√ Only return to the room when you feel calm.
√ Relax, breathe deeply, count to 10, then 20.
√ Ask a friend or relative to ‘take over’ for a while.
√ Ask for support from someone who understands the frustration of caring for a crying baby.
To report child abuse/neglect call the 24 hour hotline - 1-800-342-3720.
For someone to talk to, call - The Child Abuse Prevention Center or Dutchess County Child Protection Services at 845-486-3080.