Rebecca Nixie, a registered nurse who is a parent educator and teaches infant CPR and newborn infant care at The William W. Backus Hospital, said incidents of Shaken Baby Syndrome occur “more frequently then we think it does.”
She recalled one month in which three different infants were brought in for treatment. She said education for new parents is offered to all families in the hospital’s birthing center.
“We go over what Shaken Baby Syndrome is, the signs and symptoms and how they can prepare if they have a baby that is very fussy,” Nixie said.
Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs when a baby is violently shaken by the shoulders, arms or legs. It can result from shaking alone or from impact. The resulting whiplash effect can cause bleeding within the brain or the eyes, because the baby has undeveloped neck muscles.
“It’s not just bouncing the baby on the knee gently,” Nixie said. “This is forceful shaking. It’s the movement of the baby’s head back and forth that can cause damage.”
Nixie said a parent or caregiver may shake a baby out of anger or frustration, often because the baby won’t stop crying.
“I think they do it not knowing they’re hurting the baby
,” seriously Nurse Nixie??
she said. “Babies are going to cry. That’s the only method of communication they have.”