Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome: Evaluation of a Multiple-Setting Program

Chelsy Foulk, SN

Most serious head injuries, specifically in infants under the age of 1, are attributed to child abuse (Harvard Medical School, 2013). This is undeniably a significant problem needing prevention. Shaken baby syndrome is a subset of abusive head trauma that holds significant consequences to the child long after the event itself. Shaken baby syndrome is defined as a severe form of child abuse caused by violently shaking an infant. It can occur in as little as 5 seconds of shaking. Damage that occurs includes bruising of the brain, swelling, pressure, and bleeding. Other injuries include damage to the neck, spine, and eyes. Consequences could be permanent brain damage or death. (Medlineplus, 2018)

Thankfully, education on the occurrence of, and alternatives to shaking has been shown to be effective in the prevention of shaken baby syndrome. Stolz, Brandon, Wallace, and Tucker (2016) found that through a shaken baby prevention project, training was effective, well received, and should be disseminated in both home and hospital settings. This project was designed to pull from both abusive head trauma and shaken baby syndrome literatures, and be a multisite, multimode program (Stolz et al., 2016).

 

Harvard Medical School (2013). Head injury in children. Retrieved March 01, 2018 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/childrens-health/head-injury-in-children

Medline Plus (2018). Shaken baby syndrome. Retrieved March 01, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007578.htm

Stolz, H. E., Brandon, D. J., Wallace, H. S., & Tucker, E. A. (2016). Preventing shaken baby syndrome: evaluation of a multiple-setting program. Journal of Family Issues,38(16), 2346-2367. doi:10.1177/0192513×16647985

 

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