Brain injury and Shaken Baby Syndrome

Definition: Abusive head trauma is an injury to a child's brain as a result of child abuse. AHT is also called  shaken baby syndrome (or SBS), inflicted traumatic brain injury, and shaken impact syndromeHead trauma is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is a serious brain injury that causes disabilities in infants.


Shaken baby syndrome symptoms and signs include:

  • Extreme fussiness or irritability
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Breathing problems
  • Poor eating
  • Vomiting
  • Pale or bluish skin
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  •   brain injuries do not always include an open head wound or skull fracture. Loss of consciousness may not occur either. These are the most common causes for a traumatic brain injury (TBI): Motor vehicle accidents. 
  • Brain dysfunction caused by an outside force, usually a violent blow to the head.