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Shaken Baby Syndrome in Day Care Facilities

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susan_harr6 years ago

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome estimates there are between 600 and 1,400 cases of shaken babies in the United States every year. Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a term used to describe the violent shaking of an infant or small child. Because it can cause severe injury, SBS is considered a form of physical child abuse. According to American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), SBS most often occurs when a parent or other caregiver shakes a baby out of anger or frustration, often because the baby will not stop crying.

SBS in Day Care Facilities

Every person involved with the care of a child is responsible for ensuring that child’s safety. Approximately 31,000 children under age 4 are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries at child care settings each year. At least 56 children have died in child care settings since 1990 (IntelliCorp InTouch). Several states have laws in place that require child care providers to undergo training on SBS, but there are still reports of SBS at child care facilities every year.

  • 2010- Idaho– a 20-month-old girl is shaken to death. Her day care provider is sentenced to 3-7 years in prison.
  • 2009- Virginia– a 4-month-old boy was shaken violently by his day care provider. Now 13 months old, he is partially blind and suffers from seizures. The day care attendant was convicted of felony child abuse and child cruelty.
  • 2008- South Carolina– an 8-month-old was left with an unlicensed day care provider for 90 minutes before being was taken to the hospital, where it was found that he had bleeding of the brain and a retinal hemorrhage. The day care provider was arrested under suspicion of causing SBS.
  • 2007- Florida– a 5-month-old boy was shaken so severely by his day care provider that he will need medical care for the rest of his life. The day care provider was sentenced to more than a year in prison, and a civil suit was filed against her employer.

Consequences of SBS

Information below provided by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Immediate Consequences:

  • Breathing may stop or be compromised
  • Extreme irritability
  • Seizures
  • Limp arms and legs or rigidity/posturing
  • Decreased level of consciousness
  • Vomiting; poor feeding
  • Inability to suck or swallow
  • Heart may stop
  • Death

Long-Term Consequences:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • Visual disabilities or blindness
  • Hearing impairment
  • Speech disabilities
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Seizures
  • Behavior disorders
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Death
Contact An Experienced Child Injury Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.


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