What is abusive head trauma?
- ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’
- Child Abuse
- Catastrophic injuries:
- Bleeds in the brain and behind eyes
- Babies can be shaken, thrown or hit
- It affects approximately 24 of every 100,000 babies admitted to hospital each year
- Research suggests 1 in 9 mothers may have shaken their baby and up to 2 in 9 felt like doing so.
Who shakes and why?
- 70% perpetrators are males – fathers/male surrogates (Kesler et a 2008; Altman et al 2010)
- Can occur in every socio-economic group
- Coping with crying: Living on the edge
- Caregivers lose control and shake – baby stops crying
- Demonstrable relationship between the normal peak of crying and babies subject to AHT. (Barr et al 2006)
- Increase in cases in the 1st month of life, a peak at 6 weeks during the 2nd month and a decrease during the 3rd to 5th months of life
- Crying is considered the main trigger
- Peak of crying is 6-8 weeks of age
- The parents or the mothers partner are responsible for AHT in 75% of babies
- A majority of perpetrators are male
- The most at risk groups are:
- Male baby
- Below 6 months
- Low birth weight
- Regular contact with health professionals
ICON is a programme of intervention based around coping with crying. The programme requires the same messages being shared with parents and carers at different stages by different professionals.
* I – Infant crying is normal
* C –Comforting methods can help
* O – It’s OK to walk away
* N – Never, ever shake a baby
For further information please visit the ICON website