Shaken Baby Syndrome – Help Is Available

14 Dec

The Shaken Baby Alliance is dedicated to support for victim families and professionals, prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome, and justice for the innocent victims.

Mission Statement:

To achieve our mission, The Shaken Baby Alliance provides support to victim family members and others affected by this form of child abuse. We have built our foundation on providing quality, accurate, and up to date information and training programs to professionals from multidisciplinary fields. We advocate a coordinated effort for legislation to create laws and policies to protect children, prevent abuse, and hold perpetrators criminally responsible for the abuse of our innocent children. It is our goal to work collaboratively with agencies and individuals in a community effort to benefit children and families.

Call: 1-877-6-END-SBS
In Texas please dial: 1-817-882-8686
E-mail name and contact information to


Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a form of Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) that occurs when a frustrated caregiver “shakes” or “slams” a child, usually to stop them from crying. If crying is the number one reason why children are shaken, then we must teach caregivers how to cope with a crying baby. Babies cry to communicate and most babies cry for several hours each day. It is the caregiver’s job to learn how to cope with a crying baby, not to make a baby stop crying. If a caregiver has done everything he/she knows to do help a baby stop crying and the baby still cries, the caregiver should put the baby in a safe place and walk away. Children are not injured by crying, but they can be severely injured or even killed by a caregiver who becomes frustrated and takes this frustration out on the child.

Coping With Crying: What Do I Do?

Things to check for:

  • Check for a fever or other signs of illness (such as teething)
  • Make sure that all of the baby’s basic needs are met
    • Are they hungry?
    • Do they need to be changed?
    • Are they too hot or cold?
    • Are they comfortable (i.e., lying on an object, etc.)

Things to try:

  • Offer a pacifier
  • Take them for a ride in a stroller or car
  • Take a walk or try a baby swing
  • Place them in a car seat or carrier, place it on top of a dryer (be sure to buckle them in securely) and turn the dryer on (sometimes the motion is calming) (do not leave unattended)
  • Play some soft music; you may even try dancing with the baby

What to do when nothing seems to work:

  • Vacuum the floor (sometimes the noise will calm the baby; also, the sound of the vacuum may be less stressful to you than the crying)
  • Put the baby in their crib, make sure they are safe, and close the door (check in every 5-10 minutes)
  • Call a friend or family member to take over for you for a while
  • Call the Child Help USA crisis line at 1(800)4 A CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
  • Remember, never, never shake a baby! The effects last a lifetime!


The State of Wisconsin actually has its own SBS Prevention Resources website!

The Children’s Trust Fund has developed prevention materials and trainings on Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) because of the Wisconsin Prevent Violence Against Children Act. The Act was signed into law in March 2006. It expands the state’s educational efforts on the dangers of shaking a child. Child care providers, hospitals, and schools are all required to receive training on SBS and provide information on ways to prevent SBS.

Education and Awareness

Parenting Materials

The Children’s Trust Fund develops and provides brochures, fact sheets, booklets, and other parenting materials that support its public education campaigns such as our positive parenting series and Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention materials. These materials are available by request to individuals, hospitals, family resource centers, home visitation programs, health agencies, schools, childcare providers, and other family support organizations to increase awareness and help prevent child abuse and neglect.

The Children’s Trust Fund prides itself on the development of literature that is not only informational, but also attractive and easily understood. We intend for our materials to be useful tools that support children and their families while reinforcing the importance of child abuse prevention.

Not only do they offer booklets on “Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: Tips for Parents” and “Positive Parenting: Tips on Discipline,” they offer a “Help Your Child Build Self-Esteem Bookmark” and a whole slew of items under “Babies Cry! Have a Plan.” These include a crying card, fact sheets, a crying pledge card, and a crying plan:

Inconsolable crying is also the number one reason for shaking a baby. These materials focus on ways to cope with a crying baby and give caretakers a plan for dealing with their frustrations.

The crying card points out that crying is normal and has a plan for parents to keep their cool. The back of the card lists baby-calming strategies. The full-color crying card is available in Spanish, too.

Besides the easy-to-read crying card, two fact sheets are available:

  • “What Is Shaken Baby Syndrome?” answers common questions about abusive head trauma and discusses the signs and symptons of SBS.
  • “Babies cry! Have a Plan.” offers additional plans to help reduce parental stress and for caretakers.

The fact sheets are printed on letter-size paper with English on one side and Spanish on the other. They are 3-hole punched for hospitals to customize and use in discharge notebooks.

The crying pledge card is for hospitals and birthing centers to distribute to parents of newborns. The card is customizable and printed with English on one side and Spanish on the other.

The new crying plan helps caregivers develop a plan to soothe babies, implement some self-calming techniques, and build a support system. It comes with English on one side and Spanish on the other.

How did Jessica and Joshua get London out of the hospital without these materials being force fed into their brains or mainlined through an IV into their circulatory systems?


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