Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is an incident that will forever change and affect the victimized child dramatically. Most normal children are able to develop normally without deficits in areas of occupations or performance skills, but a child with SBS may never be the same. The lasting effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome impact a child’s life in areas of occupations such as social participation, play, and education.
Characteristics of Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken Baby Syndrome is, “a condition of whiplash-type injuries, ranging from bruises on the arms and trunk to retinal hemorrhages or convulsions, as observed in infants and children who have been violently shake; a form of child abuse that often results in intracranial bleeding from tearing of cerebral blood vessels” (Jacobs & Jacobs, 2004, p. 214).
There are numerous signs and symptoms that characterize Shaken Baby Syndrome such as extreme irritability, difficulty staying awake, breathing problems, poor eating, tremors, vomiting, pale or bluish color, seizures, paralysis, and coma (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011). The severity of symptoms is dependent on the severity of shaking inflicted upon the child. A hallmark symbol of SBS could be hemorrhages in the retinas of the eyes (Blackman, 1990, p. 70) or absence of external injuries (Miehl, 2005, p. 113).
Risk factors involve the child itself and the parent or caretaker. Risk factors for the child consist of male gender, history of colic, prematurity, low birth weight, drug/nicotine/alcohol exposure, or withdrawal syndrome, special needs or medically fragile and babies with poor bonding to caregivers (Meskauskas, Beaton, & Meservey, 2009, p. 326). Young parental age, unstable family environment, low socioeconomic status, unrealistic child-rearing expectations, rigid attitudes, and impulsivity, feelings of inadequacy, isolation, or depression, and negative childhood experiences including neglect of abuse are all risk factors for parents or caretakers (Miehl, 2005, p. 112). Typical offenders may be the father, mother’s boyfriend, babysitter, or the mother (Tamparo & Lewis, 2011, p. 257).
One thousand two hundred to one thousand four hundred children are likely to be shaken each year according to the National Center of Shaken Baby Syndrome (Meskauskas et al, p. 326). But some resources say more than 50,000 cases of SBS each year are possible (Tamparo & Lewis, 2011, p. 257). According to Smith (2003, p. 200), “Approximately one third exhibit little or no adverse effects, one third suffer significant injury and one third die”. It is upsetting to know what happens to children who are victims of SBS, and that it is a preventable crime.
Normal Development of a Five Year Old
Some motor praxis skills that are normal for a developing five year old would be running, pushing, pulling, climbing, dancing to music, and skipping on alternate feet. Able to lace shoes, catch ball five inches in diameter, cutting with...