An Overview of Abusive Head Trauma (Shaken Baby Syndrome)

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Worldwide, abusive head trauma, or ‘shaken baby syndrome,’ is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 2. In the U.S., an estimated 1,200 to 1,400 children are dangerously shaken each year. This often results in injuries and death (Hung, 2020; Joyce et al., 2021).

Abusive head trauma can cause lasting brain damage. It can also be fatal. Nearly 25% of children who experience abusive head trauma die. Signs of abusive head trauma are hard to detect. It may go unnoticed by caregivers and unrecognized by providers (Narang et al., 2020; National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, n.d.a).



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Worldwide, abusive head trauma, or ‘shaken baby syndrome,’ is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 2. In the U.S., an estimated 1,200 to 1,400 children are dangerously shaken each year. This often results in injuries and death (Hung, 2020; Joyce et al., 2021).

Abusive head trauma can cause lasting brain damage. It can also be fatal. Nearly 25% of children who experience abusive head trauma die. Signs of abusive head trauma are hard to detect. It may go unnoticed by caregivers and unrecognized by providers (Narang et al., 2020; National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, n.d.a).



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