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Health Consultants For Child Care

Enhancing Health, Safety & Learning for Minnesota Child Care Providers since 1993

Caring for a baby/young child is a full-time job and it’s important to know the dangers of shaking.  Many factors place a child at great risk for abusive head injuries. Some of these factors include:

  • Child’s size and age; boys, preemies, multiple birth babies & the disabled are at higher risk. 
    • Babies’ heads are relatively large and heavy, making up about 25% of their total body weight
    • Their neck muscles are too weak to support such a disproportionately large head
  • Babies brains are immature and more easily injured by shaking
  • Babies blood vessels around the brain are more susceptible to tearing than older children and adults
  • Physical helplessness of the infant/young child
  • Size difference between the infant/child and the caregiver
  • Caregivers temper, frustration, feelings of isolation or feeling overwhelmed
  • Lack of caregiver support systems
  • Caregiver’s sleep deprivation, and loss of control

Reference: National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome