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Shaken baby syndrome

  • Alternative Names

    Shaken impact syndrome; Whiplash - shaken infant


    First Aid

    Call 911 or your local emergency number. Immediate emergency treatment is necessary.

    If the child stops breathing before emergency help arrives, begin CPR.

    See: CPR in an infant under 1 year old

    Steps to take if the child is vomiting:

    • If you don't think there is a spinal injury, turn the child's head to one side to prevent the baby from choking and breathing in vomit to the lungs (aspiration).
    • If you do think there is a spinal injury, CAREFULLY roll the child's whole body to one side at the same time (as if rolling a log) while protecting the neck to prevent choking and aspiration.

    Do Not
    • DO NOT pick up or shake the child to wake him or her up.
    • DO NOT attempt to give the child anything by mouth.

    Call immediately for emergency medical assistance if

    Call your health care provider if a child has any of the above signs or symptoms, regardless of how severe they are. Also call if you think a child has shaken baby syndrome.

    If you think a child is in immediate danger because of abuse or neglect, you should call 911.

    If you suspect that a child is being abused, report it immediately. Most states have a child abuse hotline. You may also use Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-Child).