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Shaking may cause brain damage and serious long-term effects to infants
Date:9/17/2007

This release is available in Spanish.

Crying is the only way a baby can express its feelings and needs. If the parents or caregivers cannot find the cause of the inconsolable crying of the infant, they might react sharply and shake the baby. The violent shake of the infant's head causes brain damage and, as a result, the infant stops crying. For this reason, this behaviour may be repeated in similar situations. This is one of the serious consequences extracted from the bibliographic review carried out by a group of interns of the Teaching Maternity Unit of the University College of Health Care of the University of Granada (UGR) published by the Nursing Journal Rol.

Concepcin Ruiz Rodr guez, lecturer of the Department of Nursing of the UGR and head of the research group, explains that the shaken baby syndrome is not well-known and may cause several injuries which, in most cases, have no outward physical signs. Although the seriousness of the brain damage depends on the frequency, intensity and duration of the shake, there are other minor injuries observed due to this syndrome, such as irritability, lethargy, convulsions, vomiting or lack of appetite, and others that are more serious such as eye injury and broken bones.

The father, the main aggressor

Most victims are under two years old, and the most vulnerable victims include premature babies, low-weight babies, babies with excessive colic, disabled babies, twins and stepchildren. The aggressors are chiefly men, frequently the father (44%) followed by the mother's boyfriend living in the family home (20%). The most frequent aggressors among women are the babysitters (18%) and the mothers (7%).

According to the information collected f
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Contact: Professor Concepcin Ruiz Rodr guez
crr@ugr.es
34-958-242-359
Universidad de Granada
Source:Eurekalert

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