As the parent of a newborn baby, you quickly realize that your child faces some dangers that are out of your control. You can’t prevent your baby from contracting every virus or even from being hurt by someone else’s negligence in a car accident. However, you are going to do everything possible to prevent your child from being injured by preventable dangers.
One of those preventable dangers is shaken baby syndrome. Shaken baby syndrome occurs when a baby is vigorously shaken. This can cause a serious brain injury. Some of the baby’s brain cells may be destroyed and the baby’s brain may be deprived of oxygen. Permanent brain damage or death can result. The majority of babies who survive have some kind of lifelong disability which could include cognitive impairments, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, hearing impairments, speech impairments, and other conditions.
You would never do this to your child, but what about the daycare facility that you trust to care for your child when you can’t be there?
Signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken baby syndrome is the leading cause of child abuse deaths in the United States. While it can happen to any child up to about age five, the majority of shaken baby syndrome incidents occur in children who are less than six months old, according to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
This means that, in most cases, a baby who has suffered from shaken baby syndrome is too young to talk. Your baby can’t tell you that his caregiver became frustrated and forcefully shook him to stop him from crying or to get him to go to sleep.
Yet, according to the Mayo Clinic and the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, there are signs of shaken baby syndrome which you may recognize at home. These signs or symptoms include:
- Unusual or extreme crying, fussiness, or irritability.
- Changes in sleeping patterns—particularly trouble staying awake.
- Breathing difficulties.
- Bruises on the baby’s arms or chest from where the baby was forcefully held.
- Eating problems, such as difficulty sucking or swallowing.
- Unexplained vomiting.
- Pale or blue skin.
- Changes in your baby’s eyes. This could include the inability to focus the eyes, the inability to track movement, or an unequal size of the pupils.
- Changes in your baby’s head or forehead. The baby’s head or forehead may appear larger than usual or the soft spot on the baby’s head may be bulging.
If your baby experiences any of these signs or symptoms, then it is important to get immediate medical attention and to know what other actions you can take to protect your baby’s rights.
What to Do If You Think Your Baby Has Suffered From Shaken Baby Syndrome
The two first actions that you should take are important. You should:
- Get your child immediate medical attention.
- Make alternative child care arrangements for your child.
After that, it is time to consider your legal options. While the Commonwealth of Kentucky may pursue criminal charges against the person who shook your baby so violently, your child may also have the right to a financial recovery in a civil daycare abuse lawsuit.
Obviously, your child is too young to pursue a case on his own. Therefore, it is up to you, as your child’s parent and protector, to pursue a civil recovery.
You don’t have to do it alone, however. Our legal team, including our experienced attorneys and our staff nurse, will work with you every step of the way. We will make sure that all of your child’s rights are protected and that he gets the full recovery that he deserves for the injuries he sustained from abuse that never should have happened.
To learn more about protecting your child’s rights, please reach out to us at any time—365 days a year—to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Additionally, we invite you to learn more right now by downloading a free copy of our book, A Parent’s Guide to Daycare Injury Cases: How to Obtain Justice When a Kentucky Daycare Facility Harms Your Child.