Shaken Baby Syndrome is a serious injury that can cause death or long-term damage to a child. When a child suffers from Shaken Baby Syndrome, it is important to hold the responsible party accountable, whether that be a parent, a caregiver, or a stranger. Besides being charged with a crime, these individuals can be pursued in a civil case for all emotional and financial losses associated with the case, as well as punitive damages. But first, Shaken Baby Syndrome must be diagnosed. In severe cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome, the child is likely to lose consciousness for some amount of time, so it is clear that medical attention is required. However, minor to moderate cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome may not always be as obvious, so it is important for parents to familiarize themselves with its symptoms, as described below. After seeking medical attention, those with a child who is suffering from Shaken Baby Syndrome symptoms should contact the New Smyrna, FL, attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau to learn more about their legal rights.
Shaken Baby Syndrome, or SBS, places a great deal of stress on the brain. Brain tissues can be damaged or torn, and blood vessels connected to the brain can become ripped, which can cause bleeding in the brain. Even if a parent or guardian did not witness the event that caused SBS, and even if the child did not lose consciousness, there are likely to be some noticeable signs of the condition. Some of the physical symptoms that may develop as a result of SBS include:
- Bruising along the arms and chest
- Difficulty lifting the head
- Trouble breathing
- The appearance of a bump or bulge near the soft spot of the head
- Visible swelling of the head or forehead
- Vomiting for unknown reasons
- Stiffness in the neck, arms, legs, or back
- Loss of muscle definition
- Lack of vocalization
- Trouble focusing the eyes or tracking movements
- Pupils that differ in size
Since SBS is an injury that affects the brain, many children suffering from this condition will exhibit changes in mood, attitude, or personality. Some of the behavioral symptoms that may develop as a result of SBS include:
- Loss of cheerfulness or a lack of smiling or laughing
- Irritability or moodiness
- Lethargy or low energy
- Disinterest in play
- Loss of appetite
Although the physical and behavioral symptoms of SBS may also be linked to other conditions, it is important not to ignore them. Any child who is exhibiting potential symptoms of SBS should receive medical attention right away. A thorough examination is the only way to diagnose SBS so that appropriate treatment can begin. Early treatment may prevent permanent damage or other long-term side effects from injuries.
No amount of money can make up for the physical and emotional consequences of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Still, when SBS develops, the liable party should be held responsible for damages. To learn more about your legal rights following an SBS injury, contact us at your earliest convenience. The experienced attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau will fight hard to ensure your rights are protected. We look forward to hearing from you.