Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a debilitating, even fatal, form of child abuse. The Daytona Beach attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau will vehemently pursue justice against the person responsible for this devastating act of violence, whether that individual is a caregiver, a stranger, or a parent.
- Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome
- SBS Physical Effects on the Child
- Long-Term Effects of SBS
- SBS Statistics
- What to Do
- Pursuing Compensation
Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome
Though there are signs that an infant has been violently shaken, less severe cases of shaken baby syndrome may never be diagnosed because there are no outward signs of abuse. According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, some symptoms to look for include:
- Bruising on the chest or arms
- Breathing difficulties
- Trouble lifting the head
- No vocalization of sounds
- No smiling
- Decreased muscle tone
- Lack of appetite
- Vomiting for no apparent reason
- Appearance of bulging on the soft part of the head
- Head or forehead appearing larger than usual
- Eyes that have trouble focusing or tracking movement
- Pupils that are unequal in size
Severe cases of SBS often result in neurological disorders, and even death. In these cases, the infant usually falls unconscious after being shaken, and the central nervous system rapidly begins to malfunction.
These symptoms may not be the result of shaken baby syndrome, however it is important, if SBS is suspected, to inform the physician.
SBS Physical Effects on the Child
When a child is violently shaken, brain tissue can be injured or destroyed because of rotation within the skull cavity. Also, blood vessels feeding the brain can be ripped, causing bleeding to occur around the brain. The blood around the brain creates a pressurized environment within the skull cavity, leading to brain damage. Bleeding of the retina is also a common effect of shaken baby syndrome.
If your child has been the victim of shaken baby syndrome, contact our Daytona Beach personal injury lawyers and we will review your case.
Long-Term Effects of SBS
Shaken baby syndrome can lead to traumatic brain injury and a host of other long-term disabilities. Traumatic brain injury can affect:
- Receptive language
- Motor function
- Memory cognition
As infants, the brain is not fully developed. Shaken baby syndrome can cause severe developmental disabilities, both mental and physical, which usually continue indefinitely.
The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome reports that nearly 1,400 children are treated for shaken baby syndrome each year. Of those victims, 25 to 30 percent die from the injuries, and the rest can have life-long complications as a result. Many more infants may also suffer from SBS, however, the effects may not be known because external evidence of trauma is rarely evident.
What to Do
If you suspect your child or the child of someone you know has been violently shaken, contact an emergency medical professional immediately and be sure to inform him or her of your suspicions. Since many of the symptoms of SBS are not easily identifiable, physicians need to know from the outset what may have happened so they do not waste crucial time searching for other causes of illness. Immediate treatment for shaken baby syndrome could prevent permanent damage and life-threatening injuries.
Although no amount of money can ever erase the damage done when a child is tragically hurt or killed, holding negligent parties accountable for their actions may go a long way in preventing it from ever happening again, as well as making sure families have the resources necessary to provide for their loved one's care.
You may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost wages of loved ones providing care for the child (past and future)
- Punitive damages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
The child injury lawyers at our Daytona Beach firm are compassionate, committed, legal professionals. We are prepared to help you through this difficult time, and fight for the future of your family.
We also represent cases involving auto accident, boat accident, motorcycle accident, accidental death, trucking accidents, water craft accidents, premises liability, slip and fall accidents, sexual child abuse, physical child abuse, nursing home negligence, dog bites, product liability, construction accidents and criminal defense. Contact our Central Florida lawyers in Daytona Beach today for a free consultation.