Never, Ever Shake a Baby: Pass It On

  • Amy K. Heffelfinger


At that moment, the sun stopped shining and our happy, carefree world came crumbling down. We were told our healthy 4½-month-old baby boy was in critical condition and could die. Our son, Jeremy, had just learned to smile about a week before, and now his smile was gone.

I remember two doctors addressing me and my family in a small room. Their faces were without expression. They announced that my son was the victim of shaken baby syndrome (SBS) and might die. I immediately looked at my mother, a retired nurse, for some explanation. My mom began to sob; the pain in her face is still etched in my mind. I now knew how bad it was, but I still had never heard of SBS.


Traumatic Brain Injury Executive Functioning Retinal Hemorrhage Early Brain Injury Subdural Hemorrhage 


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Resources for Clinicians

  1. Barlow, K. R., Thomson, E., Johnson, D., & Minns, R.A. (2005). Late neurologic and cognitive sequelae of inflicted traumatic brain injury in infancy. Pediatrics, 116(2), 2004–2739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Duhaime, A. C., Alario, A. J., & Lewander, W. J. (1992). Head injury in very young children: mechanisms, injury types, and ophthalmologic findings in 100 hospitalized patients younger than 2 years of age. Pediatrics, 90, 179–185.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Ewing-Cobbs, L., Prasad, M., Kramer, L., & Landry, S. (1999). Inflicted traumatic brain injury: relationship of developmental outcome to severity of injury. Pediatric Neurosurgery, 31, 251–258.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Resources for Families

  1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders Shaken Baby Syndrome.
  2. National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome,
  3. Shaken Baby Association, Inc.,

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy K. Heffelfinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and PediatricsMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukee

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