Sometimes when a baby cries, a parent will shake the baby. The
parent may think that shaking is not as bad as hitting or spanking. Some
parents handle a baby too roughly in play.
Never shake a baby. Babies have large heads and weak neck muscles. Brain
tissue is very fragile. Sudden motion can damage brain cells. When an adult
shakes a baby in anger, the force may be five to 10 times stronger than if
the child had fallen.
The damage can kill or disable a child. Shaken babies can become blind or
deaf. They can develop cerebral palsy or seizures. They can be left with
severe learning or behavior problems.
Avoid rough play, even though your baby seems to like it. Avoid any kind of
rough or sudden movement.
- Don’t jog or jump with your baby on your back or shoulders.
- Don’t throw your baby into the air.
- Don’t spin your baby around.
- Don’t swing your baby around by a leg and arm or by the ankles.
Explain this danger to everyone who cares for your baby. Older children,
neighbors, grandparents and others need to follow this rule.
If you get angry at your baby, stop what you’re doing. Put your baby in a
safe place. Take 10 deep breaths. Call a friend. Write down your feelings.
When you feel calm again, go back to your baby. Whisper soothing words.
Gently stroke your baby’s back. Pick up your baby and walk. Rock in a
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