New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired - 1900 North White Sands Boulevard, Alamogordo, New Mexico 88310, phone (800) 437-3505

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Shaken Baby Syndrome
Prevention Campaign

Helping to Prevent
Shaken Baby Syndrome...

What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?
  SBS is a serious head trauma inflicted when a frustrated
   or angry caregiver shakes a child, usually to stop them
   from crying.
  SBS is a grave form of child abuse that can cause
   severe brain injury, blindness or even death.
  At least 1200-1400 (reported) cases of SBS occur yearly.
  1 in 4 of these children die. Many of the other babies
   will need ongoing medical attention for the rest of their lives.
  At least Ĺ of the American public doesnít know that shaking
   a baby can cause severe and permanent injury.

  A significant percentage of the children we serve at NMSBVI
   are visually impaired as a result of this form of child abuse.
  Shaken baby Syndrome is 100% preventable.

Many of the children who survive the abuse of Shaken Baby Syndrome are faced with long term visual impairments, quite often the result of the brain injury (cortical visual impairments or CVI) and or optic nerve damage they incurred.  This may well be in addition to numerous other potential difficulties and impairments such as learning disabilities, cognitive delays, physical impairments, and seizures disorders. Presently at the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impairedís Early Childhood Program, 12.9% of our students are visually impaired as a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Moreover, the Early Intervention (birth to 3 years) component of our program reports that approximately 4.2% of their current caseload is the result of this non-accidental trauma. Enrollment projections for our preschoolís 2010-2011 school year already indicate more incoming children with similar etiologies.

A number of these children have received services from our program for children with visual impairments within a month or two of their release from the hospital following their injury. At ages 3 to 6 years now these children show a variety of abilities and challenges. For some, visual processing skills have improved; for others, they continue to demonstrate minimal visual responsiveness and thus must learn to use their other senses as efficiently as possible to help them make the most sense of their world. 

NMSBVI continues its effort to increase public awareness about Shaken Baby Syndrome:
  "Handle With Care" is the message weíve adopted this year to continue our awareness campaign.
  Posters are being distributed and are available in both English and Spanish.
  Cards containing 20 Tips to Soothe Your Crying Infant (tips courtesy of the National Center
   on Shaken Baby Syndrome)
accompany these posters.
  The Child Help Hotline telephone number is on the card as well. 1-800-4-A-CHILD.
  You may notice many of the school vehicles driven by ECP and B-3 developmental specialists
   displaying the bumper sticker

  If you would like to join the effort by displaying the bumper sticker or hanging up a poster,
please contact NMSBVI-ECP at 1-800-437-3505 x4441.

To download a printable PDF version of our information card (with tips courtesy of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome), please click here:

Downloadable Information Page:  "20 Tips to Soothe Your Crying Infant"
- English Version PDF
- Spanish Version PDF

20 Tips to Soothe Your Crying Infant
Courtesy of the National Center on Shaken
Baby Syndrome:
1. Feed your baby. Hunger is often the main reason a baby cries.
2. Burp your baby. Gas can be very uncomfortable.
3. Swaddle your baby in a lightweight blanket.
4. Give your baby a lukewarm bath, under supervision.
5. Massage your baby gently on back, arms, or legs.
6. Give your baby a pacifier. (Use sparingly!)
7. Make eye contact with your baby and smile.
8. Kiss your baby.
9. Lightly kiss the bottom of your babyís feet.
10. Sing Softly. Lullabies were created because of their
effectiveness at calming crying babies.

11. Reassure your baby with soft words like "itís ok."
     (This can help comfort both you and your baby during
a difficult crying episode.)
12. Hum in a low tone against your babyís head.
13. Run a vacuum cleaner to create distracting "white noise."
14. Run the dishwasher; more comforting "white noise."
15. Take your baby for a ride in the car, with baby secure
in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat.

16. Rocking with your baby in a rocking chair can be very relaxing for you both.
17. Push your baby in a stroller.
18. Place your baby in a baby swing for a slow, rhythmic motion.
19. Place your baby underneath a lighted mobile.
20. Dance Slowly... and relax!

The list above is not an all inclusive list, as there are many other things you can try to calm your babyís crying. Remember... while many of these techniques will work most of the time, nothing works all the time and thatís okay; this does NOT mean thereís anything wrong with you or your baby! If you start to become frustrated, itís time to put your baby down in a safe place, walk away for a few minutes, and calm yourself down a bit.

For more information please contact:
  NMSBVI Early Childhood Programs at 505-903-8022 ; Luanne Stordahl.
  University of New Mexico Hospital at 505-272-1959; Kathy Lopez-Bushnell.
   Visit their web site to learn more:
  National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome:  or




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Last Updated: 4/26/2010