When very young, a child or infants head is relatively large and the neck muscles undeveloped, providing very little support.
During shaking, rapid acceleration-deceleration forces can cause the brain to strike the inner surface of the skull, resulting in bruising, swelling and diffuse axonal (nerve cell) damage. Blood vessels can tear forming a subdural hematoma. A classic finding of SBS is retinal bleeding in the back of the eye, seen during exam.
Shaken Baby Syndrome is the leading cause of death and most common cause of permanent damage and long term disability in children and infants who have been physically abused.
Consequences of SBS include: permanent brain damage, damage to eyes and vision, developmental delays, disabilities and motor impairments, paralysis, hearing loss, blindness, seizures, and death.