Non Accidental Head Injuries

Coping with a baby who cries inconsolably for prolonged periods can be extremely frustrating, particularly when you are tired and have no-one to help. Such situations can often occur at night.

The national charity family lives also has a free 24-hour helpline (0808 800 2222) for information and support on any parenting issue, including crying babies.

Non-Accidental Head Injuries (which used to be referred to as Shaken Baby Syndrome) can involve serious brain damage that occurs to a baby as a consequence of rough or violent handling, causing abusive head trauma (AHT). Babies most at risk are between 3-8 months of age. AHT often causes irreversible damage. In the worst cases, children die due to their injuries.

Children who survive may have:

  • partial or total blindness
  • hearing loss
  • seizures
  • developmental delays
  • impaired intellect
  • speech and learning difficulties
  • problems with memory and attention
  • severe mental retardation
  • cerebral palsy

Even in milder cases, in which babies looks normal immediately after the shaking, they may eventually develop one or more of these problems

The NSPCC has produced a website advising parents on how to cope with the frustration of a crying baby.