Shaken Baby Syndrome Law/Proposed legislation may provide new parents with an education about Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) introduced SB 825. The Bill has moved to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for review. SB 825 proposes to create an educational program about Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) for new parents. EGP News Service reports that approximately 150 babies in California are afflicted with SBS on an annual basis. Many children with SBS receive healthcare funding from the state if they survive. Generally SBS injuries are catastrophic or life-threatening resulting in one third of the victims succumbing to their injuries. The survivors are left with significant disabilities and shortened life expectancy.

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is an injurious condition caused by the shaking of an infant or child. The action of rapidly shaking an infant or child causes the sudden forward, backward and sideway motion of the head. During the shaking action the brain is injured from hitting against the inside of the bony skull, causing inflammation, bleeding, separation of vessels and nerve fibers in the soft brain tissue on all sides of the brain. The brain of an infant or child is very soft because it has more water content and it is easier to injure than an adult brain. Therefore, less energy is required to cause lethal injury to an infant or child’s brain.  In SBS, the eyes may get injured by the sudden increase in pressure and motion around the soft tissues that make up the delicate structure of the eyes. After the shaking, the brain and the eyes bleed inside the confined spaces they are contained in.  This bleeding causes high pressure to build within the head and eyes. The damage caused by shaking the head, brain and eye structures and the increasing high pressure that follows causes permanent injury or death for the infant or child. If death does not occur the infant or child may be left with permanent brain damage, blindness, neuromuscular disability, paralysis, deafness, learning disabilities and/or a seizure disorder.   

Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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