Many factors may be present that cause adults to injure their infants and children with SBS. First, not all caregivers are ethical or emotionally well-adjusted. Second, not all caregivers care for infants and children in an appropriate manner. Therefore, in any child care setting – be it at a home or in a daycare center - there may be a spectrum of intentional, or non-intentional, abusive activity taking place which results in a shaken baby or abusive head trauma incident. (http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/CMP/CMP-risk-p-factors.htm)
Adults with the following risk factors are more likely to abuse their infants and children and cause SBS:
• poor coping skills
• unrealistic expectations
• substance abuse
• former victims of child abuse
• mental health problems
• social isolation
• socio-economically depressed, impoverished
• families that suffer with domestic violence issues.
• prior instances of abuse or neglect have been committed by them or the household in which they live
• Infants or children with the following risk factors are most likely to be victims of SBS:
• less than one year of age
• infants who cry consistently or for long periods of time, or who cannot be soothed very easily
• infants with health problems and disabilities, including behavioral disorders
• twins, or babies of multiple births
However, SBS may occur in any setting and it is important to know the signs and symptoms that may be present in an infant or child that is a victim of SBS. Once an infant has been victimized by non-accidental head trauma and Shaken Baby Syndrome and becomes disabled, the risk of reoccurrence for abuse to this child increases.
Children from families that do not have extended family in close proximity are at increased risk for abuse. The absence of extended family may be intentional on the part of the abuser. Abusers isolate their victims so the abuse may not be discovered by family and friends. Or, the abuser may come from a dysfunctional family background where support from extended family is not forthcoming due to a weak and fragmented family network.
Communities where violence is more readily observable do place infants and children at risk for abuse. These are dysfunctional social networks that overlook and ignore child abuse. Unfortunately, fragmented social relationships in these environments are perpetuated.
Parents and caregivers with histories of alcohol and substance abuse, criminal history, domestic violence, sexual promiscuity, poverty and mental health disturbances are prominent features in many child abuse cases. Approximately thirty-three percent (33%) of abused children become abusive adults. Prevention of child abuse, and effective treatment of children who have been abused, prevents future abuse.
If you have any questions or concerns about what can be done to help babies who have been shaken due to Shaken Baby Syndrome, Child Abuse, or families of babies who have died, please call Christopher Keane and The Keane Law Firm toll-free for free consultation at (888) 592-5437 (KIDS), click on contact us here, or use the web form provided at https://www.keanelaw.com