There are no complete or valid statistics to show how many children are injured by Shaken Baby Syndrome each year, although many experts believe the number to be over 1500. Head injuries are the leading cause of child abuse fatalities. Most head injuries occur in babies under the age of one and are abusive in nature.
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a serious form of child maltreatment most often involving children under 2 years but many be seen in children up to 5 years old. It occurs commonly, but maybe misdiagnosed in its most subtle form and underdiagnosed in its most serious form. Contrary to early speculations, Shaken Baby Syndrome is unlikely to be an isolated event. Evidence of prior child abuse is common. Specific evidence of previous cranial injuries (e.g., old intracranial hemorrhages) from shaking episodes is found in about 33% - 40% of all cases.
Tarrant County had 16 child abuse deaths in 2015, a 45% increase from 2014. The number of confirmed child abuse and neglect cases grew from 6,097 to 6,213, second only to Harris County. Two children died from SBS as noted in the 03.29.16 Fort Worth Star Telegram. The Alliance attacks this horrific problem at its core with the at risk population.
As we are Fort Worth born and bred, Tarrant County children ages 0 – 8 benefit from our programs directly through Family Support and indirectly through Training and Case Consultation.
Our 2015 Tarrant County participants:
1. Over 60% of the 67 children served in Family Victim Support
2. Over 84% of the 715 high schoolers trained in how to cope with a crying baby, the number one cause of SBS.
3. We provided 3 case consultations in Tarrant County.
There are no other agencies providing the focus or interrelated services of the Shaken Baby Alliance. The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome in Utah is committed to prevent shaken baby syndrome and promote the well-being of infants generally through the development and implementation of programs, policy and research. Their support services are limited, and they do not provide training or case consultation. Shaken Baby Syndrome resource groups are scattered nationwide, but no one provides the allied core services of Family Support, Training and Case consultation as does the Shaken Baby Alliance.