Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a serious form of abuse that happens when a caregiver violently shakes an infant. According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, violent shaking for just a few seconds can cause serious head injuries since babies have weak neck muscles that cannot support their heavy heads. Thus, when they are shaken, their brain moves around in the skull, which can lead to bruising, swelling, and bleeding. Sadly, approximately 1,300 children in the United States are victims of SBS, and that includes incidents that occur in daycare centers throughout the Houston area.
Here, our experienced Houston daycare injury attorneys provide resources and information for parents who suspect their child is a victim of shaken baby syndrome due to negligent actions by caregivers at a daycare in the Houston area. This includes childcare facilities in the following cities: Atascocita, Bellaire, Clear Lake, Conroe, Cypress, Deer Park, Friendswood, Houston, Humble, Jersey Village, Katy, Lake Jackson, League City, Missouri City, Pasadena, Pearland, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and Tomball.
How Shaken Baby Syndrome Occurs at Houston Daycare Centers
Babies only know how to express themselves and communicate their needs by crying. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, it is normal for healthy babies in Houston—even those who are well cared for—to cry for 1-2 hours. However, loud crying for prolonged periods of time can cause Houston daycare workers to become frustrated or even angry, leading to incidents of violently shaking a baby. The organization reports that this caregiver response is the most common reason for shaking incidents. Babies who are between 2 and 4 months old are at the greatest risk of SBS.
Signs That Your Infant Has a Shaken Baby Syndrome Injury From a Houston Daycare
Incidents of violently shaking a baby at Houston daycare centers can cause severe, life-threatening internal injuries. The harsh rattling action creates an exaggerated whiplash motion, similar to what adults experience in serious car accidents.
Unfortunately, there are often no obvious physical signs of injury after a caregiver shakes a baby at a Houston-area daycare. Because infants have limited nonverbal communication skills, Houston parents must be vigilant by monitoring a child’s demeanor and temperament for this type of daycare abuse. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons notes that symptoms appear immediately after the shaking incident and peak within 4-6 hours. Symptoms include:
- Abnormally slow and shallow respiration
- Altered level of consciousness
- Bleeding in the eyes
- Breathing problems
- Cardiac arrest
- Change in posture where the head tilts back and the back is more arched than usual
- Coma or unresponsive
- Convulsions or seizures
- Decreased appetite
- Dilated pupils that do not respond to light
- Drowsiness and irritability
- Larger than normal head size
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling in the soft spot of an infant’s head
Sadly, 25% of children who are victims of shaken baby syndrome die as a result of their injuries from the incident.
How Shaken Baby Syndrome Is Diagnosed by Houston Doctors
If you suspect that your child has been a victim of shaken baby syndrome either call 911 or immediately seek medical attention by taking your child to an emergency room at Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital or Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Once you are at the ER, be sure to tell doctors that you suspect your baby has been shaken at a Houston childcare facility.
Doctors will order an MRI scan, CT scan, or X-ray to look for the following three conditions that indicate SBS:
- Brain swelling
- Hemorrhage in the brain
- Bleeding in the retina
Typical findings that confirm incidents of SBS at Houston daycare centers include:
- Abnormally low blood pressure
- Abdominal injuries
- Bruises to the face, scalp, arms, abdomen, or back
- Chest injuries
- Closed head injury bleeding
- Retinal hemorrhages
- Soft tissue swelling
- Firm soft spot
Once a case of SBS is confirmed, doctors in Houston are required by law to notify the police, as SBS is a form of abuse and, thus, a criminal offense. The daycare center and caregiver who abused the child may face criminal charges.
What to Do If You Suspect Shaken Baby Syndrome at a Houston Daycare
Contact our team of experienced and compassionate Houston daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm if your child is a victim of shaken baby syndrome because of the negligent actions of a Houston daycare facility. Your family may have the option to file a claim that would hold the daycare responsible for failing to keep your baby safe. You have two years to file a claim to seek compensation, also known as damages, and hold the Houston daycare center accountable.
Damages that a family may be compensated for include:
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses, including a child’s ongoing or future medical treatments and therapy
- Pain and suffering
In the tragic event that a baby experiences a fatal injury because of being shaken at a Houston daycare, surviving parents may be eligible for compensation to cover:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses incurred prior to passing away
- Loss of consortium for family members
- Loss of income
- Emotional damages such as pain and suffering
- Other unexpected costly fees
It is important to speak with the experienced Houston daycare attorneys at The Button Law Firm, who will listen and determine the best way to help you and your family move forward.
How The Button Law Firm Helps Houston Families After SBS Incidents
With attorneys in Houston, we are ready to listen and fight for your family in Atascocita, Bellaire, Clear Lake, Conroe, Cypress, Deer Park, Friendswood, Humble, Jersey Village, Katy, Lake Jackson, League City, Missouri City, Pasadena, Pearland, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and Tomball. Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a shaken baby syndrome incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Call us at 281-857-6116 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.