About the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Center
What Parents and Caregivers Need to Know
The injury or death of a child is always a tragedy. However, cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome/ Abusive Head Trauma (SBS/AHT) are made all the more tragic because they are preventable. In fact, the core of the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Center's efforts is this concept of preventability. Since the early 1990s, Massachusetts Citizens for Children has been a leader in prevention of SBS/AHT in Massachusetts and in the country. Through its Massachusetts SBS Prevention Center, MCC is reaching thousands of parents, caregivers, professionals and the public through comprehensive SBS prevention education programs within birthing hospitals and in a wide range of family-serving organizations in the community.
A common reaction when a story of child abuse appears in the news is to say that the abuser was "clearly evil" or "disturbed" or "deserves punishment"; however, by demonizing the abuser it becomes dangerously easy to miss an important point – the fact that that abuser could easily have been us, or perhaps our baby's mother/father, grandparent, babysitter or our boy/girlfriend. In cases of SBS/AHT the most frequently cited trigger for shaking is infant crying, or more precisely, the caregiver's inability to either stop the crying or cope with the stress of inconsolable crying. Often the abusers in these cases are otherwise loving individuals who became frustrated beyond endurance, felt they had no-one to turn to and were ignorant – both of how to cope with negative reactions and of the dangers of SBS/AHT.
Seeing this link between frustrated caregivers and the incidence of SBS/AHT the Shaken Baby Prevention Center works to educate parents and caregivers about infant crying, teach strategies to sooth crying or fussy infants, and tell new parents and caregivers what to do when those strategies don't always work.
Here you can learn about SBS/AHT, the facts about infant crying, how to soothe your baby when he/she is fussy or crying, how to keep your baby safe and how to take care of yourself. We also strongly encourage you to give this information to your baby's other parent, grandparents and any other caregivers as well as any other new parents you know.
Note: if at any point you feel that you, or someone you know, is frustrated and needs help - there is a "Get Help" button at the top right of every page on this website.