Identification of Abusive Head Trauma
Abusive head trauma (AHT) involves an inflicted injury to the head and its contents, including those caused by both shaking and blunt impact. The term "shaken baby syndrome" (SBS) is commonly used to describe one form of AHT. The following resources provide information on identifying the signs and symptoms of AHT/SBS.
Abusive Head Trauma in Infants and Children
Christian & Block
Pediatrics, 123(5), 2009
Discusses the role of the pediatrician in recognizing and diagnosing all forms of abusive head injury. The article also reviews the history of "shaken baby syndrome" and reasons "abusive head trauma" is a more inclusive and descriptive term for any inflicted injury to the head and its contents.
National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
Strives to prevent SBS/AHT through the development and implementation of education programs, public policy, and research to establish, support, and train networks for families, caregivers, and professionals. Also see the Period of PURPLE Crying® prevention program.
Abusive Head Trauma: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Outcome (PDF - 407 KB)
Illinois Child Welfare Journal, 2(1 & 2), 2005
Addresses the incidence of AHT in the United States and reviews common signs and symptoms that are helpful in distinguishing accidental from abusive head trauma in young children.
Can the Initial History Predict Whether a Child With a Head Injury Has Been Abused? (PDF - 67 KB)
Hettler & Greenes
Pediatrics, 111(3), 2003
Presents findings from a study to determine the diagnostic utility of certain historical features for identifying cases of abusive head trauma.
Findings in Older Children With Abusive Head Injury: Does Shaken-Child Syndrome Exist?
Salehi-Had, Brandt, Rosas, & Rogers
Pediatrics, 117(5), 2006
Presents study results that find SBS-like symptoms are possible in children 2 years of age or older, and recommends the consideration of SBS when evaluating abusive head injury in older children.
Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma: Recommended Definitions for Public Health Surveillance and Research (PDF - 5929 KB)
Parks, Annest, Hill, & Karch (2012)
Provides a definition of abusive head trauma, aids in the collection of data, and promotes consistency of abusive head trauma surveillance for public health purposes.
Shaken Baby Syndrome
American Humane Association
Provides general information on shaken baby syndrome, including what happens, why it happens, and what you can do.