Shaken Baby Syndrome is a serious condition resulting from a specific type of child abuse. Due to the fragile physical structure of young children, shaking an infant can cause his/her brain to move within his/her skull. This can result in severe and irreversible brain damage.
Child abuse laws make it a criminal offense to inflict injury upon a child. As a result, an individual can face serious criminal charges for subjecting a child to abuse and may be incarcerated for an extended period of time.
However, in many instances, the issuance of criminal charges and sentencing does not occur quickly enough to protect a child from the devastating effects of child abuse. As a result, Shaken Baby Syndrome laws, particularly Claire’s Law, seeks to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome through education.
This law requires all hospitals to provide new parents with educational material regarding Shaken Baby Syndrome prior to releasing the child and the new mother from the hospital. By educating parents about the horrific effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome, it is hoped that these parents will take the steps necessary to prevent this behavior.