You and your partner probably have a different way of bonding with your little one. You shower your baby with gentle snuggles, kisses and sing-songs. Your husband may prefer more active play-time games like throw baby up in the air.
And who can blame him; the squeals of delight coming from your baby will melt your heart. But before you throw baby in the air, stop and think. Are you playing it safe? This kind of activity has been hotly debated, but what dangers can this sort of active play pose to your baby?
Babies are fragile and especially vulnerable to head injuries. Their neck muscles are still underdeveloped, which makes it hard to support their heads, and the immature skull is very susceptible to injury. When you throw baby in the air, are you putting them at risk of developing Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)?
The National Centre on Shaken Baby Syndrome are swamped with calls on a weekly basis by concerned parents who wonder if vigorous play activities can harm their babies. Before you can decide if it is safe to throw baby in the air, it is important to understand what SBS is and how it is casued.
What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?
SBS refers to a brain injury that happens to your baby as a result of a trauma to the head. It usually occurs when someone vigorously shakes a baby or slams them against a hard surface.
It is typically seen as intentional child abuse although it can accidentally occur from rough play. The sudden action of whipping his head back and forth will cause the brain to bounce about with considerable force. This can cause swelling and bleeding, not to mention permanent brain damage.
Find out if you should throw your baby in the air on the next page…