Can Baby Swings Cause Shaken Baby Syndrome Or Brain Damage?

Last Updated on July 18, 2023

A swing is a fantastic baby gear that may help parents to calm and entertain their children. However, most parents have a question: Can baby swings cause shaken baby syndrome or brain damage?

The answer is no; baby swings do not generally cause shaken baby syndrome or brain damage as their swing’s speed is not generally fast enough.

However, there are some risks associated with using a baby swing. For example, if a baby swing is used incorrectly, it can cause the baby to suffocate.

In this article, we’ll explore shaken baby syndrome: what it is, the symptoms, and if baby swings can cause it. So, keep reading!

Do Baby Swings Cause Shaken Baby Syndrome or brain Damage?

Can Baby Swings Cause Shaken Baby Syndrome

Tossing an infant or a child in the air, bouncing on the knee, placing a baby in an infant swing or jogging with them in a backpack is not the same as shaking them and causing brain and eye injuries that are characteristic of the shaken baby syndrome.

The shaken baby syndrome does not happen due to mild bouncing, playful swinging, or tossing the kid in the air while jogging. It’s also extremely unlikely to occur as a result of mishaps such as falling off furniture or down stairs, or being unintentionally dropped by a caregiver’s arms.

A traditional baby swing’s average speed is way too slow to cause the type of damage seen in shaken baby syndrome. For shaking to cause brain damage or abusive head trauma, the head would have to be moving so fast that it whiplashes.

But you should never leave your baby unattended in a swing, no matter how safe you think it is. The baby could tip over, fall out, or become entangled and strangled. That could potentially cause serious injuries. So it’s always best to err on the side of caution and never leave your infant alone in a swing.

Overall, there is no evidence that baby swings cause brain damage or shaken baby syndrome. So, you can use a baby swing without worry, as long as you follow the safety guidelines and never leave your baby unattended.

What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?

The shaken baby syndrome is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler. It’s also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shaken infant syndrome.

Shaken Baby Syndrome (also known as Shaken Impact Syndrome) is a severe type of child abuse. It most often happens when a parent or other caregiver shakes a baby out of irritation or rage, usually because the kid will not stop crying.

When a baby is shaken, their head moves back and forth quickly. This can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, which can lead to bleeding and swelling of the brain.

The shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse that destroys brain cells, impeding the flow of oxygen to the brain. This can cause permanent damage or death.

Also read: What age can a child use a swing

What are the signs of shaken baby syndrome?

The shaken baby syndrome is a severe brain damage caused by violently shaking an infant or toddler. The most common symptoms and signs of SBS include:~Excessive fussiness or irritability.

~Difficulties staying awake.

~Breathing issues.

~Problem eating habits.

~weak neck muscles.


~poor feeding

~ vomiting


~balance problems

– Pale or bluish skin

– Paralysis Coma

~Altered level of consciousness

~Drowsiness accompanied by irritability

~Dilated pupils that do not respond to light

~Decreased appetite

~Posture in which the head is bent back and the back arched

~Abnormally slow and shallow respiration

If your baby exhibits any of these signs or symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. SBS is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Also read: Can you swing a baby too fast

Difference between rocking and shaking baby

Rocking a baby

Rocking a newborn mimics the motion of the womb while keeping the baby close. The secret to rocking is to move slowly and pay attention.

Rocking a baby is a technique that can help soothe and calm a fussy baby. It involves gently rocking the baby back and forth while holding them close. This can provide comfort and help the baby to fall asleep.

If you constantly rock your baby to sleep, he won’t be able to develop the skills needed to fall asleep on their own. They also won’t get the opportunity to soothe themselves by sucking their thumb or rolling their head from side to side. Furthermore, they’ll never know what it feels like experience drifting off into a sound slumber alone in a crib.

shaking a baby

On the other side, shaking is when the baby is moved up-and-down quickly or from side-to-side. This usually happens when a parent or caregiver shakes a baby out of anger or frustration, especially if the infant won’t stop crying. Shaking a baby is a severe type of child abuse.

It can cause serious health problems, additional brain damage and even death. The shaking can also cause bleeding in the brain, which can lead to seizures and other neurological problems.

Additionally, for violent shaking, a baby can cause spinal cord injuries, which can result in paralysis. If you suspect that your child has been shaken, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Also read: Baby sleeping in swing overnight

How much force does it take to cause shaken baby syndrome?

Shaken baby syndrome(SBS) injuries result from shaking a victim with such force that their head whips back-and-forth and side-to-side. This produces repeated acceleration and deceleration, which causes traumatic brain injury in infants with only one shake.

It’s important to understand that these aren’t injuries seen in cases of casual or accidental handling of children but rather require massive amounts of violence.

The shaken baby syndrome can happen in as little as 5 seconds of shaking. It is most common among children under the age of two, although they may occur at any age up to five years old. When a newborn or toddler is shaken, the brain rattles back and forth against the skull.

SBS can occur from any type of shaking; it is most often seen in cases where an adult shakes an infant out of frustration or anger. It is important to remember that even gentle shaking can be dangerous, so it is always best to avoid shaking an infant under any circumstances.

Also read: Swings for big babies

How long after a baby is shaken do symptoms show up?

Shaken baby symptoms can appear instantly after the shaking and usually peak within 4-6 hours.

However, it is possible for symptoms to take up to 24 hours to two weeks to develop. If your child has any of the previous symptoms or if you think your child may have been shaken, it is important to seek medical attention right away.

Shaking a baby can cause traumatic brain injury and even infant death. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best possible outcome.

Also read: Can newborn go in swing

Can shaken baby syndrome go unnoticed?

Yes, it is possible for the shaken baby syndrome to go unnoticed. This is because the symptoms can be subtle and may not be immediately apparent.

You might not notice any external body damage in a case where there is bruising on the face. Injuries that may go unnoticed include bleeding in the brain and eyes, spinal cord damage, and fractured ribs, skull, legs, and other bones.

In many situations, parents who shake their children are unaware of the harm it may cause. Many infants survive with minor injuries that go unreported or even unnoticed.

Additionally, some infants who have been shaken may not show any outward signs of injury. However, it is important to remember that even if there are no visible signs of injury, shaking a baby can cause serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.

If you suspect that your child has been shaken, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Can shaken baby syndrome be cured?

There is currently no cure for the shaken baby syndrome. Minor shaking of a newborn baby might cause irreversible brain damage.

In the most severe cases, brain surgery may be required to stop bleeding inside it. To relieve pressure or drain extra liquid and blood, a shunt, or thin tube, may be placed.

Many children who have been affected by shaken baby syndrome subsequently pass away. Survivors of the shaken baby syndrome may require lifetime medical treatment.

In some cases, the shaken baby syndrome can be fatal. If your child has been diagnosed with it, it is important to work closely with their medical team to ensure they receive the best possible care and support.

Do Electric Infant Swings Cause Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Do Electric Infant Swings Cause Shaken Baby Syndrome

No! Electric baby swings do not cause Shaken Baby Syndrome or permanent brain damage, as their motion is not forceful enough.

Although electric swings are an excellent method to keep your infant occupied while in the swing, misusing them might be harmful. The swinging motion may frequently put infants to sleep.

Babies may appear peaceful resting in a swing, but experts recommend that you do not leave them asleep in this posture for extended periods of time.

FAQ Baby Swing

Wrapping up:

As we can see, baby swings are safe for babies and do not cause brain damage or shaken baby syndrome. However, it is important to follow the safety guidelines and never leave your baby unattended in a swing. Do you have any questions or concerns about using a baby swing? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

Dr. Leah Alexander

Dr. Leah Alexander is a board-certified general pediatrician who has been in practice for over 20 years. She began working as a pediatrician at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey in 2000. Since 2005, she has been working as an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey. Read more

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