The primary trigger in many cases of shaken baby syndrome is pure frustration. This was the case for little Graham Warren who was only three months old when his father shook him so violently that he was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries. Graham received a large blood clot in his brain which took three hours to surgically remove. Despite the surgery, Graham had suffered an extreme amount of brain damage as a result of being shaken.
Graham’s father admits that he was frustrated with the baby the night that the event happened but denies that he abused his son. This is usually the case with shaken baby syndrome. Many parents or caregivers who shake a baby hard enough to cause brain damage are not child abusers. However, crying babies have the ability to cause even the most patient parents to become frustrated and stressed out. When these people shake a baby they are not doing it with the intention of hurting the baby; they are just so frustrated that they lose control of their actions.
Graham’s father, and anyone else who shakes a baby, cannot be excused from their poor judgment simply because they did not intend to harm their child. Graham’s father was probably tired, stressed out and tired of listening to the crying baby. He probably did not know what shaken baby syndrome was and also probably did not know what happens to a baby who is violently shaken. The triggers that cause parents and caregivers to shake their children must be made known so parents and caregivers know when to take a step back and allow themselves to calm down before dealing with the child.
As the article stated, a baby has never died from crying. Most adults, especially parents, have a hard time watching their children cry so this could have been another trigger for Graham’s father the night that he shook him. Graham’s father’s heart may have been breaking due to his inability to stop his son’s crying but Graham would have been safe if his father had put him down and calmed down before trying to stop his crying.