Violently shaking an infant is not a random act committed by a stranger. Usually, shaking a baby is an impulsive act, often by an exhausted or frustrated parent or caregiver. It could happen to anyone. SBS cases can occur in any cultural or socio-economic group. Factors such as sole caregiving, mental illness, substance abuse, and inadequate knowledge of child development all increase the risk. The most commonly identified perpetrator of SBS is a young father or father figure, such as a mother's boyfriend. Females may be just as likely to shake as males, but since women generally have less strength the SBS cases they cause may be less serious and therefore less likely to be diagnosed. Reasons for shaking a baby or child include toileting mistakes, sleeping problems, or feeling that the child is not listening to the caregiver. The most common reason given for shaking a baby is that the baby wouldn't stop crying or fussing.
Click here to view a Professional Development Session on the following topics:
- Shaken Baby Syndrome
- Risk factors
- The link between crying and shaking
- What constitutes normal infant crying
- Alberta SBS Prevention Campaign and resources
 Hoffman, J.M. (2005). A case of Shaken Baby Syndrome after discharge from the newborn intensive care unit. Advances in Neonatal Care, 5(3), 135-146.
 King ,W.J., MacKay, M., Sirnick, A., with the Canadian Shaken Baby Study Group (2003). Shaken Baby Syndrome in Canada: clinical Characteristics and outcomes of Hospital Cases. Canadian Medical Association or its licensors Jan 21, 168 (2), 155-159.