Shaken Baby Syndrome Presentation Guidelines

As part of this toolkit, we have included a PowerPoint presentation that can be used in a variety of locations with different types of audiences. Your knowledge of your community, as well as your personality and presentation style, are very important parts of communicating this information to whatever groups invite you to educate them on SBS. In addition to the information featured in the PowerPoint slides, here are some additional facts and presentation ideas that you may want to include. When you open the presentation in PowerPoint, there is a "Notes" section at the bottom of each slide. You can add some of these guidelines in that space, as well as information or reminders that will help you while you are delivering the presentation. Practicing in front of your coworkers will help you to determine what the best way to deliver the information is, as well as help you to feel more comfortable when giving the presentation to the public.

"Shaken Baby Syndrome- What You Need to Know"

It may be a good idea to begin your presentation with a news story about Shaken Baby Syndrome, so that your audience has a real life reference for how serious the problem is. You should avoid using a local story, in case someone in your audience has a connection to the case. You may contact the Bureau of Injury Prevention at or (518) 473-1143- we keep a collection of recent cases and can provide you with some examples in communities similar to yours.

"What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?"

In order to make the presentation more interactive, you can ask the audience to define SBS or provide some consequences of SBS for you before you open up this slide and discuss the information. The purpose of this part of the presentation is to make sure everyone is working from the same basic definition of SBS so that they may understand the rest of the talk. When discussing how the baby's brain moves inside the skull, it will help your audience to understand what happens if you explain that blood pooling inside the skull puts pressure on the brain that can damage or destroy parts of the brain.

"How serious is SBS?"

You may want to mention that it is difficult to get comprehensive data on SBS. It is likely that many cases go undetected because parents and caregivers are not honest about the source of a baby's injuries, and medical professionals may not feel comfortable accusing the caregiver of child abuse. Also, not all babies with SBS are brought to the hospital. These are some reasons why the estimated number of annual cases has such a large range (1,000-3,000), and it is likely that there are many more cases of SBS than are indicated by these statistics.

"What are the economic results of SBS?"

While it is important to prevent SBS because of the terrible physical harm caused to babies and young children, many people may not be aware of the financial costs of child abuse.

"In New York State…"

This data is meant to make the subject more personal for New Yorkers, although the same problems with statistics that are mentioned early in the presentation apply to these numbers as well. Feel free to contact the Bureau of Injury Prevention ( or 518-473-1143) to get the most recent data on SBS in New York State.

"Who are the perpetrators of SBS?"

It is important to stress that anyone could be a perpetrator of SBS, and perpetrators do not generally fit the public's idea of how a "child abuser" should look or act. Being aware of this will hopefully motivate parents to discuss SBS with everyone who cares for their child, even if they cannot imagine this person hurting their baby.

"Why would someone shake a baby?"

Once again, stress that anyone can become frustrated or upset while caring for a child. Parents should make sure to discuss this with all family members or babysitters who are responsible for their baby. Providing the caregivers with the following tips on crying can help them to cope with frustration.

"What if your baby will not stop crying?" and "If your baby is still crying…"

Depending on your audience, you can decide how much time to spend on these slides. If you are speaking to a group of parents, it would probably be a good idea to spend a few minutes talking about these strategies. You can also ask the audience to call out strategies they have heard of or tried that may not be on the list.

"If you become frustrated with your baby's behavior…"

It is important to stress that it is totally normal to become frustrated sometimes, and that this happens to all parents. Make sure to tell the audience that the safest thing to do is put the baby in a safe place, like the crib, if you are becoming stressed out.

"Immediate symptoms of SBS" and "If you think a baby may have been shaken"

Once again, the importance of this slide depends on your audience. If you are speaking to medical professionals or new parents, it is important for them to know when to suspect SBS.

"Shaken Baby Syndrome is preventable!"

This is the most important slide of the presentation, because this is the information you want people to take away from the talk. You and the people listening to your presentation have the power to prevent SBS!

"For more information on SBS"

This is a good time to ask your audience if they have any questions. Answer what you can using the information in the toolkit. Give the audience time to write down this contact information, which they can use if they have any additional questions. You can also use this time to hand out SBS brochures, factsheets, and your business card, if you would like.