Shaken Baby Syndrome Simulator Gives Shocking Look At Speed

Armen Hareyan's picture

Shaken Baby Syndrome

The new Shaken Baby Syndrome Simulator from Realityworks offers a high-impact lesson about the permanent brain damage that occurs from shaking a baby out of frustration. Countless lives can be saved.

Shaking the life-sized infant simulator is disturbing. Watching the damage progress across the brain through illuminated LEDs is powerful. Hearing the piercing cry abruptly stop is devastating.

"Education is a key component in preventing this senseless form of child abuse," says Bonnie Armstrong, co-founder and executive director of The Shaken Baby Alliance, a national organization dedicated to supporting victims and families, and preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) through awareness, education and advocacy.

"The Shaken Baby Syndrome Simulator and curriculum developed by Realityworks gives participants a very visual understanding of the dangers of shaking a child while teaching caregivers the importance of learning how to cope with crying. Caregivers need to understand that when babies cry ... we cope."


The life-sized electronic "baby" is equipped with accelerometers that measure the force on the brain when shaken. A see-through vinyl head reveals LED lights that indicate the damaged areas of the brain in real time. The simulator is equipped with actual infant audio. The robust crying stops abruptly as shaking causes permanent brain damage. Associated educational materials emphasize the importance of having a plan to cope with an inconsolable baby and include a pledge never to shake a baby.

SBS causes permanent devastation and heartbreak for everyone involved. SBS is under-diagnosed because the effects on the brain aren't always immediately seen, the abuse may not be reported, and perpetrators often lie about the cause of a baby's injuries. It's surprisingly easy for people to reach the point of shaking a crying, inconsolable baby, particularly if the caregiver is tired or frustrated.

Awareness of SBS and appropriate coping methods is critical for everyone who cares for an infant, responds to family emergencies or trains future parents, babysitters and child care providers.

The Shaken Baby Syndrome Simulator was introduced during National Child Abuse Month in April. It's been added to an existing line of hands-on, experiential learning products used worldwide by educators to enhance their messages about healthy behaviors and life choices.

Realityworks products combine technology with real life to create unforgettable learning experiences for educators in schools, health care, social services, corrections and more. Realityworks, Inc. is the creator of the world's first computerized infant simulators used around the world to teach life skills and prevent adolescent pregnancy.