The National Council of the Child called on police to investigate whether the
twins hospitalized at Sheba Medical Center with bone fractures last week were
victims of “shaken baby” syndrome. Meanwhile, the police and the twins’ parents
deny a criminal investigation is underway.
The four-month-old twins, a
boy and girl, were rushed to the hospital on Wednesday night with internal
injuries. At the time, Prof. Gidi Porat, director of Intensive Care at the Tel
Hashomer Medical Center, said they did not rule out the possibility that the
babies suffer from a genetic disease.
Shaken baby syndrome is an
intermediate condition between an accident and physical abuse of
The shaking of the head and neck can cause serious brain
damage, head fractures and broken ribs. Most parents, or other adults, do not
intend to harm infants, rather quiet them out of frustration over the
Boys and girls are equally susceptible to the syndrome, which
usually occurs during the first year of life, said Dr. Yitzhak Kadman,
chairman of the council. The frustrated adult usually loses control after being
unable to calm babies.
Until recently, said Kadman, there has been little
awareness of shaken-baby syndrome.
Two years ago, the council ran an
informational campaign for parents and caregivers in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian,
which will soon be translated into Amharic.
Every year, some 650 babies
die before their first birthday. Of these, 150 were of unknown
The council believes that several dozen died due to shaken baby
syndrome and that thousands of children suffer from such damage that often is
revealed years after it occurs.