A 2-month-old infant has been brought to the ED. Which finding by the nurse would raise suspicion for shaken baby syndrome?

  1. failure to track with the eyes
  2. crying without tear production
  3. bruising to the arms and shoulders
  4. greater-than-expected head circumference and bulging fontanels
Number 4 is correct.
Rationale: Greater-than-expected head circumference and bulging fontanels are a finding of shaken baby syndrome due to subdural brain hemorrhage. An infant at 2 months does not yet track with the eyes. Crying is not a typical sign of shaken baby syndrome. External signs of abuse are usually absent; retinal hemorrhage is revealed on ophthalmoscopic examination. The nurse is legally obligated to report all cases of suspected child abuse or neglect.