A physical exam helps the doctor find out whether a child has
injuries related to
shaken baby syndrome. The doctor will:
Check the child's body for any bruises, swollen
areas, or cuts. The doctor writes down and photographs any injuries.
Evaluate a child's head for signs of swelling. The doctor feels
the child's scalp and measures head circumference. A baby's
fontanelles (the soft spots on top of the skull) are
checked for size and signs of bulging.
Check the chest area. The doctor feels for rib fractures and
listens to the heart and lungs.
Examine the child's eyes for the type of damage inside the eye that
is caused by shaking or throwing. A pediatric eye specialist can confirm the
presence of this damage. The child's pupils are dilated with eyedrops so the
doctor can thoroughly see the back of the eye. The doctor may use a special
camera, called a retinoscope, to photograph the retina.
child's ears, mouth, and nose for injuries.
Feel the child's neck
for any marks, bruises, or swelling.
Examine the child's abdomen,
anus, and genital area for swelling or other signs of internal
Feel the child's arms and legs for signs of breaks.
Primary Medical Reviewer
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.