Shaken Baby Syndrome
According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, activities such as tossing a child in the air, jogging with a child in a backpack, swinging a child in an infant swing or bouncing the child up and down on an adult’s knee are not causes of bone, brain and eye injury associated with shaken baby syndrome. Shaken baby syndrome results when a child is shaken violently and his head whips back and forth repeatedly, causing bone, brain or eye trauma. However, if you are throwing the baby in such a way that her head whips back and forth, then she is at risk of developing shaken baby syndrome.
While head control usually develops around 4 months, it’s safest to wait until a baby is at least 6 months of age if you decide to play with her by throwing her in the air. By 6 months of age, a baby’s neck muscles have strengthened. Throwing a baby high in the air before the age of 6 months might result in neck strain for a baby who is unable to properly support her own head.