Traumatic Brain Injury Expert Explains The 'Fun' Way Some Parents Play With Their Babies That Can Cause Serious Damage

There are so many other ways to play with your baby.

woman throwing baby in the air Pexels / Galina Yarovaya

It's likely that at least once in your lifetime you have seen a baby being thrown into the air during playtime. It’s a common activity parents do all the time as it induces laughs and smiles from all parties.

However, just because the baby is laughing now, that doesn’t mean there aren't risks for traumatic brain injuries later.

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The uncertain circumstances of throwing your baby in the air that parents often neglect.

A TikToker user known as posted a video to her account that discussed the horrifying effects of throwing a baby into the air. She mentioned a few circumstances that parents often do not take into consideration when playing with their babies.

She stated that when you throw a baby into the air, there’s a possibility that the baby would hit a ceiling fan or another object located on the ceiling. She mentioned that chances are parents do not think about this chance before throwing them up into the air.




According to her, “their neck muscles are not strong enough to sustain the jolting motion that your head goes through,” meaning that even if the baby doesn’t hit anything, or is caught by their parent, they could still develop a brain injury solely because of the movement and lack of strength in their developing muscles.

She herself noted that she would never be throwing any baby into the air, and she advised parents to stop the potentially harming act.

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'Shaken Baby Syndrome' is real and the effects are more harmful than we think.

In support of her video, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, “Severe shaking causes the baby’s head to move violently back and forth, resulting in serious and sometimes fatal brain injury. These forces are exaggerated if the shaking is interrupted by the baby’s head hitting a surface.”

However, Healthline claimed that the effects of throwing a baby into the air will not cause "shaken baby syndrome," but that there are still some pretty serious consequences such as blood vessels becoming ruptured or damaged.

Today's Parent stated, “There have been incidents of retinal damage with this type of playing” and advised that a parent who asked for help to not play with a baby like this until the child is at least two years old. This is because babies do not have distributed weight and their heads are the largest parts of their bodies.

throwing baby in the air can be harmfulPhoto: Loren Castillo / Pexels


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Many people shared their experiences with this 'playful' way of parenting.

A few users shared their experiences with playing with their babies in this manner, and quite a few TikTokers were not willing to stop throwing their babies up into the air during play.

One user wrote, “No one is intentionally giving their child brain damage but my 2 year old LOVES to be thrown in the air and I’m not about to stop.” The user then responded to his own comment by saying, “Fun is the point, lady. Fun and bonding. Rough play is fun. My daughter loves being thrown in the air and slammed on the bed.”

Many TikTokers asked questions, like this one, “At what age can we do this?” The woman responded to the question by writing, “Never, truly. Someone below talked about a child several years old who was dropped accidentally this way and died.”


Even if you vow to never drop your child, accidents do happen and the effects are traumatizing.

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Cortney Crowell is a writer from New Jersey that covers entertainment, news, and parenting stories.