Five infants who were victims of physical abuse had extensive bilateral retinal hemorrhages on initial evaluation and subsequently developed signs of permanent retinal damage. None showed external evidence of trauma to the eyes. Vitreous hemorrhage developed after a delay of several days or more in three cases that were followed closely from the time of the traumatic incident. In several eyes, apparent intraretinal blood-filled cavities were seen acutely in the macular region and elsewhere. Late scarring of the macula typically had a cystic or crater-like configuration. Electroretinography showed loss or reduction of the positive B-wave with preservation of the negative A-wave in every case. We propose that splitting of the retina resulting from the direct mechanical effects of violent shaking was responsible for all of these findings.