Parents in County Durham are being reassured that it’s normal for babies to cry and being encouraged to adopt comforting techniques as part of a campaign that launched this week that sends the clear message that you should never shake your baby.
NHS County Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is leading on the campaign with health and social care partners, which aims to increase awareness with a range of important videos and messages.
The ‘ICON: Babies cry, you can cope’ campaign is a national message and stands for Infant crying is normal -it will stop; Comfort methods can help, It’s Okay to walk away; Never ever shake your baby.
This aims to educate and support parents in the hope that they will be able to cope with a crying baby and prevent Abusive Head Trauma (AHT).
Sadly, babies are still harmed by being shaken globally and nationally. The resulting investigation, known as a Serious Case Review aims to prevent such incidents through education and learning for parents and healthcare professionals.
Dr Suzanne Smith, founder and programme advisor for ICON said:
“The COVID19 pandemic has increased stress within families’ homes. The more stress that parents find themselves having to cope with can impact on their ability to cope with a crying baby.”
Tragically, recent figures from Ofsted show abuse to babies under one year old has risen by 20% from the same point last year. This includes babies who have been shaken.
Dr Smith continued: “Parents feel under more stress when they think they are doing something wrong. Just by knowing that crying is normal and can increase between the ages of 2 and 8 weeks helps parents cope. ICON encourages parents to seek medical advice if they think there is something wrong with their baby and also encourages techniques to support a loving and nurturing relationship with their baby.”
“If there is nothing wrong and the crying is getting to them, ICON underlines the need for them to calm themselves down, ensure their baby is safe, and take a break for a few minutes. The advice and support that underpins ICON is being made available for all health and social care professionals to ensure the message is provided to all families with babies.”
For further information visit Twitter: : @ICON_COPE to keep involved and up to date with the ICON programme campaign starting 22 March.