Rotherham Council is working with local families and health partners as part of the ICON campaign, raising awareness with new parents and people that work with them about Shaken Baby Syndrome.
ICON stands for:
I - Infant crying is normal – and it will stop! Babies start to cry more frequently from around 2 weeks of age. The crying may get more frequent and last longer. After about 8 weeks of age babies start to cry less each week.
C - Comforting methods can help - Think about are they: hungry? tired? in need of a nappy change? Try simple calming techniques such as singing to the baby or going for a walk.
O - It’s OK to walk away – if you have checked the baby is safe and the crying is getting to you. After a few minutes when you are feeling calm, go back and check on the baby.
N - Never, ever shake a baby or hurt a baby. Shaking can cause lasting brain damage or death. If you are worried that your baby is unwell contact your GP or call NHS 111.
Staff from Rotherham Council’s Early Help and Social Care teams, who work with children and families across the borough, will provide advice to new mums and dads about what they can do to comfort a crying baby and how to cope with the stress it causes.
Support is available from your GP, midwife or through NHS 111 for anyone who is struggling.
The impact of Shaken Baby Syndrome is catastrophic for the individual, the family and ultimately society.
Babies have soft brains weak neck muscles and delicate blood vessels – shaking a baby for even a few seconds can often result in death or leave the baby with significant lifelong disabilities.
Help and advice for parents is available from the ICON website.
With added anxieties for people caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are urging anyone who knows new parents to share this information with them - no-one is immune from the stresses that baby crying can bring, but there are lots of coping mechanisms mums and dads can use to keep baby safe.