Shaken Baby Prevention
Deaths and injuries from shaken baby syndrome (SBS) can be prevented by helping adults understand normal crying, practice methods to soothe crying babies and learn how to safely relieve the stress of caring for young children.
With consultation from a statewide workgroup of experts, ODH is developing a comprehensive SBS prevention plan based on a best practice model from Mark S. Dias, MD (Pediatrics, April, 2005). The plan includes educating parents, caregivers, health professionals and the community about the dangers of shaking; the normalcy of infant crying; a variety of soothing and calming techniques for both child and adult; and resources for additional help. Components of the plan will be posted to this site as they are developed.
The key element of the SBS prevention plan is the presentation of a consistent, strong message to parents by health professionals on repeated occasions: during the pregnancy, at the time of birth and during follow-up medical visits.
Additional opportunities exist for presenting the message to families participating in the Help Me Grow program or seeking child care from licensed centers or certified home providers. After the Teaching Tool is presented by a trusted health professional, parents can be guided to complete a Certificate that affirms their new knowledge and individual plan to safely respond to stressful crying.
Downloadable Shaken Baby Syndrome Education Materials
Claire’s Law requires ODH to make SBS prevention materials available for download from its Web site. ODH does not have funds to supply these materials to order; however, anyone may download and print unlimited copies.
Instructions for Use of ODH SBS Materials
- Download the Teaching Tool. Print double-sided, in color or in black and white. Fold in thirds with “Babies cry a lot” on the outside. Add your agency contact information on the back panel. Download and print the certificate that would most appeal to the parent.
- Present the Teaching Tool to the parent. Go over the contents, beginning with the facts about crying. Point out the tips for soothing babies and relieving stress. Be sure parents understand the dangers of shaking a baby and the importance of sharing this information with anyone who will care for the baby
- Give the parent a certificate and help them complete it with the baby’s name and an individual plan for dealing with the stress of crying.
- Encourage the parent to keep the Teaching Tool for reference and to post the certificate at home in a place they will see it often.
Instructions for Use of ODH SBS Materials in Child Care Settings
- Download the Teaching Tool. Print double-sided, in color or in black and white. Fold in thirds with “Babies cry a lot” on the outside. Add your program contact information or local resources on the back panel.
- Present the Teaching Tool to the staff member. Go over the contents, beginning with the facts about crying. Point out the tips for soothing babies and relieving stress, identifying appropriate methods to use within the child care setting. Be sure staff understand the dangers of shaking a baby and know what to do if feeling overwhelmed.
- Child care facilities are encouraged to have staff sign a statement verifying receipt of the Teaching Tool and maintain a copy on file.
More Resources to Come!
Visit this site frequently to see additional materials and resources, including a Spanish-language version of the Teaching Tool.