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Campaign launched to protect babies from the dangers of shaking, 30/09/13 [W]

Experts meeting in mid Wales on Monday 30 September 2013 will see a new campaign launched to protect babies from the dangers of shaking.

Non-accidental head injury is the most common cause of infant death or long term disability from maltreatment.  Research shows that a significant number of babies in Wales are suffering from such injuries and that an effective prevention campaign could potentially save the lives of children.

Such a campaign is now being launched by the Safeguarding Children Service, a team of designated doctors and nurses who are required to give professional leadership to NHS Wales in respect of safeguarding children.  The SCS, supported by Children in Wales, are launching a public health campaign to prevent head injuries in babies at a Conference on the 30th September 2013.

The key messages of the campaign can be seen in a powerful four minute video which highlights the challenges of coping with a crying infant and clearly states that it is harmful to shake a baby.  The film gives helpful guidance for parents and carers to assist them in developing strategies to deal with stressful times which are common to all parents.

Discussing the new campaign, Designated Nurses Safeguarding Children at Public Health Wales, Caroline Jones and Daphne Rose stated that: “The Safeguarding Children Service is delighted to disseminate this free resource to professionals to use with children and families as a number of studies have found that most parents appreciate the usefulness of information about the dangers of shaking a baby coupled with messages about how to cope with a crying infant.”

Notes

1.    The campaign will be launched at the Safeguarding Children Service National Conference: ‘Shaking your baby is just not the deal’ conference on 30th September 2013, 9.30 am – 3.00 pm, Metropole Hotel, Powys.

The Conference will be chaired by the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales.  It will also showcase other work undertaken in Wales to prevent non-accidental head injury and also emphasise the importance of communicating these messages to fathers who are sometimes overlooked by midwifery and child health professionals.

2.    The video also called ‘Shaking your baby is not the deal’ can be viewed on the Safeguarding Children Service website, from 10am on Monday 30 September at:

http://www.publichealthwales.org/shaken-baby-video 

It originates from work undertaken over the last ten years by a multi-disciplinary project team from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Australia and is subject to persistent project evaluation.  The work was presented by one of their team at the 2012 BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) Congress in Belfast.  The project team have been involved with families where babies have been fatally shaken, children and young people with serious injuries from being shaken and adult parents who have brain injuries caused by shaking or other non-accidental acquired injuries.

Since its launch in Australia, the material has been adopted and evaluated in Japan, Brazil and Turkey.  It has also been adopted in England in Sheffield and Derbyshire.  The Westmead Hospital Team have given permission for the SCS to change the ‘voice over’ on the video using a soft Welsh accent with Welsh subtitles and gives information about help available in Wales.

3.    Public Health Wales is an NHS organisation providing professionally independent public health advice and services to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales.

The Safeguarding Children Service (SCS), Public Health Wales is an all Wales service of designated doctors, nurses and support officers working with and on behalf of the Health Service and with all healthcare organisations to keep children and young people safe. A function of the SCS is to provide strategic and operational support to Health Boards, Health Trusts and healthcare professionals in Wales.

4.    Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for voluntary, statutory and professional organisations and individuals who work with children and young people in Wales. www.childreninwales.org.uk. Children in Wales was established in March 1992 and became a registered charity in 1993.  It aims to promote the interests of children, to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda.  It works closely with our members who comprise professionals, policy makers and consumer groups to improve the lives of all children living in Wales, but especially young children, those affected by family instability, children with special needs or disabilities, and those suffering the effects of poverty and deprivation.

5.   For more information please contact: Daphne Rose at Public Health Wales, e-mail:  daphne.rose@wales.nhs.uk phone 07815 610962.