ICON: Babies Cry, You Can Cope!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Sefton Safeguarding Children Board has launched a new campaign which aims to help parents and carers to cope with a crying baby.  The call for resources comes from a number of infant deaths and serious case reviews where a baby has died or been seriously injured as a result of abusive head trauma.

Sefton LSCB's Independent Chair, Paula St Aubyn said “This is an important and timely campaign. Particularly as the impact of the pandemic can be far reaching for families.  It is the responsibility of all services the share these key messages throughout Sefton.”

Dr Wendy Hewitt, GP Safeguarding Lead for both CCGs in Sefton, said: “Hearing a baby cry, particularly for prolonged periods can be extremely upsetting and stressful for parents and carers and emotionally draining. That’s why the ICON campaign is so important in offering advice on how to cope with crying. ICON has proved successful in other areas of the country and we’re extremely glad to be promoting the tools and techniques it offers here in Sefton.”

Sharon Seton, Assistant Director of Safeguarding, from Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust said “ICON is a really important campaign that can help parents to cope with the challenges of a new born baby.  Southport and Ormskirk Hospital are working towards making sure that all parents know that crying is quite natural and that there is support available through the ICON website.”

Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) – also known as 'shaken baby syndrome' – causes catastrophic brain injuries, which can lead to death, or significant long term health and learning disabilities.  AHT is not restricted to specific socio-economic groups – it can occur in any environment, when a parent or carer is on the edge due to infant crying. 

The programme – ICON: Babies Cry, You Can Cope! – provides key messages and resources to let parents and carers know that infant crying is normal and there are methods which can be taken in order to cope.  Resources include leaflets, posters and video clips which can be shared with parents and carers at any contact had with midwives, health visitors, GPs, social workers, and other professionals working with families.

The ICON Key Messages are:

Infant crying is normal and it will stop. Comforting can sometimes soothe the baby - is the baby hungry, tired or in need of a nappy change? it's Okay to walk away if you have checked the baby is safe and the crying is getting to you. After a few minutes when you're feeling calm, go back and check the baby. Never shake or harm a baby, it can cause lasting damage or death.

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