This prevention program deals directly with one of the most serious forms of child abuse in children: Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). The Family Center was asked by the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Child Death Review Team to develop a hospital-based prevention program in 2002. That program has been funded by ADPH since then and is now offered at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. The program has been adopted by other hospitals in Mobile and Baldwin County.
The program’s main focus is the stress of a new baby and teaching parents how to calm a crying infant using Dr. Harvey Karp’s 5S method. Almost all babies are shaken because of uncontrollable crying. The program is offered in the patient’s room and she and her family are encouraged to take the 30-minute class in preparation for going home with their new child. The class ends with the 8-minute video “Portrait of Promise” which details the devastating effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome in three infants. Parents are asked to sign an affidavit stating that they have had the workshop and understand the dangers of shaking their child. They also promise to share the material with their infant’s caregivers.
New parents are invited to attend parenting classes and groups for new moms. Follow up calls are made one month after baby is born.