Pioeneering programme launched in Liverpool to protect babies
Liverpool is one of the first places in the UK to trial an innovative new programme to educate new parents about the risks of inflicting head injuries on babies. The NSPCC has partnered with Liverpool Women's Hospital to launch the Non-Accidental Head Injury (NAHI) programme to help protect babies.
The service aims to educate parents about the risks of shaking babies and help them deal with the pressures of parenthood.
Midwives show new parents a short film before they are discharged from hospital, which helps them understand the dangers of shaking a baby, how to respond to their baby crying and how to cope with feeling stressed and tired.
Cathy Atherton, head of midwifery at the hospital, said: "Becoming a parent is one of the most profoundly important life events many of us experience.
"The transition to parenthood can be a source of great joy but may also be a source of great anxiety.
"Many parents are unaware of the dangers of shaking a baby so by working with the NSPCC and informing them before they take their newborn home we aim to help keep their baby safe."
Bernadette Oxley, regional head of service at the NSPCC in the North West said: "Evidence shows us that teaching parents how to handle their baby and cope with stress may be the best way to protect infants from non-accidental injury."
Midwives are already showing the DVD to parents of new born babies in three other hospitals around the UK, in Airedale, South Lanarkshire and Belfast. The project will be extended to several other hospitals over the coming months.
NAHI is the first educational programme of its kind which aims to reduce the number of non-accidental head injuries in babies in the UK. It draws inspiration from successful research overseas such as the US 'Buffalo' in New York state, which found that over a five year period the incidence of NAHI decreased by 47 per cent in the pilot areas where the DVD was shown (source: http://www.wchob.org/shakenbaby/).
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