Supporting people caring for crying babies
Wednesday 09 June 2021
As part of Child Safety Week NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is raising awareness of the ICON programme to help parents and carers cope with crying babies.
Research has shown that some people lose control when a baby’s crying becomes too much. Some go on to shake a baby with devastating consequences. The ICON programme aims to reduce cases of Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) in infants by highlighting that:
- I – Infant crying is normal
- C –Comforting methods can help
- O – It’s OK to walk away
- N – Never, ever shake a baby
The national ICON programme has been approved for endorsement from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGPs) and Northumberland is part of its national rollout.
Parents and carers can benefit from the programme’s messages being provided at key touch points including the antenatal period, at birth in hospital, follow-up by the midwife, primary visit and follow up by universal services through to the six-week postnatal check.
Margaret Tench, designated nurse for safeguarding children at the CCG said: “Whilst welcoming a new baby into the home can be a joyous time, it can also be an incredibly stressful time with lots of new challenges and adaptations needed.
“Parents may experience feelings of frustration, anger, tiredness, upset – or a mix of emotions when a baby won’t stop crying. This can lead them to physically shake the baby.
“This can be incredibly dangerous and cause the baby permanent damage – and even cause death in some cases. This it’s why it’s incredibly important that we support parents and carers who are looking after new-born babies to help them stay in control.”
ICON training is currently being delivered to GP practices and staff working in the wider community by the CCG’s safeguarding team and also to midwives and staff working in the 0-19 service through Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s safeguarding midwife and public health lead.
Find out more about how ICON can help parents and professionals: