LHSC working to prevent intentional infant injuries

(London, ON) – London Health Sciences Centre is the first hospital in Ontario to implement an education program for new parents aimed at preventing intentional injuries to newborns. The Period of PURPLE Crying® education program explains what is normal crying in infants, and what to do when your baby cries for long periods of time.

“Given the finding that 43% of severe infant injuries treated at London Health Sciences Centre were intentional, (LHSC Trauma Registry 1999-2006), many diagnosed as Shaken Baby Syndrome, LHSC has taken action” says Dr. Gary Joubert, Citywide Chief of Emergency Medicine and Director of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, LHSC.

New moms and their partners are given the option of a one-on-one education session with a member of the health care team on managing and understanding their newborn’s crying, particularly inconsolable crying. This education program includes a take-home DVD with strategies to help soothe newborns when they are at home. The program also outlines the lasting physical and neurological consequences that can occur from shaking your baby, including death.

Karen Garner and her husband Mike were the first couple to take part in the voluntary education program last month. Karen remembers the sleepless nights and feelings of frustration when she and Mike brought home their first baby. Daughter Emily, now two, often cried inconsolably for the first six-months.

“This education program helps parents know that they are not alone,” Karen says. The DVD includes testimonials from new parents who express their frustration when their baby wouldn’t stop crying. “We could relate to the frustration and exhaustion of the couple on the video,” she says.

The Children’s Health Foundation has provided the funds for this program. DVD’s and information booklets are available by visiting the programs website at: http://www.lhsc.on.ca/trauma/injury/sbs.htm LHSC anticipates that over 5,000 new families a year will go through this education program.

For more information contact:
Sarah Corrigan
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
T: 519-685-8500, ext. 77129 or E:sarah.corrigan@lhsc.on.ca