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Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo
219 Bryant Street
Buffalo, NY 14222

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Shaken Baby Prevention Program

New York Shaken Baby Prevention Program

New York Shaken Baby Prevention Program

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) represents the most severe form of child abuse and accounts for the majority of severe head injuries in children less than 1 year of age.

New York Shaken Baby Prevention ProgramIt has 15-35% mortality with half of the survivors suffering permanent neurological damage leading to blindness, seizures, developmental delays, and spasticity. It is estimated that 1,400 children die of abusive injuries in the United States each year, and most deaths are attributed to severe head injuries. Violent infant shaking is most commonly a caregiver's response to persistent infant crying: nearly three-quarters of perpetrators are parents, and 60% are males.

The New York Shaken Baby Prevention Program is a hospital based parent education program designed to educate every parent of every child in New York State about the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). This program began in December 1998; thus far, over 12 years, the program has resulted in a sustained 50% reduction in the incidence of abusive head injuries in the region. This data has been published in the April 2005 edition of the journal, PEDIATRICS.

The New York Shaken Baby Prevention Program provides educational materials to both parents on the birth of every child in the region, and in turn asks them to voluntarily sign a commitment statement that affirms their receipt and understanding of the materials they received. These commitment statements are returned by participating hospitals and are tracked to determine the effectiveness of the program.

This program has served as the model of SBS prevention and has sparked the creation of numerous other programs worldwide. It was presented at a conference in Auckland, New Zealand where a version of the program has been implemented in the entire country. The program has put New York State 'on the map' with respect to its proactive stance in combating SBS, with articles in the New York Times and other papers, and interviews on Good Morning America, the BBC, and radio stations across the globe.

Through the success of the New York Shaken Baby Prevention Program and the strong support of local advocates, a state law was enacted in November 2004 institutionalizing the education program initiated by Kaleida Health's Women and Children's of Buffalo. This legislation serves to enhance the efforts of existing programs to educate all parents in New York State about the dangers of infant shaking.

The New York Shaken Baby Prevention Program partners with the pediatric care providers in the 17 counties of Upstate NY. This involves a 'booster shot' in the form of additional educational materials provided at the first doctor's office visit. This reinforces the message provided at birth. An educational card to help parents cope with a crying infant is shared with all parents at the baby's first office visit.

The New York Shaken Baby Prevention Program has truly made a difference in the community.This prevention campaign, designed to raise public awareness and educate parents and others about the dangers of violent infant shaking and abuse could potentially save the lives of many children and improve the lives of many others.

The New York Shaken Baby Prevention Program has been made possible through the generous support of The William B. Hoyt Children & Family Trust Fund, Kaleida Health Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Independent Health and The Buffalo Bills and their Alumni Foundation.

Kim Smith RN (Email: KSmith@kaleidahealth.org)
Program Coordinator

Kathy DeGuehery RN (Email: KDeGuehery@kaleidahealth.org)
Program Coordinator

To order support materials please contact the vendors list below.

The Video:
Portrait of Promise
(Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome)
The Child Abuse Project
Jane Swenson CNP
Midwest Children's Resource Center
Suite 401 Garden View Bldg.
347 No. Smith Ave
St. Paul, MN 55102
Phone: (651) 220-6750
  Commitment Statements, Crying Cards, Brochures and Posters:
North Delaware Printing
645 Delaware St.
Tonawanda, NY 14150
Phone: (716) 692-0576


MCN journal article on the Upstate New York Shaken Baby Syndrome Education Program

In the News...

The Upstate New York Shaken Baby Syndrome Education Program was featured in the Nov/Dec 2009 edition of MCN Journal.

Read it now...

Preventing Abusive Head Trauma Among Infants and Young Children

Pediatrics Journal

Articles published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics: