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Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prevention Programs for Healthcare Providers


A baby brings an unlimited amount of love, joy and happiness into a new parents life. Unfortunately a baby can also bring a lot of stress. As healthcare providers you need to talk with these parents about the stress of a newborn, and what to do at 2:30 am when the baby has been crying non-stop for hours and they have tried everything and nothing works. New parents often lack the skills to quiet a crying infant and often need to hear from a trusted healthcare provider how to safely care for an crying infant and that it is ok to put that baby down and walk away.

The cause of this increase is not clear and most likely due to a number of factors. In an effort to impact on this trend, Dr. Karyn Patno, Clinical Director of the Child Protection Program of Vermont, Laura Murphy, MD and Ann Shangraw, of Prevent Child Abuse Vermont provide free materials and training for pediatricians.

Our hospital program is modeled after the Dr. Mark Dias study which provides the first firm evidence that a comprehensive program of hospital-based, parent education at the time of a child’s birth can reduce effectively the incidence of infant abusive head injuries

Hospital Based Training for Birthing Center Nurses

This anticipatory guidance will center on infant crying and how to cope. Birthing Center nurses will receive free materials and a video to council parents on Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention and Safe Sleep, the causes and outcomes. Nurses will have the opportunity to view the parent pledge form and ask questions and voice concerns they may have with this prevention project.

Office Based Training for Primary Care Providers

The training will help primary care providers recognize risk factors for Abusive Head Trauma; train primary care providers on doing effective anticipatory guidance around the issue of infant crying; offer suggestions on how to document their efforts on the medical record; and give primary care providers resources for referral. The training will follow the anticipatory guidelines outlined in Bright Futures.

Trainings for students, parents, caregivers, grandparents and community members are also offered.

To schedule a training, please contact Ann Shangraw at: 802-552-4269, or ashangraw@pcavt.org.