FREMONT – Methodist Fremont Health is committed to children’s safety, and today the hospital was named an “Abusive Head Trauma / Shaken Baby Prevention Education Champion,” by the Department of Health & Human Services.
“The stresses of parenthood can be intense, but with proper education we are ensuring parents know the right way to deal with their new role,” said Judy Martin, Deputy Director of Community and Environmental Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “This is a transformative initiative that impacts children in their first year of life, but affects the rest of their life.”
Nebraska’s DHHS officials worked with the Nebraska Hospital Association, the Nebraska chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative, and the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska to launch the Nebraska AHT/SBS Prevention Education Hospital Campaign. The campaign provides evidence-based education and training to parents of newborns, as well as hospital staff working in maternity wards and emergency rooms.
In Nebraska, eleven babies’ deaths were associated with Abusive Head Trauma for between 2010 and 2016. Abusive Head Trauma (AHT), also known as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), is 100 percent preventable and is a form of physical child abuse to a baby or young child. Shaking an infant can cause brain injury, cerebral palsy, blindness, hearing loss, learning and behavior problems, seizures, paralysis, and even death. It is estimated that potentially 3,000 children in the United States suffer from shaken baby or abusive head trauma each year. One fourth of victims of SBS die, and 80 percent of survivors suffer from permanent damage.
Methodist Fremont Health has committed to help bring an end to these tragic & preventable deaths by becoming an AHT/SBS Prevention Hospital Champion. The hospital signed a pledge to educate parents, patients and staff about the dangers of shaking an infant.
Additionally, each Champion Hospital also creates or updates an AHT/SBS policy and incorporates The Crying Plan into post-discharge patient calls and take home information. The Crying Plan is a step by step guide to help caregivers resolve crying through comforting techniques, seek help when they’re overwhelmed by a crying baby, and to communicate these plans to other people associated with a baby’s care.