LIVINGSTON–Having a newborn, one of life’s happiest moments, can also mean a lot of stress for parents. But, a new program from Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey hopes to make the transition into parenthood a little easier.
On Oct. 15, Saint Barnabas Medical Center will be the first hospital in New Jersey to expand its efforts with child abuse prevention, by teaching all parents who deliver there about the Period of PURPLE crying. The program aims to eliminate shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma in infants, by teaching parents about the properties of crying, how to safely cope with the frustrations often associated with increased crying, and how to share the information with anyone who will care for their babies.
Parents at Saint Barnabas Medical Center will receive training from a nurse about how to deal with their baby’s crying and a DVD with tips on how to keep both themselves and their babies calm. Each family will be able to take home a DVD and color brochure to share this information with other caregivers.
Following Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center will be providing this to all families in their Maternity and Neonatal Intensive Care Units beginning Nov. 1. PCANJ hopes this project will spread to all of New Jersey’s birthing hospitals in the coming years.
The nationally recognized Period of PURPLE crying is the newest research-based initiative brought to the Garden State by Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey. New Jersey has an estimated 9,000 substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect cases in 2010 and approximately 15% of these were physical abuse. According from data from the Administration of Children and Families Children’s Bureau, of these 2010 cases, 21% were children ages 1 and under. PCANJ is excited to partner with Saint Barnabas on this initiative which will reach approximately 6,000 babies annually because any number more than zero is too many.
PCA-NJ Executive Director Rush Russell says, “This is a program that can benefit all parents because we all experience stress when dealing with a crying baby and most new parents are not aware that a period of increased crying is typical of even healthy infants. Even more, this program is also designed to teach other caregivers like spouses, grandparents, and babysitters about crying to help prevent a tragedy from ever occurring.”
Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, incorporated in 1979 as the state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, works in all twenty-one counties of the state to eliminate child abuse and neglect in all of its forms for all of New Jersey’s children. All of the organization’s work is research-based and built around nationally-recognized models. The nonprofit coordinates a full spectrum of family support programs including home visitation services, parent education groups, initiatives that promote parental involvement in a child’s education, and programs for highly vulnerable families. To learn more or to make a donation toward eliminating child abuse, visit us online at www.preventchildabusenj.org or call 1-800-CHILDREN.