TULSA, Okla. – April is Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Month and The Parent Child Center of Tulsa (PCCT) has taken a stand to reduce the number of Tulsa babies that are at risk of Shaken Baby Syndrome through an educational program called, Never Shake a Baby.
The program’s goal in 2012 is to double the number of mothers that participate in the Never Shake a Baby program. The program ultimately works to prevent abuse and neglect from occurring to the most vulnerable among society, babies.
Blue Cross and Shield of Oklahoma is helping PCCT meet that goal with a recent grant of $50,000 through the company’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative, which focuses on engaging children and their families in understanding the importance of healthy lifestyles and preventing and managing disease. The grant has allowed PCCT to hire an additional Never Shake a Baby prevention educator and extend their reach in Tulsa.
“Every parent I know has experienced moments when they feel completely at a loss as to how to calm their crying baby. When you’re exhausted and frustrated, that situation can escalate and you can overreact. It only takes three to five seconds to do irreparable harm by shaking a baby,” said Desiree Doherty, PCCT executive director. “With the help of community partners, like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, we can educate more parents of newborns about the dangers of shaking a baby and how to prevent it. The key is to understand crying as normal infant behavior and calming yourself while trying a variety of safe-for-baby soothing techniques.”
PCCT partners with hospitals in Tulsa County to deliver the Never Shake a Baby program to postnatal mothers, fathers, and other caregivers present at time of visitation. In 2011, the Never Shake a Baby hospital visitation program was presented to 2,228 birth mothers, 1,088 fathers, 706 other people present and 2,249 babies were represented (including births to multiples).
The Never Shake a Baby program also provides community education through local high schools, community organizations, and other entities presenting information regarding the prevention of
“Oklahoma has a high infant mortality rate, for a number of reasons, but the Never Shake a Baby program is combatting one of the causes that is often overlooked,” said Bert Marshall, BCBSOK president. “BCBSOK is proud to support Parent Child Center of Tulsa in their effort to educate parents to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.”Shaken Baby Syndrome.
For more information about the Never Shake a Baby program visit parentchildcenter.org or 3seconds.org.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Throughout its 72-year history, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association has been committed to meeting the health care financing needs of Oklahomans. As the state’s oldest and largest private health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma provides health care benefit plans for more than 684,000 Oklahomans. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is well known for its broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products, including medical, pharmacy, dental, vision, and medical management/behavioral health services. For more information, visit bcbsok.com.
About The Parent Child Center of Tulsa
The Parent Child Center of Tulsa is a Tulsa, Oklahoma based 401(c)3 organization working to prevent child abuse and neglect through education, treatment and advocacy. In 2011 The Parent Child Center’s programs reached over 27,000 people throughout the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. For more information on PCCT, please call 918-599-7999 or visit parentchildcenter.org.