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ICON - Babies Cry, You Can Cope

What is abusive head trauma?

  • ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’
  • Child Abuse
  • Catastrophic injuries:
    • Bleeds in the brain and behind eyes
    • Fractures
  • Babies can be shaken, thrown or hit
  • It affects approximately 24 of every 100,000 babies admitted to hospital each year
  • Research suggests 1 in 9 mothers may have shaken their baby and up to 2 in 9 felt like doing so.

Who shakes and why?

  • 70% perpetrators are male - fathers/male surrogates (Kesler et al 2008; Altman et al 2010)
  • Can occur in every socio-economic group
  • Coping with crying: Living on the edge
  • Caregivers lose control and shake – baby stops crying
  • Demonstrable relationship between the normal peak of crying and babies subject to AHT. (Barr et al 2006)
  • Increase in cases in the 1st month of life, a peak at 6 weeks during the 2nd month and a decrease during the 3rd to 5th months of life


  • Crying is considered the main trigger
  • Peak of crying is 6-8 weeks of age
  • The parents or the mothers partner are responsible for AHT in 75% of babies
  • A majority of perpetrators are male
  • The most at risk groups are:
    • Male baby
    • Below 6 months
    • Low birth weight
    • Regular contact with health professionals

Promotional Materials


This sticker template can be used to print your own set of ICON stickers.

ICON Sticker Template

The requirements to print these stickers are:

Banner A4
Label code 967 0020
24 per page

Fridge Magnet

Fridge magnets will be disseminated to families via Midwifery.


These posters can be displayed in public areas to support families and raise awareness of the ICON message.

You can download these files and print them for use in your setting.

Babies Cry, You Can Cope

Babies Cry, You Can Cope 2

ICON Explained

ICON Poster for GP’s


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