ICON Week aims to raise awareness of infant crying and how parents and carers can cope with it, in order to help prevent serious injury, illness and even death which can result from adults not knowing how to soothe or otherwise safely attend to crying babies.
Research suggests that some parents and carers find the crying of their very young children so stressful that they lose control when the infant’s crying becomes too much for them. Some go on to shake a baby, with devastating consequences. Abusive head trauma (AHT) causes catastrophic brain injuries, which can lead to death, or significant long term health and learning disabilities.
ICON is an evidence based programme adopted by organisations across the UK to provide information about infant crying. It consists of a series of brief interventions:
- I - Infant crying is normal and it will stop
- C - Comfort methods can sometimes soothe the baby and the crying will stop
- O - It’s okay to walk away for a few minutes if you have checked the baby is safe and the crying is getting to you
- N - Never ever shake or hurt a baby
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Most babies start to cry more frequently from 2 weeks of age, with a peak usually being seen around 6 to 8 weeks.
“The ICON Week campaign is about sharing messages of support and advice to parents and carers who might be struggling to cope. We want to normalise the fact that babies do cry and some aren’t easily soothed and we want to share information far and wide about what to do in these situations and how to stay calm.”
Richard Fisher, current Chair of the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together Board, added: “By sharing these vitally important messages and coping techniques to parents and carers, we are working towards reducing the risk of harm to babies and protecting them from injury.
“Anyone who needs help and is struggling to cope, please don’t continue to struggle. Help is available from your midwife, health visitor, GP or go online and there are more resources on the ICON website.”
Throughout the week, Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together partners including the council, health services, police, housing providers and voluntary and community organisations will be sharing simple, lifesaving messages with parents, carers, family members, neighbours and friends. They will also be providing training to staff and volunteers.