CCFA Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention:: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention

“Love Me…Never Shake Me”

Facts & Statistics: Did you know that….

  • SBS is one of the most violent forms of child abuse, accounting for the majority of severe head injuries in children less than one year of age. It is the most common cause of mortality and long-term disability in infants and young children due to physical abuse.

  • One quarter of SBS victims die – the remaining are often left with brain damage, hearing and/or sight loss, learning difficulties, seizure disorders, cerebral palsy, and paralysis.

  • Roughly 1/3 of SBS cases are missed the first time.

  • Less than 10-15% of shaken babies are believed to completely recover.

  • Men are more likely to shake a baby than others (i.e., men represent over 60% of historical perpetrators).

Historical SBS Perpetrators --
In SBS cases, perpetrators commonly report that they shook the infant due to frustration in caring for an infant who was incessantly crying.

All babies cry…it’s how you, the caregiver, handle the crying that can be the difference between life and death.

Program Overview:
The “Love Me…Never Shake Me” Program is based on a successful educational effort that has been in place in upstate New York since 1998. Since the launch of this program, they have seen their number of SBS cases decrease by over 50%. We hope to experience similar results in Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s primary referral area.

Key components of our educational program include:

  • Educating all families in the hospital shortly after the birth of their child.

  • Having families watch a short video “Portrait of a Promise”, review selected educational brochures with a nurse, and sign a Personal Commitment Statement, indicating that they have received the information and agree to participate in the program.

  • Giving all participants a special gift bag with several educational brochures, an infant bib customized with our message -- “Love Me…Never Shake Me”, a photo magnet, and a copy of their signed personal commitment statement.

Aside from offering this education within local maternity hospitals, we are also partnering with other organizations to expand the reach of this program, including: schools and career centers, parenting programs, home visitation providers, babysitter training courses, prenatal clinics, physicians’ offices, and correctional facilities.

Passage of Claire's Law - SB144
Read about the new Shaken Baby Syndrome law, Senate Bill 144 or "Claire's Law".
Tips for Coping & Understanding Infant Crying:
Remember the 2-2-2 theory. Babies can begin to cry as early as 2 weeks of age, crying peaks at 2 months, and a baby can cry up to 2 hours per day. Crying is a normal part of infant development.

Develop an action plan for how you will handle your baby’s crying. Develop strategies for soothing your child and yourself. Locate a safe place (e.g., baby’s crib or playpen) where the baby can lay down while you take a break.

Be proactive – develop a family support plan of how you and your family members will support one another during your baby’s peak crying periods. Also, talk with your child’s caregivers to develop a plan for communicating with one another, including relieving your child’s caregiver, if needed, during times of stress.

When feeling rattled, first, ensure that baby is in a safe place, then:

  • Take a break from the crying

  • Read a magazine or book

  • Take a deep breath

  • Call a friend or family

  • Take a warm bath

  • Exercise

And, finally, remember…no matter how frustrated you get, never shake a baby.

Program Supporters:
The “Love Me…Never Shake Me” Educational Program has been generously supported by the following organizations:
Abbott Laboratories Fund -- Ross Laboratories
Kiwanis Club (the Downtown Club) of Columbus, Ohio
Office of the Ohio Attorney General, Jim Petro
National Council of Jewish Women, Columbus Section
Prevent Child Abuse Ohio
Train the Trainer Sessions, Program Materials and Program Support:

The Center for Child and Family Advocacy offers a variety of “Train the Trainer” sessions and opportunities to assist you in introducing an SBS prevention program within your local community. If you are interested in attending a “Train the Trainer” session or in scheduling a time for an educator to visit your facility, please contact the Center at

For More Information About Shaken Baby Syndrome, please take a moment to look at the following Web sites:

Brain Injury Association of the USA

National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

National Center on Prosecution of Child Abuse

National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse

Shaken Baby Alliance

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000