Thursday, January 22, 2009

Opportunity 3: Support School Education Projects

3. Education about Shaken Baby Syndrome in schools doesn't only reach future parents.

And it doesn't only reach teen parents who are still in school.

It is also an opportunity to educate babysitters about the vulnerability of young children to shaking injuries and the need to be prepared with a coping plan for the inevitable moments of frustration.

So, contact the Family and Consumer Science or Health educators at your local high school and middle schools. Offer to buy them one of the many educational DVDs available from the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, the Shaken Baby Alliance or the Midwest Children's Resource Center.

Coordinate that effort with the local educators who teach babysitter classes. Ask what they teach their classes about SBS, SIDS and other safety and injury prevention topics (for example, how many teenage babysitters are aware that giving honey to infants puts them at risk for botulism - and that about 1,000 children a year are estimated to suffer a reaction)

There are some good syllabuses for school education on line, and the New York State Education Department should be working on a curriculum as we speak. Similar legislation has been pending in Illinois, and was just introduced in Connecticut last week.

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