... there is much more to do

“FATHER CHARGED IN ASSAULT ON BABY” (Three month old Papineauville infant suffered permanent brain damage); “BABY DIED FROM SHAKING, BC JURY TOLD” (Day care operator on trial for manslaughter; brain injuries killed infant); “BABY-SHAKER GETS 10 YEARS” ... and on it goes.

An infant's crying can generate enough frustration in a parent or caregiver to induce forceful shaking of the child. But, shaking a baby is dangerous! It can permanently disable or kill a child. This is a preventable tragedy.

On June 12, 1998, the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, released the NEVER SHAKE A BABY: What Parents and Caregivers Need to Know video. Produced by Health Television Inc., the video was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa with the generous support of the Kiwanis International Foundation, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation, the Champions for Children Foundation and Health Canada.

The NEVER SHAKE A BABY video is being heralded as a valuable tool for health care and social services professionals. Already thousands of copies have been distributed throughout Canada. The video has drawn attention to strategies for preventing this serious problem and for the need to mobilize community resources to prevent shaking incidents.

A series of events, like the First National Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome held in Saskatoon and the Edmonton Shaken Baby Syndrome-Alliance symposium, have already taken place. “As long as the problem persists, as long as headlines like the ones above continue to appear, there is more to do” said John Callan, President of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa.

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, through its Young Children: Priority One initiatives, is collaborating with its partners to achieve a more aggressive approach. This includes launching a sustained, multi-media public awareness campaign on SBS. The campaign is a major component of a comprehensive regional prevention initiative to combat the incidence of SBS in the Ottawa-Carleton and Outaouais regions.

The initiative is led by an allied group of key regional stakeholders. They include the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, the Champions for Children Foundation of Ottawa-Carleton, the Children’s Aid Society, police services, the RMOC, CHEO and its Foundation, as well as the Ottawa-Carleton and Outaouais health departments. Our shared mission is to increase public awareness of the dangers as well as the medical and legal consequences of shaking a baby.

On November 19, 1999, a Shaken Baby Syndrome Forum will take place in Ottawa and a Speakers’ Bureau will be established. A Shaken Baby Syndrome Data Kit with appropriate identification, investigation and resource tools will also be developed. And on November 19, 1999, the NEVER SHAKE A BABY video will be re-released at our luncheon. Dr. Marcie, a clinical expert from the Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital will be our guest speaker. Dr. Marcie will provide us with valuable current clinical perspective on the issue.

We hope you will all join us in welcoming Dr. Marcie to the Club and in supporting this important initiative. For information call Sam Bhargava at 834.3647 or Jim Low at 728.1901 x 218