Every year hundreds of babies are injured by their parents shaking them.
Abusive Head Trauma, as it is known in the medical profession, happens when young babies are roughly handled. In some cases it can lead to serious brain injury and death.
A group of young parents are hoping their struggles will help educate their peers on what to do if they think they’re on the edge of harming their baby.
Connor Moody Russell, 21, is dad to 17-month-old Ava. He has never harmed his daughter, but admits at times being a new parent has been tough.
‘No matter what age you have children it is going to be stressful transitioning to having kids,’ he explained.
‘Becoming a parent has a big impact on your life. Before you just worried about yourself but suddenly you have this defenceless human.’
Connor, 21, and a warehouse worker from Southampton, has worked with Fixers to create an informal video to be used in PSHE lessons for all Year 9 students in Hampshire.
In it Connor leads a discussion with other young parents about their experiences and the trio give advice on what to do if you find yourself wanting to harm your baby.
‘Always expect the unexpected; Do not panic, do not freak out,’ Connor explained.
‘Take your time. It is all about patience. Take a breather. Babies are not crying to annoy you, they just have no way to communicate – if you were unable to speak or move you would be frustrated too.’
For more information on abusive head trauma, and advice from the NHS on how to soothe a crying baby, click here.
This project was funded by the Hampshire Safeguarding Board.