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For Immediate Release: 4/17/2014
Leggett, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital Officials Launch Infant Injury Prevention Campaign; County Distributes “Onesies” to Parents of Newborns

County Executive Isiah Leggett joined Shady Grove Adventist Hospital President John Sackett today to launch a public education campaign aimed at reminding parents of infants to “Handle with C.A.R.E.” Also joining Leggett at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital were Erik Schobitz, M.D., medical director of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department and Agnes Leshner, administrator for Child Welfare Services (CWS) for the County’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Since August 2013, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of serious injuries and deaths in Montgomery County children under the age of four, with an average of one fatality per month. CWS has investigated an average of two cases of life-threatening injuries per month in children under the age of three.

“April is Child Abuse Prevention Month,” said Leggett, “and we are launching this education campaign to remind the community that infants need to be handled with care. We hope that the “onesies” that we are distributing to parents of newborns here at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and by our community health nurses will serve as a reminder that young children are precious and fragile.”

The “onesies” come with a message---FRAGILE: HANDLE WITH C.A.R.E.

o C stands for “create a calm environment for your baby”

o A stands for “ask for help when you need it”

o R stands for “relax”

o E stands for “enjoy your baby”

An information card is included with each “onesie” that gives parents tips on caring for newborns and infants and includes information on the County’s Crisis Center in the event new parents feel overwhelmed.

“We are pleased to support the County in its infant injury prevention efforts,” said Sackett. “This is an extension of our mission to demonstrate God’s care through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.”

“At Shady Grove Adventist Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department, we treat approximately 21,000 children each year,” said Schobitz. “Unfortunately, we do see newborns and infants come in with injuries. This campaign is a great reminder that prevention is the most effective treatment we can provide.”

In addition to its pediatric emergency department, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital delivers about 5,000 babies each year in its Birth Center.

The “onesie” distribution project is part of CWS’ continuing effort to emphasize “The Power of One,” a campaign introduced last year to make community residents aware of the things they can do to help keep children safe and help struggling families.

“During the past year we have seen an eight percent increase in child abuse reports,” said Leshner, “and we are working with families who are reported to us to help them develop a strong, safe and secure emotional bond between children and parents. This bond is critical for a child’s physical, social and emotional development. We want to engage the community to help parents learn new nurturing skills that lead to strong, secure attachments.”

For more information, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/hhs or call Child Welfare Services at 240-777-3500. To report suspected abuse or neglect of an infant or a child; call the 24-hour reporting line at 240-777-4417.

 

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Release ID: 14-165
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6534

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