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Barnardos, Plunket welcome Never Ever Shake a Baby

Joint media release Barnardos New Zealand and Plunket

3 December 2009

Barnardos New Zealand and Plunket welcome Never Ever Shake a Baby campaign

Barnardos New Zealand and Plunket welcome today’s launch of the campaign Never, Ever Shake a Baby, by Hon Paula Bennett, Minister of Social Development. The campaign is highly significant in that it focuses on protecting the most vulnerable of our citizens.

“This campaign heralds an education programme targeted at parents and caregivers and strives to prevent the tragedy of unintended and unthinking harm of our infants,” says Murray Edridge, Chief Executive of Barnardos New Zealand.

Plunket CEO Jenny Prince says the tragedy of shaking a baby can occur when parents or caregivers are exhausted, stressed or unsupported. Difficulty with settling a baby can also be a trigger point.

“There is a real need for everyone who knows someone with a new baby to support them in some way. That is how we develop healthy children, happy families and strong communities,” she says.

Being supportive can mean anything from introducing yourself to a neighbour with a small baby, or making a phone call to see how a new parent is feeling.

When parents are feeling at breaking point, Plunket recommends putting the baby in a safe place ie the cot or bassinette, and walking away to another room, or outside to the
garden for a few minutes space, or ringing a friend, family member or helpline.

“Shaking a baby, an action that may take a moment, can lead to brain damage, blindness, deafness, permanent disability, or even death. An action that takes a moment can lead to a lifetime of consequences for a child, a family, and a community”, concludes Ms Prince.

There will be a specific website and 0800 number for the campaign (0800 300 026), which will be active from Sunday 6 December. For more advice or help visit:

If you want to talk to someone call the Plunketline on 0800 933 922 or the Barnardos Parent Help Line on 0800 4 PARENT.


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