Everyone’s a winner from baby campaign

THE Ministerial Advisory Council on Child Protection initiated an awareness campaign in 2001 in response to figures released by Princess Margaret Hospital for Children showing a rise in the number of children presenting with symptoms associated with shaken baby syndrome. So successful was the resultant Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Campaign in 2003 and 2004, undertaken by the Department for Community Development, that communications officer Lisa Rowston was named winner of the marketing excellence category of the StateWest Achievement Awards for her work. The television, radio and press advertisement campaign was aimed at making a positive contribution to the reduction of death and injury from shaken baby syndrome. And the main objectives were to raise awareness of the effects of shaking babies, to provide information about dealing with crying babies, and to promote support services. Ms Rowston managed the Brand Agency’s development of the “Babies break if you shake them” concept, which used graphic images of a doll and a broken egg to demonstrate the fragility of a developing baby’s brain. Ms Rowston also oversaw: the design, print and distribution of 200,000 brochures and posters to parents through community and parenting groups and child health centres; production of an educational video for parents; a training forum for health and child protection professionals; and the development of a website. The Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Campaign was launched in May 2003 and was also shown during Child Protection Week last year. Since the launch there has been a decrease in the number of infants presenting at hospital with shaken baby syndrome. In addition, there have been 700 website hits since the May 2003 campaign, while independent research shows 57 per cent of respondents had seen an ad about shaking babies, and. 2,000 parents have taken part in the shaken baby syndrome prevention program.

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