Babies Cry, You Can Cope – ICON for Professionals

The Wirral Safeguarding Children Partnership is very pleased to support the Babies Cry, You Can Cope, national ICON Campaign. Please scroll down for access to e-learning.

What is ICON?

The ICON campaign aims to help parents and carers to cope with a crying baby. The call for the campaign comes from a number of infant deaths and serious case reviews where a baby has died or been seriously injured as a result of abusive head trauma.

Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) – also known as ‘shaken baby syndrome’ – causes catastrophic brain injuries, which can lead to death, or significant long term health and learning disabilities. AHT is not restricted to specific socio-economic groups – it can occur in any environment, when a parent or carer is on the edge due to infant crying.

ICON is an evidence based programme consisting of a series of brief ‘touchpoint’ interventions that reinforce the simple message making up the ICON acronym.
ICON was conceived following years of study and research into prevention of Abusive Head Trauma (AHT). The ICON founder, Dr Suzanne Smith PhD, consolidated the study and research with a visit to USA and Canada in 2016 (courtesy of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship) to see the prevention programmes in action and to understand more about what makes such programmes a success.

Research points to persistent crying in babies being a potential trigger for some parents/care givers to lose control and shake a baby. It also shows that around 70% of babies who are shake are shaken by men. So any prevention programme should include male caregivers and use the best opportunities to reach them as well as support all parents/caregivers with information about crying and how to cope with a crying baby.

The ICON key messages are:

Remind parents and carers that it’s always OK to ask for help. If they are worried about a crying baby they should speak to:

  • friends and family
  • Health Visitor
  • GP
  • Midwife
  • local children’s centre

or speak to children’s services: 0151 6062008 (9-5)

Remember: Never, ever shake or hurt a baby. It can cause lasting brain damage and death.

Videos for Professionals

Preventing Traumatic Head Injuries in Babies:


(Please note that some may find this video distressing. Viewer discretion is advised)

There are also a number of short video’s aimed at supporting parents and carers which can be viewed here

Resources and Further Reading for Professionals

7 Minute Briefing:

ICON Evaluation 2022

ICON Campaign National Website:

WSCP ICON webpage for Parents and Carers:

WSCP Safer Sleep webpage for Parents and Carers:

ICON Normal Baby Crying Curve:

Infographic showing methods that can be used to soothe a crying baby:

ICON Coping with Crying Personal Plan for Parents and Carers:

Posters to display for parents/carers:

Leaflet to give to parents/carers:

Prevention of abusive head trauma in babies:

Evidence Base and Literature Review:

Key talking points for an ICON intervention:

Training Powerpoint for Professionals:


Further help for Parents and Carers:

CRY-SIS National Help line – 08451 228 669 (Lines open 7 days a week 9am-10pm)
NSPCC – Tel: 0808 800 5000 or Online:


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