By P.J. Tracy
A “Safety Baby Shower” will be held in Murfreesboro on April 20 for any new or expectant mothers with children under one year of age.
Registration for the program will begin at 5 p.m. and the class will start at 5:30 in the Extension building at 100 Court Street. Residents interested in attending are asked to call (870) 285-2161 for pre-registration.
The program, which was started by Arkansas Children’s Hospital, is being hosted by the Pike County Hometown Health Coalition.
“There were so many kids coming in [to the hospital] with these accidents, and lots of them are preventable,” said University of Arkansas Family and Consumer Science County Agent Eva Langley.
She further noted that Arkansas has one of the highest child injury rates in the nation.
“Infants are particularly at risk, and many of the injuries are unintentional and preventable,” Langley said. “Most of the injuries occur in the home or in vehicle crashes.”
Mothers will also be able to bring along a guest (spouse, grandparent, older sibling, sitter, friend, etc.) for the information.
“There are more people in a baby’s life than just the mother,” Langley said.
Mothers will be encouraged to bring their children, and a table with books and activities will be set up to encourage a family friendly environment.
The event will be decorated like a traditional baby shower.
“We want the mother and the baby to feel celebrated,” Langley stated. “We need to take care of our babies.”
Topics to be covered include shaken baby syndrome, car seat safety, home safety, poison safety information and safe sleeping for an infant.
Gifts will be sent home with all the attendees, including a home safety kit, bath thermometers and a pacifier, and fire alarms will be available for those that need them. Door prizes with a safety emphasis will also be given, including a Pack and Play with a bassinet, books and a baby gate.
Langley said some research has shown that the use of pacifiers can help in the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Free car seats will also be available for parents who attend an installation and use class.
The class is being funded by a grant obtained by the local Hometown Health Coalition from the Blue Cross Blue and You Foundation, and is in no way income based for mothers to attend. However, Langley said the organization was seeking a sponsor to provide refreshments for the class.
The Pike County EHC will serve as hosts for the event, and help with registration and decorations for the event.
While the spring class will be held in Murfreesboro, a class is scheduled to be presented in Glenwood this fall. However, all residents are encouraged to attend either class.