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About ICON

The idea for the ICON programme and the different interventions within it was conceived by Dr Suzanne Smith PhD following a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship to USA and Canada in 2016 which included the study of effective interventions and research into the prevention of Abusive Head Trauma (AHT).  Research suggests that some lose control when a baby’s crying becomes too much.  Some go on to shake a baby with devastating consequences.  Suzanne found that the most effective evidence based programmes studied provide a simple message that supports parents/care givers to cope with infant crying.  Apart from preventing AHT, most people who have ever cared for a baby appreciate some advice about how to comfort a crying baby and how to cope when it goes on for a long time.

What ICON Stands For

ICON is all about helping people who care for babies to cope with crying.

ICON stands for ….

* I – Infant crying is normal
* C – Comforting methods can help
* O – It’s OK to walk away
* N – Never, ever shake a baby

Speak to someone if you need support such as your family, friends, Midwife, GP or Health Visitor.


ICON has been developed in partnership with all the areas who have taken on the programme.  Hampshire CCG and Local Safeguarding Children Partnership were key in designing and piloting the initial materials including the GP questionnaire which is now included in the Royal College of GPs National Toolkit and we are proud that RCGP have endorsed ICON.

Parents and families who have been affected by AHT have been pivotal in supporting the design and roll out of ICON.  They have approved all materials and worked tirelessly to attend events, telling their stories of tragedy and hope, making videos included in this website, raising awareness, speaking on TV and radio.  ICON would not be as robust as it is without their input.

ICON is managed by a collaborative of health trusts, local authorities and volunteers, the Executive National Strategic Group. All areas who have commissioned ICON are represented on a wider National Strategic Group.

Find out more

Alder Hey Children's Charity
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Alder Hey Children's Charity