Infant Abduction Prevention Pamphlet – Professional Edition

 

Preventing Infant Abductions: "How Parents Can Help

Request Form - "How Parents Can Help"


 

 

History & Author’s Comments

 

 

     During the past 15 years there have been over 200 infant abductions documented from hospitals and other locations.  The data has taught us that this phenomenon is not unique to hospitals; abductions are also occurring when the mother arrives home from the hospital.

 

     High Point Regional Hospital, located in High Point, North Carolina, became the catalyst for infant security in hospitals nationwide when Jason McClure was abducted from his mother’s room on “Father’s Day,” October 1988.  This was my first experience working with a hospital to prevent future infant abductions.  Over the next 16 years I have had the opportunity to assist over 600 hospitals and birthing centers throughout the U.S. and overseas, helping to prevent infant abductions from these facilities.

 

     We have learned over the years that the majority of infants abducted from hospitals are taken from the mother’s rooms.  The mothers willingly give her baby to someone pretending to be an authorized caregiver.  By default the mother is the first line of defense.  As a result, it becomes essential for hospitals to provide parental education to new moms and their family members during their hospital stay.  As the crime was displaced to the home, it became necessary to provide security information to help protect the mother and baby after discharge as well.

 

     In a little over a decade hospital infant abductions went from a record high of eighteen a year to no hospital abductions at all in 1999.  Nationally distributed educational awareness programs sponsored by the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the International Association of Healthcare Security & Safety played a major role reducing hospital abductions.  The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Arlington, VA also played a prominent role in the decrease in hospital abductions through their educational and training program, “Safeguard Their Tomorrows,” sponsored by Mead Johnson’s Nutritional Division. 

 

     Even though infants continue to be abducted from hospitals, it has become more difficult.  This difficulty has caused the crime to be displaced to the home and other locations.  Particularly alarming is the fact that there is a 30% chance the mother and her family will be exposed to violence or even homicide during a home abduction.  Because hospitals are aware of this risk to mothers and babies, there is a responsibility to provide awareness education to help protect the mother and baby after they leave the hospital.  Educating the mother and family members on security steps they should take after discharge will help better protect them from home abduction and protect the hospital from potential litigation.

 

 

Purpose:

 

Preventing Infant Abductions: “How Parents Can Help”© is designed to provide a single document to help hospitals comply with the new EC.2.10 Infant Security Standard published by the Joint Commission  

 

 

Parental Education: Vital for new mothers during their hospital stay & after they go home

 

     Why is it so important to educate new mothers on their role in the protection of their babies during their hospital stay, as well as educating them before they go home?  It’s sad but true.  There are people who want a baby so badly they will stop at nothing to get one.  As a result and despite heightened awareness, babies continue to be kidnapped from hospitals.  Surprisingly, we find that most babies are taken from the mother’s room.  Over the past decade hospitals have taken bold steps to tightened security in their maternity wards and pediatric units, causing infants abducted from the home to significantly increase.  Infant Security Experts agree that an informed mother is the baby’s first line of defense while in the hospital as well as after returning home.  It is essential that hospitals educate new mothers on the psychological profile and modus operandi (MO) of a typical abductor.  Educational material provided in written form and signed by the mother certifies not only that the mother has received the appropriate material, but also that she understands the material, and her responsibility to participate in the protection of her child during her hospital stay and to continue that protection after mother and baby return home.  Even though it is unlikely your hospital will experience an infant abduction, the information you provide your mothers and their families will benefit and protect them and the hospital for many years to come.

 

 

Pamphlet Topics Include:

 

·                    The psychological profile of the abductor

·                    The Modus Operandi (MO) of the abductor

·                    Never to leave her baby alone at any time

·                    How the hospital will keep your baby safe

·                    Hospital security routines

·                    Hospital I.D. Procedures

·                    The correct way to transport a baby in the hospital

·                    How to protect personal information

·                    How to provide protection after mother and baby leave the hospital

·                    Procedures for home visit (If applicable)

·                    Risk of Birth Announcements

·                    Risk of Outside Decorations

·                    Sharing Information with Loved-ones and family members

 

 

Instructions to the Mother Include:

 

·                    Be suspicious of casual acquaintances or strangers that attempt to befriend you

·                    Learn hospital procedures for care after discharge

·                    Demand positive I.D. before allowing persons in your home that seem official

·                    Be aware of strangers that come to your door to see your baby

·                    Under no circumstances should you give you baby to a stranger

·                    Do not allow casual acquaintances or strangers to baby-sit your baby

·                    Never leave you baby alone at home

·                    Do not place birth announcements in the newspaper

·                    Do not give out information about you and your baby over the phone or to strangers

·                    Educate family members and friends that baby-sit your baby on infant security

·                    Call police anytime you are suspicious or concerned about your baby’s safety

 

 

     As new parents begin their birthing experience, it is important for hospitals to warn them about the remote threat of an infant abduction during their hospital stay, as well as after they leave the hospital to start their new life.  Even though it is unlikely your hospital will experience an infant abduction, the information you provide mothers and their families will benefit and protect them, as well as protect the hospital.


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