NSPCC Launches Handle With Care Campaign

NSPCC Northern Ireland launches ‘Handle with Care’ campaign to help new parents

Children’s charity NSPCC partners with the Public Health Agency to reduce accidental and non-accidental injuries to babies and young children

NSPCC Northern Ireland and the Public Health Agency have launched Handle with Care, a social media-focused campaign to support new parents and carers and help reduce the number of accidental and non-accidental injuries to babies and young children.

Handle with Care aims to provide new parents and NI families expecting a baby with coping techniques, information, and contacts for those who may need that extra bit of advice and support, and to reassure them that they are not alone.

The NSPCC is running a campaign with the Public Health Authority to help prevent rough handling of babies and young children. (Photos courtesy of NSPCC).

The arrival of a new-born is a wonderful, life-changing experience, but it can also be challenging and stressful. 

Crying is the only way that a baby can tell you how they feel or what they need. But if you’ve done all the usual checks and baby is still crying, it can sometimes feel overwhelming

Over the course of six weeks, starting on Monday 25 March, weekly posts will be live on NSPCC NI Facebook, Instagram and Twitter/X pages.

Each post will be on a themed topic, all with the aim of supporting parents. Themes include Coping with Crying, Keeping Your Cool, Handling Babies with Care and Getting Support for You.

The campaign seeks to promote mental well-being for the parent and child, and to support the reinforcement of attachment between the child and the parent/carer by encouraging positive strategies to use when times get challenging.

Get a copy of the Handle with Care booklet.

Handle with Care also aims to highlight the risks around rough handling of babies/young children and raise public awareness of why you should never shake a baby or young child.

Also highlighted is the need to be careful when strapping young babies in, particularly when parents/carers are under stress as unfortunately this can be a significant risk also to babies when parents are under pressure.

Posts will also focus on how to cope when the crying doesn’t stop, and ways to soothe a crying baby and provide information about services offering additional help.

NSPCC Northern Ireland and the Public Health Agency are encouraging local groups, and anyone providing support to parents in the community to share these weekly posts on their social media pages.

In addition, local healthcare staff across Northern Ireland will be sharing Handle with Care leaflets to help support new parents understand the risks in shaking and rough handling of babies, that can result in accidental injuries.

The leaflet also encourages new strategies for when parents feel overwhelmed.

Through the Public Health Agency, tailored online training is also being made available to key healthcare staff groups across Northern Ireland over the coming year.

Margaret Gallagher, NSPCC Strategic Service manager – Local Campaigns, said: “Being responsible for a baby or very young child can be scary.

“Some parents or carers may lose control and shake their baby in a moment of anger or frustration, especially if the baby cries a lot or has problems feeding. Many don’t realise the damage that shaking can do.  

“It is never OK to shake a baby however frustrated you may feel.

“Rough handling of babies can cause fractures and other serious injuries which they may never recover from.  

“Remember baby doesn’t cry on purpose to upset you, and you don’t have to go through it alone. We all need some extra help at times and Handle with Care aims to provide that help, in a non-judgemental way, for any parent who feels overwhelmed.  

“Please don’t get to the point of desperation, reach out for help.”

Emily Roberts, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children and Young People at the Public Health Agency, said: “It’s normal for new parents to feel overwhelmed and anxious.

“Through this Handle with Care communications campaign, we want to remind parents that we understand that it can be a stressful time but to reach out for support and take time out using the techniques shown in the campaign to get help.

“There are a range of support choices available to you, from your midwife or health visitor to your local parenting support groups, you can also get advice online, as well as support from your friends and family.”

You can view Handle with Care social media posts at:

@nspccni (Twitter/X) @nspccnorthernireland (Facebook) @nspccni (Instagram), from Monday March 25.

Posts will include a link to the Handle with care leaflet.

For more information on the Handle with Care Campaign and how to get involved or support contact: 


You can also access Handle with Care advice and support by searching Support for Parents on: