The UAB Department of Pediatrics will host its inaugural Shaken Baby Prevention Program 4K Stroll and Education Fair Saturday, April 10 on the UAB Campus Green, University Boulevard, between 14th and 16th streets South.

The fundraising walk will support the UAB Shaken Baby Prevention Program in its efforts to provide child-abuse prevention education in all birthing hospitals, licensed daycares and appropriate community settings across Alabama.

Early registration is $20 per person or $100 per team for up to six people and ends March 31. After that day, walk registration will be $25 per person or $125 per team for up to six people. Kids under 12 walk free. For more information or to register go to or call 205-975-5659.

There will be a sidewalk stroll path along the UAB Campus Green for families with stroller-age children and a walk path around the perimeter of the Campus Green for fast-pace walkers. There also will be a kids zone with free games, crafts and activities for kids of all ages, an education fair featuring nonprofit agencies working to prevent child abuse and merchants and vendors with products and services to sample.

The UAB Shaken Baby Prevention Program is a hospital-based maternity education program within UAB Hospital, Cooper Green Mercy Hospital and UAB Medical West designed to decrease the number of child-abuse and shaken baby syndrome victims in Alabama. Through a partnership with the Children's Trust Fund of Alabama and the Alabama Child Death Review System, parents are educated on the dangers of shaking small children and taught healthy ways to respond to infant crying before they leave the hospital with their new baby.

An estimated 1,200 to 1,400 cases of shaken baby syndrome occur each year in the United States. Shaken baby syndrome, which is marked by brain trauma resulting from violent shaking, occurs most often in infants ages 2 and younger.

"Forcibly shaking a baby can cause severe head injuries, even if the baby's head doesn't hit anything," said Amanda Soong, M.D., program director and assistant professor of pediatrics at UAB. "And the consequences are devastating. Babies may suffer permanent brain damage or die."

Along with the hospital-based work, the Shaken Baby Prevention Program is active in the community. The program administers community and school education events plus training sessions for nurses, social workers and child-care providers to increase awareness of the dangers of shaking an infant and to teach safe and effective methods to calm a crying infant.