Newborn abuctions are rare

Jan. 24, 2011 at 7:15 PM
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BALTIMORE, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Infant abductions are rare in the United States and most of the babies are returned to their parents without being harmed, researchers say.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports an annual average of nine to 10 documented infant abductions. Ninety-five percent of these abducted infants were located and safely returned to their parents.

However, Sharon M. Rossi, director of Women's and Children's Services at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, says the case of Carlina White -- who was abducted 23 years ago from a New York City hospital -- highlights the importance of hospital staff and parents working together so no child is ever abducted.

In the hospital, Rossi recommends parents:

-- Not allow staff to handle your baby unless they identify themselves and are wearing a picture identification. Some abductors wear scrubs or lab coats to resemble hospital employees.

-- Place the baby's bassinet next to the bed away from the doorway and if mothers must leave the room, sleep or shower -- have the nurse place the baby in the nursery.

Once the baby is home, Rossi recommends parents:

-- Not include a home address in public birth announcements or post baby information on social media walls.

-- Avoid using outdoor decorations such as wooden storks or balloons to announce a newborn's arrival.

-- Check for visible photo identification before opening your door to any home care, utility or general repair worker.

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