Moultrie hospital increasing newborn security

Published: Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:15 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM EDT
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MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - South Georgia hospitals go to great lengths to prevent child abductions.  One hospital recently put a new system in place to protect babies.

Colquitt Regional Medical Center has never had a problem with newborn safety and they are trying to keep it that way.
Now, when every baby is born, they have to wear an electronic ankle accessory.
Little Fernando is only one day old. He and his mother are both healthy and safe, but he is not the only thing new in Moultrie.
Last month, the hospital introduced "cuddles." They are using them to keep new babies in the right hands.
"It's an infant security system," said Debra Hayes, the director of the hospital's maternal infant unit. "After the baby is born, before they go out to their mother, there is an electronic band that goes on the baby's leg actually. We go into the computer and connect that band with that mother."

That band puts out an alert if a baby gets too close to one of the infant unit's doors.

They have seen the stories of child abductions like the one in Texas where a three day old was kidnapped and the mother murdered. The hospital says they have one goal.

"Infant security," said Hayes. "With all of the recent kidnappings or threatened kidnappings. It's just one more measure and one more way to keep our babies and our mothers safe."

That means they have many precautions to make sure that Fernando and little ones like him remain little bundles of joy instead of the centers of tragedy.

"We are a locked unit," said Hayes. "You have to be buzzed in and out of the department. We have a lady who sits at the desk and lets people in and out. We check all IDs. Everybody gets a nametag coming and going."

All of these security measures ensure that Fernando can smile with his family.
Fernando is already a superstar and his safety, along with all other newborns is worth all safety precautions according to the hospital.

Of course the radio device is removed when the baby and parents go home. 

Other than during training, the hospital has yet to have the monitors set off the alarm.

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