Over 50,000 handmade, purple baby caps have been sent to hospitals, including St. Luke’s and other health agencies in 10 U.S. states and three Canadian Provinces from thousands of knitters and crocheters across North America to raise awareness about normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking an infant.
The national campaign titled, CLICK for Babies, is organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) in partnership with hospitals, public health and child abuse prevention groups across the country. The campaign, now in its second year, is the largest coordinated effort to create awareness about normal infant crying and prevent shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma (SBS/AHT).
During the month of November, babies born at St. Luke’s and hundreds of participating hospitals and public health offices throughout the U.S. and Canada will distribute a purple baby cap along with a DVD and booklet called the Period of PURPLE Crying to parents to raise awareness about normal infant crying and the dangers of reacting to the frustration of a crying infant by shaking them.
“Many parents have no idea what to expect when they bring their new baby home from the hospital,” says Ryan Steinbeigle, director of Development for the NCSBS. “The goal of the Period of PURPLE Crying program is to give parents reasonable expectations and let them know that all healthy infants cry more in the first few weeks and month of life. The crying will come to end and it is okay to put the infant down in a safe place and walk away when feeling frustrated.”
The Period of PURPLE Crying is a way for parents to understand their baby’s crying. The word PURPLE is an acronym, which reminds parents in an easy to remember way, all of the characteristics of normal infant crying. The letters in PURPLE stand for:
• Peak of crying – The baby may cry more each week, peaking at two months, and then less at three to five months.
• Unexpected – The crying can come and go, with no explanation.
• Resists soothing – The baby might not stop crying no matter what you try.
• Pain-like face – It may look like the baby is in pain, even when they are not.
• Long lasting – The baby might cry five hours per day or more.
• Evening – The baby might cry more in the late afternoon or evening.
“Knitters and crocheters have been busy creating these beautiful purple caps over the past several months,” said Denise Easley, St. Luke’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse. “These caps will help increase awareness for the shaken baby prevention program called the Period of PURPLE Crying. Our goal is to educate parents and caregivers about normal crying. Crying is the number one trigger for infant abuse. Shaken baby syndrome is 100 percent preventable.”
For more information about the CLICK for Babies campaign visit CLICKforbabies.org. More information about the Period of PURPLE Crying program is available at PURPLEcrying.info and dontshake.org/PURPLEprogram.