Knitters and crocheters across North America unite to “CLICK for Babies” and prevent infant abuse

Thousands of purple colored baby caps are being collected to raise awareness of normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking

WICHITA,KS – November 5, 2012 – Over 50,000 handmade purple colored baby caps have been sent to organizers in 10 U.S. states and 3 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).

In Kansas, over 9,500 hats have been collected to be distributed to 69 birthing hospitals across the state. Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL), which implements the Period of PURPLE Crying year-round, organized the efforts again this year. The goal is to remind parents that crying can be normal and it is okay to take a responsible break if the caregiver feels frustrated. However, the campaign has come to represent much more. There are families participating because they have a personal connection to abusive head trauma or have adopted children through KCSL. One volunteer is a nurse who is now in recovery, but started making hats last year while receiving chemotherapy treatments. There are also many seniors in the community who are helping, and are excited to have a worthy cause they can participate in.

During the months of November and December, babies born at hundreds of participating hospitals and public health offices throughout the U.S. and Canada will distribute a purple colored 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. In Kansas, the DVDs are distributed to families in participating birthing hospitals all year.

“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 new 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 5 hours per day or more. •Evening – The baby might cry more in the late afternoon or evening.

“We are very pleased with the response from volunteers wanting to help prevent child and infant abuse. The goal of this campaign is to create a cultural change in how individuals react to infant crying. Parents sometimes need support because kids don’t come with instructions,” says Vicky Roper, Prevent Child Abuse Kansas Director. “It’s not like we take a class, and suddenly, we know how to handle every situation.” Roper also suggests calling 1-800-CHILDREN with any parenting questions or concerns. The anonymous hotline is staffed 24/7.

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. For more information on Kansas Children’s Service League visit kcsl.org and facebook.com/pcakansas.

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