Newton Medical Center is among a group of Kansas hospitals that have joined a national campaign to prevent infant abuse. Thousands of “PURPLE” caps are being given to babies during the month of November to raise awareness of normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking.
The grassroots effort, called Click for Babies (from the distinct sound of knitting needles “clicking together), is organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) in partnership with hospitals and child abuse prevention groups in seven U.S. states and two Canadian provinces to raise awareness of the leading trigger for infant abuse, frustration with a inconsolable crying infant. Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL), the state’s chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, is spearheading the effort in Kansas.
Shirley Ulrich, BAHCA, RN; Director of Maternal Child at Newton Medical Center, contacted Deane Frey, Volunteer Knitting Coordinator at Newton Medical Center, to ask if she could make 40 purple caps to be sent home with babies during the month of November to observe the Period of Purple Crying program. The education of this program will help prevent the most serious and most common form of infant abuse, shaken baby syndrome.
During the month of November, babies born at Newton Medical Center will receive a purple baby cap in addition to the 10-minute DVD and 11-page booklet that is routinely given out about normal infant crying and the dangers to reacting to the frustration of a crying infant by shaking. This information is central to an SBS-prevention program called the Period of PURPLE Crying.
PURPLE is an acronym that describes to new parents in an easy to remember way all of the characteristics of normal infant crying and reminds parents that this period of increased crying doesn’t go on forever. 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.
Kansas was one of eight states and two Canadian provinces that were invited to participate in the inaugural Click for Babies campaign because of the tremendous success they have had providing this important education to parents and caregivers through participating birthing hospitals and public health organizations. It is anticipated that additional states and provinces will participate next year when the campaign launches again in April
For more information about the Period of PURPLE Crying and other child abuse prevention problems, visit www.kcsl.org.
Newton Medical Center is a comprehensive 103-bed hospital in Newton, Kan., offering full-service medical care in Harvey, Butler and northern Sedgwick counties. For more information about Newton Medical Center, please call 316-283-2700 or visit www.newtonmedicalcenter.com.