Shaken baby syndrome (SBS), also known as abusive head trauma (AHT), is the most dangerous and most common form of abuse in children under one. In an effort to spread awareness about normal infant crying, the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants, AVH is joining a national public education campaign to make thousands of purple colored baby caps to give to parents and remind them about this frustrating, although normal, period in an infant’s development.
The grassroots campaign called, CLICK for Babies: Period of PURPLE Crying Caps, invites knitters and crocheters across North America to make purple colored baby caps which will be delivered to families in November and December with the Period of PURPLE Crying, an evidence based program that educates parents about normal infant crying, ways to cope with the crying and the dangers of reacting in frustration by shaking or abusing an infant. The campaign launched last month to coincide with Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“The purple caps are meant to serve as a reminder for parents to review the information they receive after the birth of their new baby on normal infant crying and dangers of shaking,” commented Debbie Alonzo, AVH Women’s Services Clinical Coordinator. “Caring for a crying infant can be really frustrating. Parents need to know that it is okay to put an infant down in a safe place and take some space when frustrated.”
NH Children’s Trust is a member of the New Hampshire Abusive Head Trauma Coalition. In 2010 the Coalition wanted to promote a single program for abusive head trauma prevention for implementation in birthing hospitals statewide. They chose the Period of PURPLE Crying. Since choosing the program nine NH birthing hospitals including AVH have committed to the program. Since January 1, 2012 NH Children’s Trust has assumed the lead in supporting the hospitals implementing the program and expanding implementation to all of NH’s birthing hospitals. “The Period of PURPLE Crying is a great fit with NH Children’s Trust desire to bring proven prevention strategies to families in New Hampshire” says Keryn Bernard-Kriegl, Executive Director of New Hampshire Children’s Trust. The mission of NH Children’s Trust is to lead New Hampshire’s drive to eliminate child abuse and neglect.
New Hampshire has been invited to participate in the national CLICK for Babies campaign, now in its second year, by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. “New Hampshire has shown a commitment to the prevention of infant abuse and has made great strides in providing education to parents and caregivers,” says Ryan Steinbeigle, Director of Development for the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
The New Hampshire Children’s Trust has set a goal of collecting 1,000 purple caps for the 2012 campaign. Caps will be collected through the end of September and distributed to babies born during November and December. The nine NH hospitals that are participating are: the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, Concord Hospital, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, Catholic Medical Center and New Hampshire’s Hospital for Children in Manchester, Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, and Exeter Hospital. Child and Family Services’ Healthy Families Home Visiting program also shares PURPLE education with new parents and will be participating in CLICK for Babies. As other hospitals sign on to bring the Period of Purple Crying to their new parents they will become involved in the campaign.
Knitters and crocheters are invited to send their finished caps to Androscoggin Valley Hospital at 59 Page Hill Road, Berlin, NH. To learn if there is a collection site closer to you or for more information contact NH Children’s Trust at 603-224-1279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the CLICK for Babies campaign, including patterns for caps, guidelines and details about the New Hampshire campaign are available at www.CLICKforbabies.org.
Androscoggin Valley Hospital educates all delivering parents about The Period of PURPLE crying.
The New Hampshire Children’s Trust (NHCT) is mandated as the Governor’s designated statewide child abuse prevention agency, as the New Hampshire Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA), and as a member of the National Alliance of Children’s Trust & Prevention Funds. Founded in 1986 as the New Hampshire Children’s Trust Fund, a quasi-governmental organization, the agency transitioned to the New Hampshire Children’s Trust, Inc., a 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation in 2011. The Children’s Trust envisions a state where every child thrives in safe, stable and nurturing families and communities. www.nhchildrenstrust.org; www.facebook.com/nhchildrenstrust
The Period of PURPLE Crying, developed by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that works nationally to prevent the shaking and abuse of infants, is an evidence based infant abuse prevention program that has been implemented in over 900 hospitals and public health offices across North America to create awareness about normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking. To learn more about the Period of PURPLE Crying visit www.PURPLEcrying.info.