Newborn babies may cry up to 5 hours per day for no apparent reason, and caregivers must understand how to handle babies gently while dealing with their own frustrations. That's what parents of newborns in Kansas are learning through a new video that attempts to prevent more cases of the devastating but frequently occurring shaken baby syndrome. In response to numerous recent deaths caused by child abuse in Wichita, city officials announced the "Period of PURPLE Crying" initiative on Thursday, May 7: a program intended to help parents understand and cope with what seems like chronic crying from newborn babies. Effective June 1, parents of babies born at Wichita hospitals will be required to watch a DVD about how often, how much, and why babies cry as well as how to handle the frustration associated with the phenomenon. They will receive a copy of the DVD to take home, along with a booklet titled, "Did You Know Your Baby Would Cry Like This?," both created by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
The video aims to make two things apparent: excessive crying is normal for newborns, and it is okay for parents to put down a crying baby for a few minutes in order to calm their own nerves. The word "PURPLE" is used to remind parents what is normal: a Peak in crying (babies may cry more over time until peaking at about 2 months of age), Unexpected tears (babies may cry for no apparent reason), Resistance to attempts to soothe or comfort the newborn, an appearance of Pain (even though the baby may not be in pain), Long-lasting periods of crying (up to 5 hours per day), and a tendency for more tears in the Evening.
Crying can lead to shaken baby syndrome if a caregiver does not understand the dangers of shaking a baby. If you believe that your baby may be suffering from shaken baby syndrome, feel free to call the Keane Law Firm with any questions you may have. Child injury attorney Chris Keane of San Francisco, CA, will answer all of your questions for free with compassion and professionalism. 1-888-592-KIDS (1-888-592-5437).