“Awwww” — that is what everyone says when they see a newborn baby. But when a baby cries for long periods of time and happen to be a frustrated caregiver, “Awwww” is not a word that comes to mind. Realizing that this commonly happens, along with a desire to help parents cope with a baby’s crying, is the focus behind the Period of Purple Crying campaign. Yes, this topic has been discussed before, but it really can’t be talked about enough.
A baby’s crying can often lead to a frustrated and tired parent or caregiver losing control momentarily and shaking their baby. While you might think that you would never do that, we have parents who have told us that they never thought they would shake their baby; and then they did. The video on Period of Purple Crying talks about that specifically and addresses the need for a support system for parents to rely on and to help develop coping methods.
As we wrapped up the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in April, it seemed fitting to carry on the advocacy and share about the work that goes on daily with our community health care providers, early childhood care specialists as well as those who work in the Healthy Families programs that help support families. Their work along with the advocacy to prevent child abuse is a daily task and cannot be forgotten or taken lightly.
According to Child Help (www.childhelp.org) a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in the United States. Nationwide an average of five children die every day as a result of child abuse. Approximately 80 percent of those children who died from abuse are under the age of 4. As the stressful economic times continue, the number of abused children may grow even larger. So what is our best defense? It is education, awareness, advocacy, and support .
One of the advocacy and awareness opportunities that has been started is the Click For Babies campaign. Kansas Children’s Service League partnered with the national Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome to promote his campaign and distributes education DVD’s to families of newborns year round in participating Kansas hospitals. The purple caps will be given specifically to families in November and December of this year in a special promotion of awareness; an added reminder that crying is normal and it is NEVER okay to shake or harm an infant.
Neat idea? Yes it is. Last year, KCSL collected over 6,500 purple caps and distributed them statewide to birthing centers and hospitals in an attempt to raise awareness and decrease the number of infants being shaken or harmed due to crying. Our goal this year is 7,500 purple caps. That’s a lot of caps! How can you help? Fire up those knitting needles, crochet hooks or your trusty looms and get started! Every cap counts and is appreciated. Caps should be made using any shade of purple-colored yarn and made to fit a newborn infant’s head. Dimensions of infant heads will vary; as a guide, caps should have a circumference between 7.5 to 13.5 inches and a height of 3.5 to 6 inches. Please refrain from including “pom-poms” or any straps to secure caps to baby’s head. These pose a potential choking and or strangling hazard to babies. Caps need only to be 50 percent plus purple, so feel free to add additional colors, especially when making caps for baby boys. Designs and patterns for caps are completely up to the person making the caps, however, we have provided a few links to patterns that are available on line and some that have been shared with us by others. Visit the “Knit” page of the Clicks for Babies website (www.clickforbabies.org) and follow the links in the right margin. Last year we had several local knitting and crochet pros donate precious purple caps to us and the local KCSL office staff jumped in and knitted quite a few hats too. The Emporia office alone collected over 350 beautiful and creative hats/caps. It was a lot of fun and it was all for a very good cause.
If you would like to donate purple cap creations, please contact Bev Long at the local KCSL office, 340-0408 ext. 1001 or by calling 341-2076 to arrange free pick up. You may also bring your creations to the KCSL office at 215 W. 6th, (Emporia Humanitarian Center/former Lowther South Building), room 209. Please call first to make sure we are available to greet you and record your donation. You can also contact the project coordinator, Anne Auld, at the Wichita KCSL office by calling (877) 530-5275 ext. 1322 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. All caps need to be collected by Oct. 1. The caps will then taken to the Wichita office for inventory, tagging and distribution statewide.
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If you have any questions or concerns about what can be done to help babies who have been shaken, or families of babies who have died, please call Christopher Keane and The Keane Law Firm toll-free for free consultation at (888) 592-5437 (KIDS), click on contact us here, or use the web form provided at http://www.keanelaw.com