CLICK for Babies PURPLE Caps

By Maegan Vidal

Completed Purple Caps in a Basket

Frustration with increased infant crying is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants. This summer, knitters across Oregon will be clicking their needles together to make purple colored baby caps for the CLICK for Babies, Period of PURPLE Crying caps campaign, which kicked off May 27, 2014.

The campaign goals are to raise awareness about the normal increase in infant crying, called the Period of PURPLE Crying, and the prevention of shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma. In 2013, over 30 hospitals and public health clinics in Oregon received 8,500 purple caps, exceeding the campaign’s goal by over 50 percent.

Emily Williams, owner of Twisted, a yarn shop on NE Broadway in Portland, says, “It isn’t often that knitters can use their craft to make such a profound contribution. CLICK for Babies is a campaign that everyone needs to know about because shaken baby syndrome is such an important and under-appreciated issue.” Twisted is providing customers with a free hat pattern and 10 percent off purple yarn used to make caps. Twisted also donated the yarn to the CLICK for Babies campaign and coordinated support from yarn manufacturer Berroco.

The grassroots campaign led by Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel invites knitters, crocheters, and crafters to make purple colored baby caps that will be mailed to over 30 hospitals and public health clinics throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. During the months of November and December 2014, parents of newborns will receive a purple hat along with their prevention program DVD, Period of PURPLE Crying. The Period of PURPLE Crying is an evidence-based program that educates parents about a new way to understand infant crying, ways to sooth, how to cope with the crying, and the dangers of reacting in frustration by shaking or abusing an infant.

Sandy Nipper, R.N., child safety program coordinator at Randall Children’s Hospital says, “Purple caps remind parents and infant caregivers that increased infant crying is normal. Parents and caregivers need to have a plan and share that plan with everyone who may care for their infant. Intense frustration increases the risk of a split second loss of control and serious infant injury.”

The CLICK for Babies knitting campaign focuses on the Period of PURPLE Crying, the normal increased crying phase in infant development that nearly all newborns experience. Crying periods may last up to five hours a day or more in some two week to five month old infants.

PurpleCapBabyThe letters in PURPLE stand for the frustrating characteristics of normal newborn crying:

Peak of Crying – The baby may cry more each week, peaking at two months, and then less from 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.
Pain-like face – It may look like the baby is in pain, even when they are not.
Long Lasting – The baby might cry five hours per day or more.
Evening – The baby might cry more in the afternoon or evening, just when parents are getting home from work and tired from a long day.

Please mail caps to: Thonna Vela, Volunteer Services, Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, 2801 N. Gantenbein Avenue, Suite LL-B856, Portland, OR 97227.