Frustration with a crying infant is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants.
The result of this action can be abusive head trauma, the most common and dangerous form of abuse in children under age 1. Approximately 80 percent of all infants who are shaken will suffer significant brain injuries and nearly 30 percent will die as a result of those injuries.
Adults frustrated with infant crying may not know that such crying can be normal. Currently, 35 birthing hospitals in Oklahoma provide parents and caregivers with information about normal infant crying, ways to cope, and the dangers that can result from shaking an infant.
This program, called the Period of PURPLE® Crying (PPC), uses purple-colored baby caps created by volunteer knitters participating in the PPC "CLICK for Babies" campaign as a visual reminder of the program. The baby caps are provided to infants born in hospitals that offer the PPC program. Volunteer knitters, crocheters and other crafters are now being recruited in Oklahoma to make the approximately 7,650 caps needed for distribution to participating Oklahoma hospitals in November and December.
"We encourage clubs and community groups that knit and crochet to join this effort," said Ann Benson of the Maternal and Child Health Service at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Benson helps lead the Injury Prevention Workgroup of Oklahoma's "Preparing for a Lifetime, It's Everyone's Responsibility" initiative to reduce infant deaths in the state. The Period of PURPLE® Crying and "CLICK for Babies" are two of the workgroup's projects. This marks the third year that Oklahoma is participating in the campaign with the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and other partners throughout North America.
The need for Oklahoma volunteers to knit the brightly colored infant caps is emphasized by sobering statistics provided from the Oklahoma Child Death Review Board. “Our review of 10 years of child homicide data noted more than 75 percent of physical abuse deaths in Oklahoma’s children were caused by abusive head trauma,” said Lisa Rhoades, program manager for the board.
Purple-knitted infant caps will be collected through the end of September and can be sent to these two Oklahoma locations:
Oklahoma Child Death Review Board
1111 N. Lee, Ste. 500
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Parent Child Center of Tulsa
1421 S. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74119