NEW BRUNSWICK – Each year, more than 1,400 babies are shaken and abused as a result of a parent or caregiver becoming frustrated with an infant’s crying. Research shows that frustration with a crying infant is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants. The majority of shaken infants suffer a variety of significant and life-long injuries that range from seizures and cerebral palsy to death.
Through a collaboration of knitters and crocheters, Prevent Child Abuse – New Jersey is working to build awareness of the dangers of shaking an infant by collecting and distributing thousands of purple-colored baby caps to parents of new babies in New Jersey.
The campaign, titled CLICK for Babies: Period of PURPLE Crying Caps, aims to build awareness of a normal, but often frustrating phase in an infant’s development when they cry more than any other point in their life. This developmental phase, called the Period of PURPLE Crying, provides a new way for parents and caregivers to understand the properties of normal infant crying, ways to cope with the crying and the dangers of shaking an infant.
“More than 6,000 knitted and crocheted caps have been donated from volunteer knitters and crocheters throughout New Jersey during our first year of the campaign. Our donors have included out-of-state volunteers, a group of elementary school students, and visually impaired adults,” says Gina Hernandez, Division Director of Prevention Programs. “These caps serve as an important reminder to parents about the PURPLE education and that all infant’s cry – sometimes inconsolably – but the most important thing you can do when feeling frustrated is to put the infant in a safe place and take a short break.”
Starting today and continuing through the end of the month, New Jersey hospitals will distribute the thousands of hand-made knitted and crocheted caps to parents of new babies with information about the Period of PURPLE Crying. The hospitals that have implemented the program are Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Atlanticare Regional Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Community Medical Center, Shore Medical Center, and Trinitas Regional Medical Center.
“We are so thrilled to be involved in the CLICK for Babies campaign,” says Ms. Hernandez. “The CLICK for Babies campaign really presents a tremendous opportunity to spread awareness about the Period of PURPLE Crying and prepare parents for the challenges of raising a new infant.”
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