CLICK for Babies
Supporting new parents and keeping infants safe from harm can seem like too big a task for any one person to take on. The CLICK for Babies campaign offers a small but significant way for knitters and crocheters to do both those things.
Every year, thousands of infants are shaken and abused at the hands of a frustrated parent or caregiver. Frustration with a crying infant is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants. To educate parents and caregivers about normal infant crying and reduce frustration, the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) is partnering with knitters and crocheters throughout North America to make purple-colored baby caps. New Hampshire Children’s Trust is coordinating NH’s participation in this initiative.
CLICK for Babies: Period of PURPLE Crying Caps will be delivered to families in November and December with the Period of PURPLE Crying®, an evidence based program that educates parents about normal infant crying, ways to cope with the crying and the dangers of reacting in frustration by shaking or abusing an infant. PURPLE is an acronym describing the characteristics of a developmental stage of increased crying.
“There is a common misconception in society that an infant who cries excessively must have something wrong with them,” says Ryan Steinbeigle, Co-Director of the national CLICK for Babies campaign. “However, all babies go through a period of increased crying in the first few months of life. Some infants cry more than others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong.”
Now in its third year, CLICK for Babies: Period of PURPLE Crying Caps is organized in 13 States, 4 Canadian Provinces and 1 U.S. Military Installation with the intent of collecting tens of thousands of knitted or crocheted purple colored baby caps. Knitters and crocheters are invited to become ambassadors of the Period of PURPLE Crying program. A key element of the program is that families, friends, neighbors and all to whom new parents turn, will be aware of this developmental stage of increased crying and provide the support that can be crucial to getting through it.
Fourteen of NH's 20 birthing hospitals are now sharing this important program with parents. A variety of health care providers, home visitors, family resource centers and other supporters of parents also bring this important information to parents. NH Children’s Trust leads the effort by supporting the hospitals and agencies implementing the program and working to expand it.
“The Period of PURPLE Crying is a great fit with NH Children’s Trust desire to promote proven strategies in our state that help families build protective factors” says Keryn Bernard-Kriegl, Executive Director of New Hampshire Children’s Trust.
Protective factors are those characteristics that families possess which strengthen functioning and diminish risk of child abuse and neglect.
“The CLICK for Babies campaign is so much fun,” says Maria Doyle, Training Director at NH Children’s Trust. “The response from the community to last year’s campaign was overwhelming. It is amazing to see so many people come together to spread awareness of the Period of PURPLE Crying. We look forward to seeing the community being involved again this year”
In 2012, 5000 caps were collected as community groups, child care centers, family resource centers and individual knitters and crocheters joined forces to spread the word. Caps are typically collected from mid-summer until the end of September and distributed to babies born during November and December.
The fourteen NH hospitals that are participating are: the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, Concord Hospital, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia, St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, Catholic Medical Center and New Hampshire’s Hospital for Children at Elliot in Manchester, Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, Exeter Hospital, Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, Littleton Regional Hospital and Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth. As other hospitals sign on to bring the Period of PURPLE Crying to their new parents, they can become involved in the campaign.
Emergency departments, other health care providers and anyone who supports parents also have an important role to play in sharing information about the Period of PURPLE Crying. More information is available here or by contacting us.
Knitters and crocheters are invited to send their finished caps to the New Hampshire Children’s Trust office at 10 Ferry Street, Suite 315, Concord, NH 03301 OR to drop them off at any of the collection sites listed here. Volunteers are also needed to help with the campaign in other ways, such as laundering the baby caps. Donations of purple baby-friendly yarn are also welcomed. To learn if there are other ways to be involved, or for general information contact NH Children’s Trust at 603-224-1279 or email us.
For information about the CLICK for Babies campaign, including patterns for caps, guidelines and details about the campaign are available at www.CLICKforbabies.org.