ELKINS, W.Va. - Frustration with a crying infant is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants.
In an effort to help spread awareness about normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking an infant, Davis Memorial Hospital is participating in the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome's public education campaign, Period of PURPLE Crying: CLICK for Babies.
The Period of PURPLE Crying is the phrase used to describe the time in a baby's life when they cry more than any other time.
Local knitters created purple newborn caps in support of the Period of PURPLE Crying campaign. The campaign provides information to expectant parents about normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking an infant. The knitting group includes from left are: Cindy Corder, Terry McCauley, Leslie Elmore, Sandy Tolin, Vickie Crosston, Eileen Chenoweth and Sharon Matthew.
"It is important for parents to understand that a brief period of crying is normal," said Peggy Thorne-Church, clinical manager at the Davis Memorial Hospital Family Birthing Center.
Expectant parents learn about the Period of PURPLE Crying by watching a short video at the hospital. They also take home a video, an educational booklet and a purple baby cap.
"The handmade purple baby caps serve as a reminder for parents about the Period of PURPLE Crying," Thorne-Church said.
The Davis Memorial Hospital's Auxiliary Board and Sandy Tolin partnered to make the campaign a success. Tolin, owner of Yarn & Company in Elkins, and a group of local knitters made 75 infants' caps. The auxiliary funded the video component of the campaign.
Dr. Mary Boyd, pediatrician, and Julie Phillips, OB patient educator, presented the idea to the Auxiliary Board. Because the board is "very patient focused," they agreed to fund the program knowing that it would help to improve patient care.
Thorne-Church said the baby caps are purple because PURPLE is the acronym used to help parents easily remember all of the common characteristics of normal infant crying. PURPLE stands for:
Now in its second year, the CLICK for Babies campaign is a collaborative effort between the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and invited states and provinces who have implemented the Period of PURPLE Crying. West Virginia was among the states who joined the 2012 campaign.
Thorne-Church is encouraged with Davis Memorial Hospital's participation in the CLICK for Babies campaign because it will help educate parents about normal infant crying and how to appropriately cope with the crying and the dangers of reacting in frustration.
More information about the CLICK for Babies campaign, including patterns for caps are available at www.CLICKforbabies.org.