Press Release

Maine joins National Campaign to Prevent Infant Abuse

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. In an effort 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.

The Period of PURPLE Crying initiative in Maine is coordinated by the Maine Children’s Trust and the Click for Babies campaign is being coordinated locally by each of the 13 Child Abuse and Neglect Councils. For a complete listing of the Child Abuse Councils in Maine go to www.mechildrenstrust.org

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.

CLICK for Babies, Period of PURPLE Crying Caps, invites knitters and crocheters across Maine to make purple colored baby caps which 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 that describes the characteristics of a developmental stage of increased crying.

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 being recruited by organizers to make the purple caps and to become ambassadors of the Period of PURPLE Crying program and educate parents, caregivers and others in the community about normal infant crying, ways to cope with crying and the dangers of reacting in frustration by shaking or abusing an infant.

“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.”

All of Maine’s 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. The Maine Children’s Trust leads the effort by supporting the hospitals and agencies implementing the program and working to expand it.

Caps will be collected from now until the end of September and distributed to babies born during November and December.

Knitters and crocheters are invited to send their finished caps to the Wendy Pace at Penquis 262 Harlow St., Bangor Maine 04402.

For information about the CLICK for Babies campaign, including patterns for caps, guidelines and details about the campaign are available at www.CLICKforbabies.org.

The Period of PURPLE Crying is an evidence based infant abuse prevention program that has been implemented in over 1,000 hospitals, public health offices and home visiting programs across North America. It was developed by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works nationally to prevent the shaking and abuse of infants. To learn more about the Period of PURPLE Crying visit www.PURPLEcrying.info.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Website: www.penquis.org
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