Two years ago, the local county court, there was a shocking incident of infant abuse played out. A man shook his two month old baby girl and struck her head against a hard surface. Up until that time I had never really taken the time to think about "Shaken Baby Syndrome". I knew it happened, I knew parents got frustrated because I am a parent, I knew what happened to the brain when it was subjected to concussion. However, I had no idea of the devastating effect of shaken baby syndrome. When I discovered the Period of Purple Crying and "CLICK for Babies" . Shaken Baby Syndrome is preventable and we as knitters, and crocheters are a part of that prevention effort.
The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome states that Shaken Baby Syndrome is "The leading cause of abuse deaths in the U.S. " The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) also writes
"Why is Shaking a Baby Dangerous?Violent shaking for just a few seconds has the potential to cause severe injuries. While shaking may cause injury to children of any age, children are most susceptible to being injured during their first year of life. Factors that contribute to a baby’s vulnerability include:
"Consequences of SBS/AHT
The Period of Purple Crying is a fantastic program developed to not just reduce but hopefully STOP the incidence of SBS /AHT . There are training programs available for community groups, caregivers, churches, and daycare providers training.dontshake.org/courses . Information is the key to stopping this fully preventable cause of infant death or injury. In pure economic terms the NCSBS statistics indicate that in 2010 there were 16.8 billion reason to put a STOP to SBS/AHT. That's the cost in round numbers of Shaken Baby. However, all of us know you cannot put a price on the life of a child nor can we ignore the signs. Parents who are dealing with a baby who is difficult, gets their days and nights confused, cries a lot, refuses to nap, doesn't eat well, gets colicky, struggle with exhaustion and to keep from losing their grip out of anger. All parents at one point or another feel amazingly frustrated with their child. However, we as a community, as friends, as loved ones, as grandparents have the responsibility to try to reach out to help a parent who is overwhelmed. It could prevent ruined lives. Here are some stories that might help us realize the complexity of this issue and exactly WHY those of us who knit and crochet need to assist. Below is a graphic that illustrates why the NCSBS uses the Period of Purple Crying acronym.
As knitters and crocheters we have the awesome opportunity to help support this campaign with contributions of purple baby hats. There is an organization "Click for babies" designed to support parents of newborns. Their tagline is "Knit 1, Tell 2, Give 3" . Knit /crochet a hat, raise awareness by telling others, give $3. Now in my case neither New York State or Vermont have an official Period of Purple Crying campaign (not unusual for NY!) I've asked friends just to make up some caps following the guidelines . Then take the caps to the local hospital or birthing center . This will help further the goal of Click for Babies "The goal of the CLICK for Babies campaign is to increase awareness and educate others about the Period of PURPLE Crying that all infants go through, how to respond to prolonged crying, and the importance of never shaking your child - all in an effort to prevent the shaking and abuse of infants." clickforbabies.org/about-click-for-babies-campaign.php In my experience, if we wait for someone to start a chapter nothing gets done, but if we simply start the information campaign people will join in.
Guidelines are vital but so are patterns! Here are the links to the hat patterns provided by CLICK for Babies.
The Period of Purple Crying is on a vital mission to keep babies from permanent brain injury or even death. Having been a military wife with 2 small children 16 months apart in age I can tell you that it's a very lonely thing to listen to your child cry for hours, and never have a break because my husband is deployed. If someone had offered to watch my children while I took a shower, or actually SAT down to eat a meal, I would have been thrilled. Be mindful of this project as you knit or crochet. Consider what your contribution might mean for the future.
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