The Oklahoma “CLICK for Babies” campaign is aimed at raising awareness and educating new parents and guardians on the dangerous effects and outcomes of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
The campaign is calling on volunteers to knit or crochet newborn purple caps that will be distributed throughout 39 Oklahoma hospitals to parents of newborn children.
CLICK for Babies is a grassroots public education campaign organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) in partnership with hospitals, public health and child abuse prevention groups to create awareness of the leading trigger for infant abuse, frustration with infant crying.
The term "click" comes from the “clicking” sound that knitters and crafters make with their needles as they create pieces.
During the campaign, communities all across North America donate handmade caps stitched in all shades of purple. Along with these caps, new parents receive a video, booklet, and bedside information describing the Period of PURPLE Crying.
Period of PURPLE is a period of time when infant crying increases; beginning when babies are about two weeks old, peaking in the second month and ending around the third to fifth month.
The collaboration and coordination it takes to make the caps, distribute them to hospitals, and deliver them to parents provides an opportunity to bring the whole community together in an effort to raise awareness about this important issue.
Frustration with crying infants is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of an infant, the organization reports.
It is important for parents to know that it is a normal and healthy part of infancy, that it is not their fault, and that it is not going to last forever.
“This type of abusive head trauma is preventable and research has shown that this program works,” said Alicia Lincoln, Child and Adolescent Health administrative programs manager for the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Volunteers are encouraged to knit or crochet newborn baby boy and girl caps of any shade of purple with soft, baby-friendly yarn.
The baby caps can have all sorts of fun colors and patterns, as long as they are 50 percent purple and free of straps, strings, or other potential choking hazards. Purple baby caps are accepted year-round, however, only caps received by October 1 will make it in this year’s hospital distribution. Further information about cap dimensions and volunteer information is on the organization's website.
Last year, the Oklahoma “CLICK for Babies” campaign collected more than 4,000 caps and this year’s goal is to collect and distribute 4,600 caps. These caps, along with informative DVDs, will be provided to parents during the months of November and December.
The DVD aims to educate parents on normal crying patterns, how to cope with unsoothable crying, and the importance of never shaking a baby.