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For Release: Aug. 30, 2012 - Pamela Williams, Office of Communications - (405) 271-5601

Click for Babies Project Needs Local Knitters to Help Prevent Infant Abuse

Frustration with a crying baby during the first few weeks or months of life 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, a project new to Oklahoma called “Click for Babies, Period of PURPLE Caps,” invites knitters and crocheters across the state to make purple-colored baby caps which will be distributed to newborns in participating hospitals as part of the Period of PURPLE® Crying program.

The Period of PURPLE® Crying (PPC) program offers a DVD and educational materials to participating Oklahoma hospitals to provide education to parents of newborns about normal infant crying and what to do when one becomes frustrated with a crying child. Parents are shown the video in the hospital and then given a copy to share with others who may take care of the baby after leaving the hospital. The handmade purple caps serve as an additional  reminder to parents about the normal “period of purple crying” that some babies may experience and the dangers of reacting with frustration by shaking or abusing an infant. Currently, 25 Oklahoma hospitals participate in the PPC program.

When a caregiver shakes a baby, it can cause serious trauma to the brain, even causing death or serious injuries. A recent review of ten years of Oklahoma Child Death Review Board physical abuse data indicated 75.5 percent of the physical abuse deaths were caused by abusive head trauma, with many a result of shaking the baby.

Oklahoma knitters are being recruited to each make from five to 50 purple knit caps that will be distributed to babies born in participating Oklahoma hospitals this November. Volunteers are asked to help knit or crochet purple-colored newborn baby caps using any newborn baby cap pattern and any shade of soft, baby-friendly purple yarn.  Send the caps by October 1 to: Lisa Rhoades, Oklahoma Child Death Review Board, 1111 N. Lee, Suite 500, Oklahoma City, OK 73103.

“We encourage clubs and community groups that knit and crochet to join this effort,” said Ann Benson of the Maternal and Child Health Service at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. “If we have a positive response, we hope to offer the knitted caps for newborns every year. Knitters are needed, so spread the word!”

As part of the “Click for Babies” project, the public is invited to attend a "knit-in" Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Norman, Oklahoma. Those participating in the “knit in” should contact Benson at (405) 271-4471 or email AnnRB@health.ok.gov.

The Period of PURPLE® Crying (PPC) program and the “Click for Babies” project are part of Oklahoma’s “Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility” initiative to reduce infant deaths in the state. To learn more, visit http://iio.health.ok.gov .

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