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Mercy participates in Click for Babies

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mercy Medical Center–Des Moines (including Mercy Women & Infant’s Center and Mercy West Lakes) is proud to be participating in Click for Babies. Close to 500 hand-knitted hats have been donated to Mercy to be given out to every baby boy or girl born at Mercy or discharged from Mercy in November.  As the state’s busiest maternity hospital in Iowa, Mercy is proud to partner with the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome involved in spreading this important message of awareness to all caregivers of newborns.

News release from National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

Thousands of knitters, crocheters and crafters throughout North America have donated over 30,000 handmade purple colored baby caps to give to hundreds of hospitals throughout North America in an effort to help prevent the most serious and most common form of infant abuse, shaken baby syndrome.

The grassroots effort, called Click for Babies (from the distinct sound of knitting needles “clicking” together), is organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) in partnership with hospitals and child abuse prevention groups in seven U.S. states and two Canadian provinces to raise awareness of the leading trigger for infant abuse, frustration with a inconsolable crying infant.

Beginning today and continuing through the end of November, babies born at 350 U.S and Canadian birthing hospitals will receive a purple baby cap along with a 10-minute DVD and 11-page booklet about normal infant crying and the dangers to reacting to the frustration of a crying infant by shaking.  This information is central to an SBS-prevention program called the Period of PURPLE Crying.

“Most parents and caregivers are unfamiliar with the fact that all babies go through a normal period of increased crying in the first few months of life,” says Ryan Steinbeigle, director of development for the NCSBS, “The goal of the PURPLE program is to normalize this period in an infant’s development and help parents and caregivers find ways to cope with the frustration of caring for a crying infant so that they never react by shaking or otherwise harming their infant.”

The word PURPLE is an acronym which describes to new parents in an easy to remember way all of the characteristics of normal infant crying and reminds parents that this period of increased crying doesn’t go on forever.  The letters in PURPLE stand for:

  • Peak of crying – The baby may cry more each week, peaking at two months, and then less at three to five months.

  • Unexpected – The crying can come and go, with no explanation.

  • Resists soothing – The baby might not stop crying no matter what you try.

  • Pain-like face – It may look like the baby is in pain, even when they are not.

  • Long lasting – The baby might cry 5 hours per day or more.

  • Evening – The baby might cry more in the late afternoon or evening.

Washington, Oregon, Utah, Kansas, Iowa, North Carolina, Maine, British Columbia and Ontario were invited to participate in the inaugural Click for Babies campaign because of the tremendous success they have had providing this important education to parents and caregivers through birthing hospitals and public health organizations.  It is anticipated that additional states and provinces will participate next year when the campaign launches again in April.

More information about the Click for Babies campaign is available on the website. To learn more about the Period of PURPLE Crying visit PURPLEcrying.info.


Kate Westercamp
(515) 643-8217 

(515) 247-3121
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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