Volunteer knitters sought for shaken baby initiative

September 18, 2015 Commentary, Letters to the Editor Print Print
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letter to editorTo the Editor:

Frustration with infant crying is the number-one trigger for a person to shake or harm a baby.

The result of this action can be abusive head trauma — the leading cause of child abuse deaths in the U.S.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health advises that nearly all victims suffer serious health consequences and at least one of every four babies who are violently shaken dies from this form of child abuse.

This is why educating caregivers is so important. They need to know what to expect from newborns and how to handle this stressful time.

“This form of abusive head trauma is completely preventable and research has shown that this program works,” said Amy Terry, adolescent health coordinator.

“Click for Babies” is a grassroots campaign that seeks knitters and crocheters to make purple-colored baby caps to be delivered to families in local hospitals during the months of November and December along with the Period of PURPLE Crying® program.

The program is evidence-based, and educates parents about normal infant crying, ways to cope with the crying, and the dangers that can result from shaking an infant.

Currently, 39 birthing hospitals in Oklahoma participate in the program. Volunteers are needed to knit or crochet purple baby caps and to help spread the word.

“We need as many volunteers, knitting groups and community champions as possible to participate in this worthy effort,” said Lisa Rhoades, program manager for the Child Death Review Board.

Rhoades helps lead the Injury Prevention Workgroup of Oklahoma’s “Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility” initiative to reduce infant deaths in the state.

Purple-knitted infant caps will be collected through the end of September and can be mailed to the following locations:

  • Oklahoma Child Death Review Board

1111 N. Lee, Ste. 500

Oklahoma City, OK 73103

  • Parent Child Center of Tulsa

1421 S. Boston Ave.

Tulsa, OK 74119

For a list of participating drop-off sites close to your area, visit www.clickforbabies.org/partners/oklahoma.php.

To obtain patterns for caps, guidelines and “Click for Babies” campaign details, visit www.CLICKforbabies.org, call 405-271-4471, or email AmyT@health.ok.gov.

For more information about the program, visit www.health.ok.gov.

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