Oklahoma Health Dept. Asks Knitters And Crocheters To Make Caps To Fight Shaken Baby Syndrome

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Courtesy Oklahoma State Department of Health

OKLAHOMA (KFSM) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health is asking people to put their needles together to help prevent shaken baby syndrome.

The CLICK for Babies campaign asks knitters and crocheters to make purple knit caps that will be given to newborns in local hospitals born in November and December. The caps are given to raise awareness about the Period of PURPLE Crying, a time from about 2 weeks to 3-4 months when babies often cry more frequently.

The color is an acronym for the symptoms that babies can show during this time:

  • P – Period of peak crying, the baby could cry more during this time
  • U – Unexpected, the crying could come and go without obvious reason
  • R – Resists soothing, the baby might not stop crying no matter what you try
  • P – Pain-like face, the baby could appear to be in pain even if they are not
  • L – Long lasting, the crying can last as much as five hours a day
  • E – Evening, the baby could cry more in the evening

Letting parents know about this period also serves to help prevent shaken baby syndrome at the hands of a frustrated parent or caregiver.

The department set a goal to get 5,000 caps by Oct. 1, which is the deadline to submit the caps.

There are a few guidelines for those interested in knitting the caps.

  1. Be sure that the cap is at least 50 percent purple. Other colors can be used in the cap as long as it’s mostly purple. Any shade of purple is welcome, especially shades that are more gender-neutral, such as dark purples, and patterns that include blue, green, orange and gray colors along with the purple.
  2. The hats will be worn by 1- or 2-day-old babies, so the caps need to be about 14″ (13″-15″) in circumference to fit an average newborn’s head, and they should be 4″-6″ tall. You can test the size to make sure it fits by using a ball, balloon, bowl, doll’s head, jar, or stuffed animal head with a 14″ circumference.
  3. The hats need to be knitted or crocheted out of new, clean, soft and washable yarn.
  4.  Do not attach decorations like pom-poms, tassels, straps, bows, ribbons, buttons, etc. to the hats to help prevent strangulation.
  5. The hats need to be warm to protect the babies, so smaller stitches are better. Large, loose stitches (such as those made by looms) tend to not keep the babies warm enough.
  6. The style should be gender neutral, or make an equal number of boy-friendly and girl-friendly style caps. Suggested styles are below:

Finished hats can be mailed to:

  • Oklahoma State Department of Health, Maternal and Child Health, ATTN: Alicia Lincoln or Amy Terry, 1000 NE 10th, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
  • The Parent Child Center, ATTN: Carrie Little, 1421 S. Boston, Tulsa, OK 74119
  • Oklahoma Child Death Review Board, ATTN: Lisa Rhoades, 1111 N. Lee, Suite 500, Oklahoma City, OK 73103

Caps can also be dropped off to one of several cities in Oklahoma, here.