VOLUNTEERS NEEDED WHO CAN KNIT OR CROCHET TO CREATE HATS TO HELP RAISE AWARENESS FOR SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME

If you see a purple baby hat that looks handmade this fall, it might just have been made for a good cause! Health officials have teamed up with the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) to knit and crochet purple baby hats that will then be donated to local hospitals. The new online campaign is called “Click For Babies,” and the hope is that these specials hats will raise awareness of the “period of purple crying,” a time in which a baby cries excessively, sometimes due to colic. This crying period can trigger some people to shake their infants out of frustration. The New York Department of Health estimates that between 1000-3000 children in the U.S. suffer from SBS each year, and it can be deadly.

One quarter of SBS victims die, while about 80 percent suffer permanent damage of some kind. Shaken infants may experience “brain injury, cerebral palsy, blindness, hearing loss, learning and behavior problems, seizures, paralysis, and death.” New parents may not know that babies can cry for up to five hours a day. Arming themselves with awareness of their own triggers and information about their babies can help reduce the risk of SBS.

“The OSDH has requested volunteers in the past, but the media response was minimal, and last year we fell short of our cap goal,” Amy Terry, an adolescent-health coordinator with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, told ABC News. “Campaign materials were redesigned for 2017, social media marking efforts were increased, and the public response has been overwhelmingly supportive. We have received calls from people all across the country who are willing to volunteer.”

Oklahoma is one of the 16 states participating in the new Click campaign. The organization provides knit and crochet patterns and drop-off locations for those interested in volunteering. All purple hats will be collected until October 1st. They will then be distributed to hospitals and public health offices in participating states.

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