For the fifth consecutive year, Parsons Public Library is partnering with the Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL) and the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome in the campaign “Click for Babies: the Period of Purple Crying” to help raise community awareness about the dangers of shaking a baby.
The grassroots campaign invites knitters and crocheters across North America to make purple colored baby caps which will be delivered to newborn families in hospitals to help educate parents about the “Period of Purple Crying,” a normal but frustrating period of increased crying that all infants experience in the first few weeks and months after birth.
The library is once again serving as a local collection site. To participate, local crafters are encouraged to knit or crochet caps and drop them off at the library, 311 South 17th Street, Parsons. All caps need to be finished and turned in to the library by Friday, September 23, so that the library can send them to the Kansas Children’s Service League. Staff there will launder, tag and distribute the caps to Kansas hospitals along with information to educate parents about normal infant crying and coping techniques to avoid reacting in frustration by shaking or abusing an infant.
Guidelines for creating the hats are simple. Crafters may create as many caps as desired using a newborn baby cap pattern and any shade of soft, baby-friendly, washable purple yarn. Pom-poms, straps, ribbons, bows, buttons, tassels, strings, etc. are discouraged as they pose potential choking hazards. Other colors may be present, but the cap must be more than 50% purple. The caps are to be worn by 1 to 2 day old infants, so caps should have a circumference of 14 inches when easily stretched and a height of 4 – 6 inches. Hats may be either knitted or crocheted, but use of knitting looms is discouraged, as large, loose stitches do not provide enough warmth and may be too tight for a comfortable fit. A complete set of this year’s updated guidelines may be picked up at the library. Hats not meeting the guidelines will be returned to the donor.
Crafters who don’t already have a favorite pattern can download a free pattern from the website www.clickforbabies.org or pick one up at the library. Hats collected by the library will be on display in the library until the end of September.
Last year the library collected 1,307 caps, with the Oswego Correctional Facility contributing 376 of those. “There are several opportunities for members of the community to get involved in this worthy project,” said Jean Strader, Library Director. “In addition to making hats, you can spend time teaching someone else how to knit or crochet. It would be a great project for church groups or clubs to take on, and it would be a fun way to pass skills from one generation to another, while spreading awareness about shaken baby syndrome. People who do not knit or crochet can donate purple yarn or money to buy yarn, and we will see that the yarn gets into willing hands.”
In conjunction with the campaign, knitting and crocheting workshops will be held at the library. Crafters of all experience levels are encouraged to participate. Complete novices will be able to receive instruction on how to make baby hats, and more experienced knitters/crocheters are encouraged to come and share tips or just enjoy a relaxing few hours of knitting or crocheting.
Crochet workshops will be led by Peggy Blackburn, and will be held on Tuesdays, July through September from 11:00 to 1:00. Dana Sailsbury will lead knitting workshops, which will be held every Thursday from 11:00 to 12:00, July 5 through the end of September.
Patrons may drop in for one or any number of workshop sessions. Plan on bringing your own yarn and hooks/needles (size J crochet hook/size 8 knitting needles are recommended, but others may work depending on pattern and gauge).
Those who do not knit or crochet, but who wish to contribute to the effort, may donate skeins of soft, baby-friendly, washable yarn in any shade of purple. The yarn may be dropped off at the library anytime.
Frustration with a crying infant is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants. According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, it is the most common and most dangerous form of abuse in children under the age of one. Approximately 80% of all infants who are shaken suffer significant brain injuries and approximately 25% die as a result of their injuries.
“Click for Babies”, now in its sixth year, is a collaborative effort between the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and sixteen states and two Canadian provinces. The Kansas 2016 goal is to collect 6,000 caps. More information on the “Period of Purple Crying” and tips on soothing babies can be found at www.purplecrying.info.
For more information, contact the library (620-421-5920) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.