Caps Raise Awareness Of Child Abuse

.jpg photo of nurse
Denise Easeley, a NICU nurse at UnityPoint Health

Hospital’s goal is to knit 3,500 caps as part of campaign

“Crying is the No. 1 trigger for infant abuse,” she said. “Shaken baby syndrome is 100 percent preventable.”

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA  –  Denise Easeley says it’s normal for parents to become frustrated with their babies.

However, there is a point where one needs to draw the line.

“Purple crying” is defined as a period when an infant is inconsolable. It also is a time when parents may feel like they are at their wits end.

The national Click for Babies campaign aims to raise awareness of the purple crying period and prevent child abuse from occurring. As part of the campaign in Cedar Rapids, UnityPoint Health — St. Luke’s five years ago began hosting knit-ins.

“Our goal is to increase awareness for the period of purple crying program by educating parents and caregivers,” said Easley, a NICU nurse at UnityPoint Health — St. Luke’s. “We don’t want babies to be shaken or hurt.”

During the knit-ins, volunteers knit purple caps for babies, to symbolize purple crying.

St. Luke’s will host two knit-ins from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 4 and Oct. 3. There already were two knit-ins at the hospital in July and August.

Nine hundred caps were turned in after this year’s first knit-in, Easley said, including some by those who previously participated.

At the knit-ins, participants look at patterns, teach each other and enjoy chatting, Easley said. Participants are asked to bring their own knitting needles and yarn. A limited supply of yarn and patterns will be available.

Yarn donations also are accepted.

The goal for the campaign is 3,500 caps, which will be distributed to birthing hospitals across the state.

Easley said most of Iowa’s large hospitals teach new parents about purple crying.

“Parents get the education in the hospital and then they take it home. In November and December, after they’ve received their education, then they take home a purple cap.”

Easley said she wants the public to know that babies are supposed to cry.

“Crying is the No. 1 trigger for infant abuse,” she said. “Shaken baby syndrome is 100 percent preventable.”

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