Iowa was nationally honored as a "Purple State" for its statewide efforts to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). The recognition follows Iowa's participation in Click for Babies, a public awareness program organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS). Nationally, 40,000 handmade purple baby caps will be distributed to newborns during the month of November to spread awareness about SBS.
In the photo to the left, Diana Bohlke, Iowa Health - Des Moines maternity nurse, displays the handmade hats she made for the Click for Babies campaign.
Babies born in 450 U.S. and Canadian birthing hospitals in November - including Iowa Methodist, Iowa Lutheran and Methodist West - will receive a purple baby cap and informational material, including a DVD and multiple-page booklet about normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking an infant in frustration. The evidence-based program is called Period of PURPLE Crying.
PURPLE is an acronym used to help parents identify characteristics of normal infant crying.
- Peak of crying - the baby may cry more each week, peaking at two months and then
- less at three to five months
- Unexpected - crying can come and go with no explanation
- Resists soothing - a baby may not stop crying no matter what you try
- Pain-like face - it may appear a baby is in pain while crying, even if he or she is not
- Long lasting - a baby may cry five hours per day or more
- Evening - a baby may cry more in the late afternoon or evening
Iowa, along with six other states and two Canadian provinces, was selected to participate in the Click for Babies campaign because of the success it has had in providing this educational material to parents. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, 80 percent of Iowa birth families receive the Period of PURPLE Crying message upon discharge from their hospital. Additional states and provinces are expected to join this coming April.