Published on November 30, 2015

Obstetrics Staff at Pella Regional Distributing Purple Items to Build Awareness of Shaken Baby Syndrome

PELLA, Iowa – Each year, more than 1,400 babies are shaken and abused as a result of a parent or caregiver becoming frustrated with an infant’s crying. Research shows that frustration with a crying infant is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants. The majority of shaken infants suffer a variety of significant and life-long injuries that range from seizures and cerebral palsy to death.

Pella Regional’s Auxiliary members have knitted and crocheted a number of items in purple that were distributed to new parents in Obstetrics at Pella Regional throughout November. All of this is to build awareness of a normal, but often frustrating phase in an infant’s development when they cry more than any other point in their life. This developmental phase, called the Period of PURPLE Crying, provides a new way for parents and caregivers to understand normal infant crying, ways to cope with the crying and the dangers of shaking an infant.

“All infants cry, sometimes long and hard, but the most important thing you can do when are getting too frustrated is to put your baby in the crib and walk away. If needed, call someone to come over to give you a break,” said Karen Westercamp, manager of Obstetrics at Pella Regional Health Center.