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November 1 , 2011
After a call went out in July 2011 for donated handmade purple hats to help raise awareness about Shaken Baby Syndrome, knitters from London and surrounding area, and from as far away as Sweden put their fingers, knitting needles and crochet hooks to work.
Since the call went out, Denise Polgar, injury prevention specialist, has had more than 5,200 knit or crochet purple hats donated to the Trauma Program.
"I am absolutely overwhelmed by our community’s response to this important initiative,” says Polgar. “It could not have happened without the support of the SouthWest Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Working Group, Maternal Newborn Child and Youth Network, Children’s Health Foundation, Middlesex-London Health Unit, our hospital volunteers and staff and of course, the community.”
The caps will be given to parents and caregivers, in support of The Period of PURPLE Crying® program, which provides important information to parents and caregivers regarding infant crying patterns and comforting strategies, and education on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
"The Period of PURPLE Crying® is the phrase used to describe the point in a baby’s life when they cry more than any other time,” says Polgar. “We want everyone to know that crying is normal and that it is never okay to shake or harm an infant.”
Through a generous grant from the Children’s Health Foundation in 2009, Children’s Hospital was the first hospital in Ontario to adopt the Shaken Baby Syndrome education program in their mother/newborn unit and the neonatal intensive care unit. The program includes nursing staff providing individual education to each woman/family, including a take-home 11-page colour booklet and DVD, focusing on positive messages on coping with infant crying.