Purple Tears initiative raises awareness

Purple Tears are being shed around town.

Over the next few weeks, Vernon family centres, gathering places and agencies will be spreading the news about the period of purple crying.

“Crying is a known trigger for shaking and child abuse,” said Claire Yambao, provincial program coordinator of Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome B.C. “People need to know it’s normal, and that if they get frustrated, it’s OK to put the baby in a safe place and walk away.  The crying will come to an end.”

Purple crying is the normal yet often frustrating developmental stage when infants between two weeks and four months can cry inconsolably for up to five hours a day.

The Purple Tears initiative aims to increase awareness of this difficult stage among parents of newborns, caregivers and the general public.

Posters and large vinyl decals will appear in local child and family centres including the North Okanagan Foster Parents Association and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs, in order to inform and educate the public on the Period of Purple Crying. These highly visible tear displays ask questions such as: “Can all this crying be normal?” and “Did you know your baby would cry like this?” or “Will this crying ever end?”

Visitors are directed to www.purplecrying.info to learn more.

The Purple Tears initiative in Vernon will also include an upcoming CLICK for Babies knitting campaign.

The campaign solicits the general community of knitters and moms to knit purple baby caps to be distributed to newborns throughout the month of November. Last year’s campaign received more than 4,000 caps from knitters across B.C. – including a couple hundred from Vernon – distributing them to every baby born in B.C. in November 2010.

The Period of Purple Crying program explains normal infant crying, and how to cope with it. It is the largest evidence-based initiative to create a cultural change in how society understands normal infant crying. It also helps prevent abuse and death, which can result from shaken baby syndrome. To learn more visit www.dontshake.ca.