A new statewide knitting/crocheting campaign is under way in Maine to help prevent shaken baby syndrome and raise awareness of a normal period in an infant’s development when they cry more than any other time.

The campaign, titled Click for Babies, encourages participation through the “clicking” of knitting needles. This North America initiative is sponsored by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and is organized across Maine through a collaborative effort of the Maine Children’s Trust, the Child Abuse Prevention Councils and Maine’s birthing hospitals.

Beginning now and continuing through October, knitters and crocheters are invited to help by knitting or crocheting any number of purple-colored baby caps and getting them to local organizers. The Child Abuse Prevention Councils are coordinating the collection of hats in every county. In November, caps will then be distributed to all new babies born in Maine. Anyone can support this effort by knitting or crocheting a hat. The goal is to collect a minimum of 1,000 baby hats. For a complete list of local contacts please visit mechildrenstrust.org.

Lanelle Freeman, who is coordinating this work for the child abuse prevention councils said in a news release, “This is an amazing opportunity to unite for newborns and help prevent infant abuse. Knitting a purple cap is something anyone can do and will pay dividends in terms of its effect on educating new parents about the Period of Purple Crying and saving lives. I am thrilled to be involved!”

The Period of Purple Crying is an evidence-based educational program distributed to the families of every baby born in Maine in every birthing facility. This program provides life-saving information about normal infant crying and the dangers of reacting to that crying in frustration by shaking or abusing an infant.

“Many parents and caregivers have no idea what to expect from their new infant. The Period of Purple Crying provides parents reasonable expectations about the amount of crying their baby may have in the first weeks and months following birth and provides important action steps for dealing with the crying when it becomes frustrating” said Jan Clarkin, the executive director of the Maine Children’s Trust, and the co-coordinator or the Click for Babies initiative.

Anyone interested in knitting or crocheting caps for the Maine Click for Babies campaign can visit clickforbabies.org or mechildrenstrust.org to learn more or contact Lanelle Freeman at 859-1577.