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      Pella Regional distributes purple newborn caps to build awareness of shaken baby syndrome

      <div> <p> <font size="2">Baby Clayton in his purple hat, along with dad and mom (Brant and Amy VerMeer)</font> </p> </div>

      Each year, more than 1,400 babies are shaken and abused as a result of a parent or caregiver becoming frustrated with an infantâ??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.

      â??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,â?? said Karen Westercamp, manager of Obstetrics at Pella Regional Health Center.

      Through a unique collaboration, the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome is working to build awareness of the dangers of shaking an infant by collecting and distributing thousands of purple-colored baby caps to hospitals for parents of new babies.

      The caps aim to build awareness of a normal, but often frustrating phase in an infantâ??s development when they cry more than any other point in their life.

      â??We educate our patients about the Period of PURPLE Crying before discharge but these sweet little caps give us one more way to share that information and prepare parents for the challenges of raising a new baby,â?? said Westercamp.

      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.