If you stopped by the Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) last summer, you may have seen someone dropping off purple knit or crocheted hats and wondered what it was all about. For the past few years, MCPL has partnered with CLICK for Babies, an organization for the prevention of child abuse, with the purple hats used to highlight the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
In the first few months of life, all babies go through a period of increased crying, usually starting around two weeks of age, peaking in the second month and waning during the third and fourth months. CLICK for Babies uses the color purple to help parents remember that this crying lasts for a limited period of time and that it can come and go. Your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try and they may look like they're in pain, even when they're not. In fact, the crying can last for an extended period of time throughout the day (even up to five hours), and your baby may cry more in the afternoon and evenings. Shaken Baby Syndrome can then happen when a baby cries an excessive amount and parents or other caregivers become frustrated.
This past summer, MCPL collected 415 hats, all created by volunteer knitters and crocheters. All of the caps donated to MCPL go directly to Marshfield Clinic to be given to new parents. Statewide, 3,700 caps were created and donated by CLICK for Babies. Others donated time to hang posters, help with the washing, bagging and shipping hats or provide yarn and other supplies. MCPL is one of 30 agencies acting as a collection site, recruiting knitters and providing education on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Want to help create caps this year? Watch for fliers from MCPL in the spring and plan to bring in your knitted or crocheted hats to your local library branch during the summer months. If you want to get a head start on your caps, you can go here for pattern ideas: https://www.clickforbabies.org/stitchers-club/. But you don’t need to limit yourself to these patterns; any baby hat pattern will work, as long as the hat is at least 50% purple. As a general rule, the caps should be about 13-15 inches in circumference and have a height of about 6 inches. Parents are looking for more gender neutral or boy hats, so keep that in mind. That doesn’t mean you can’t make adorable hats with flowers; just remember that approximately half of all babies born are boys!
For more information on the CLICK for Babies program, visit www.clickforbabies.org.
image credit: Dan Richter/MCPL