Marion County knitters and crocheters made about 300 purple caps for newborn babies in an effort to raise awareness of shaken baby syndrome.
Their craft efforts are part of Kansas Children’s Service League’s campaign to educate new parents about the “period of purple crying,” the first four months when newborns cry the most, even to the point their skin turns purple. Kansas Children’s Service League is washing the caps and giving them to every hospital with a birth ward in Kansas. Included with the caps will be information about shaken baby syndrome.
Down on the Corner in Marion was the main drop-off point in Marion County for volunteers. The local effort began in late August, and a handful of volunteers produced 299 caps in two months. Catherine Hein of Marion made 39 of the caps herself, Down on the Corner owner Karen Ehrlich said.
Betty Norman of Hillsboro doesn’t knit or crochet, but she found a way to help. Her granddaughter, Kali Hamilton, works with Kansas Children’s Service League in Wichita, and asked Norman to enlist friends and acquaintances into the effort, as well as to collect and deliver the caps to Wichita.
Kansas Children’s Service League initially set a goal of 3,500 caps, but volunteers surpassed that goal significantly, Ehrlich said.
Because the caps are sized for newborn babies, they don’t take much time to make. Crocheting one takes between 30 and 40 minutes. Knitting takes a little bit longer. Volunteers added personal touches to caps, resulting in a great variety. Some caps are lavender, others are a deeper violet, and yet others are dark indigo in color. Some include white stripes or other patterns, and some have tassels on top.
“If in all of this we save one baby we have accomplished what we set out do to,” Ehrlich said.