Wichita Amid a recent spat of child-abuse deaths, a community group has announced a campaign to teach parents how to cope with a crying baby.
The program is the first initiative of the Wichita Child Abuse Fatality Community Response Team, which formed in the fall in response to eight homicides in the city that were linked to child abuse or neglect in 2008.
Their so-called “Period of Purple Crying” initiative starts June 1. Parents giving birth at Wichita hospitals or birthing centers will watch a brief DVD before leaving with their newborn.
Parents also will get a copy of the DVD and a booklet titled “Did you know your infant would cry like this?” The materials were developed by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
The idea is to prevent child abuse, particularly shaken-baby syndrome, by emphasizing that it is normal for babies to cry, sometimes for hours and for no apparent reason. It also assures parents it is OK to put a crying baby down and walk away for a few minutes.
The reminders are especially important now because incidents of child abuse and domestic violence usually increase during times of economic stress, said Vicky Roper, director of Prevent Child Abuse Kansas at the Kansas Children’s Service League.