The Period of PURPLE Crying program is an evidence-based prevention program focused on the fact that babies cry. This month – National Child Abuse Prevention Month – it’s being recognized as an important part of preventing the physical abuse of infants.

Specifically, the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome recognized our humble state “for its efforts to prevent shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma.” The official recognition came earlier this week at the statewide Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference, which was held in Missoula this year.

There, NCSBS lauded the efforts of Montana groups to educate key people – hospital staff, agencies and parents – about normal infant crying patterns. The Birth Center in Missoula is one of 20 groups in Montana that use the PURPLE program.

Healthy Mother Healthy Babies-Montana is another, and in a news release that went out earlier this week, executive director Synness had this to say:

“To date, PURPLE MT has partnered with 20 out of 29 birthing hospitals and clinics across Montana to deliver the Period of PURPLE Crying program to over 7,100 new parents. We believe that the education and materials provided through the Period of PURPLE Crying program will make a profound difference in the lives of Montana families and will provide parents and families with the information, support and the tools they need to provide the healthiest and safest start for their baby.”

Julie Price, International Program Director for the PURPLE program at the NCSBS, added: “It is such a privilege and pleasure to work with these organizations and professionals in Montana. The NCSBS recognizes how much collaboration it takes to implement this program in hospitals, to reinforce key messages in the community, and also to create a cultural change with public education campaigns. It takes a lot to sustain a statewide prevention program, and we greatly appreciate everything they do.”

According to the release, “SBS/AHT is a form of child abuse caused by the violent shaking of a baby or small child, usually by an adult frustrated by the baby’s crying. The Period of PURPLE Crying aims to educate parents about the normality of early increased crying during the first months of a baby’s life, and the associated frustration. The program also seeks to teach parents techniques to soothe a baby, and healthy ways to cope with the crying when cry bouts cannot be soothed.

“For more information about the Period of PURPLE Crying program, please visit PURPLEcrying.info.”