Knit-In at Cedar Rapids Hospital Raises Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness

More Events Planned for the Fall

By Gabriella Dunn, The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. — One-and-a-half year-old Carter will live legally blind and devlopmentally disabled for the rest of his life because as an infant, his father shook him violently during a crying spurt. Carter suffered abusive head trauma, which caused brain bleeding and seizures.

Carter now is an ambassador for the Click for Babies campaign, a program to raise awareness about abusive head trauma, also known as shaken baby syndrome.

Volunteers for the campaign were knitting and crocheting purple caps for newborn babies Saturday at St. Luke’s Hospital to raise awareness about the issue. Parents receive a cap for their child after completing training about the so-called Period of PURPLE Crying.

The PURPLE system is meant to ease parents’ worries and frustrations about their babies’ crying. It reinforces the idea that all babies cry, especially from ages 2 weeks to 4 months, but that it’s only a brief phase in their development.

Carter’s presence at the event helped reinforce that message.

“But what we’re looking at is a lifetime of injuries,” she said.

Block said doctors didn’t expect Carter to live. If he did, she said, they predicted he would need a feeding tube and ventilator.

“He’s made a lot of accomplishments that they didn’t give us hope for,” Block said, looking at Carter across the table, free of any tubes or machinery.

Block said her family’s mission now works on “getting the word out about the lifelong impacts from a moment of anger.”

Denise Easley, statewide coordinator for Click for Babies, said the program collects between 6,200 and 7,200 caps each year in Iowa.

The group will have two more knit-ins at St. Luke’s on Sept. 4 and Oct. 4.

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