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Purple caps to create awareness
RUMFORD -- During November, every newborn across the state will receive a knit purple cap.
Indeed, the effort is a nationwide attempt to create awareness about normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking babies. The caps are being distributed to hospitals through community agencies everywhere.
In this case, Community Concepts delivered caps, many made by local knitters, to Rumford Hospital's Birthing Center.
Shaken baby syndrome is the most serious and most common form of infant abuse, according to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS). A leading trigger for this abuse is frustration with an inconsolable crying infant.
In addition to the purple baby caps new parents get DVDs and a booklet about normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking an infant. "Babies all go through a normal period of increased crying in the first few months of life," says Ryan Steinbeigle, Director of Development for the NCSBS. "The goal of this program is to normalize this period and help parents and caregivers find ways to cope."
The first purple cap given at Rumford Hospital went to Connor Andrew Thompson, who was born on November 2. The first child of Amanda and Joel Thompson of Mexico, Connor weighed in at five pounds, seven ounces. His mother will be a stay-at-home mom and his father works at Advance Auto where the couple met.
Connor's paternal grandparents are Dale and Stacy Thompson of Rumford, where Joel grew up. Amanda's parents are Butch and Terri Cooper of Turner, her home town.
The Thompsons say that their birthing classes at Rumford Hospital taught them about the dangers of shaken baby syndrome, but they didn't know about the caps until one was presented to Connor.
"This is a good way to raise awareness," says Joel. "We couldn't have asked for a better experience than we've had here at Rumford."
"The nurses are great," adds Amanda.
The Thompsons are happy to be a part of spreading the word of the NCSBS, as are the Birthing Center nurses at Rumford Hospital.