WICHITA — Local child abuse prevention groups will receive special recognition today for a campaign aimed at teaching parents how best to cope with a crying baby.
Representatives of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome will present the award at noon today during the annual Governor's Conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. The conference is being held at the Wichita Hyatt.
The "Period of Purple Crying" program is the first initiative of the Wichita Child Abuse Fatality Community Response Team, which formed in 2008 after a spate of child-abuse related deaths.
As part of the campaign, parents giving birth at local hospitals or birthing centers watch a 10-minute DVD before leaving with their newborn. They also get a copy of the DVD and a booklet titled "Did you know your infant would cry like this?"
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The materials aim to help parents understand the frustrating nature of crying — which can lead to shaking or child abuse — and gives them suggestions for coping with a crying baby.
Since the campaign began last summer, Wichita has seen a decrease in child abuse fatalities — from eight in 2008 to two in 2009, and one so far this year.
Organizations involved in the program include the Kansas Children's Service League, the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, the Kansas Children's Cabinet and the Kansas Health Foundation. For more information, visit www.purplecrying.info.