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UNC, Duke lead first statewide shaken baby prevention research project in US
Date:1/16/2008

y 125,000 babies born in the state annually with an intervention program called The Period of PURPLE Crying, which was developed by Dr. Ron Barr, a professor of community child health research and a developmental pediatrician at the University of British Columbia, and Marilyn Barr, founder and executive director of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. Both Dr. Barr and Marilyn Barr are collaborating with the North Carolina project.

Dr. Barr created the concept of The Period of PURPLE Crying to help describe the characteristics of crying in healthy infants. PURPLE describes normal infant crying it Peaks at 2 months of age and ends at 4 or 5 months, and often earlier; is Unexpected; Resists soothing; the child appears to be in Pain; it is Long lasting (2-5 hours); and occurs more in the Evening. The word Period lets parents know that this experience of increased, frustrating crying is temporary and eventually does come to an end.

The program includes hospital and health care provider-based parent education, a 10-minute video and an 11-page booklet that parents can share with other caregivers of their baby, such as family members and babysitters. The program educates parents and caregivers about the hazards of shaking and gives them alternatives to use when they feel they need a respite from a crying baby, such as handing off the baby to another caregiver or going to another room while leaving the baby in its crib with the rails up for periods of no longer than 15 minutes.

The co-principal investigator on the CDC research grant is Dr. Adam Zolotor of the UNC department of family medicine. In addition, Heidi Hennink-Kaminski and Elizabeth Dougall of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication will work with the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome to develop a statewide media campaign to address social norms about shaking and reinforce program messages through caregivers, family, and friends.

The Center for Chi
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Contact: Stephanie Crayton
scrayton@unch.unc.edu
919-966-2860
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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