If you know how to knit, you might be able to save a baby’s life

If you know how to knit, you probably know how wonderful (and productive) of a hobby it can be. After all, everyone loves a good hat and scarf combo, made with yarn and love. But for those living in Oklahoma, knitting can save a baby’s life.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health put out a call for volunteers to help knit purple caps for babies. The color purple is pretty significant in this case — it’s being used to signify the “PURPLE crying” period that many newborns have. In fact, this stage usually happens between two weeks of life and three to four months. PURPLE is often capitalized, as it’s an acronym for what parents can expect — “Peak of Crying,” “Unexpected,” “Resists Soothing,” “Pain-Like Face,” “Long Lasting,” and finally, “Evening.”

According to the Period of PURPLE Crying website, these babies are often diagnosed with colic.

"When the baby is given medication to treat symptoms of colic, it reinforces the idea that there is something wrong with the baby, when in fact, the baby is going through a very normal developmental phase," the site says.

While nobody loves being around a crying baby, often times new parents — who are also suffering from a huge life shift and lack of sleep — accidentally shake their newborns to try and get them to stop crying. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1,200 to 1,400 babies are shaken every year, causing both severe injury and death.

So, how can knitters help? By knitting a purple baby cap, it can serve as a reminder to parents that these stressful moments will be over soon — and that shaking an inconsolable baby will only cause lifelong harm.

In total, the department is looking to give 4,300 caps away to babies born in November and December. So now’s the perfect time to knit.

Any shade of purple can be used for the caps — but yarn should definitely be soft and safe for a baby. More guidelines can be found at the CLICK Campaign website, which also gives addresses for donations that are mailed in.

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