Epidemiology: Prevention Research

Program to Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome and Infant Abuse: The Period of PURPLE Crying

Key Investigators: Frederick Rivara, M.D., M.P.H.
University of Washington Department of Pediatrics
Funding Source: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The period of PURPLE Crying Program is an early intervention project to develop the capacity of existing primary health care systems to prevent shaken baby syndrome and, more generally, the physical abuse and neglect of infants. The need for this project results from new knowledge about the properties of infant crying that change our understanding of its common significance for early development and parenting; and evidence that crying is likely the most common stimulus for infant shaking and abuse. The project tests a new intervention designed to change the knowledge and behavior of every new parent, and to provide health-care practitioners with the knowledge, skill and materials to effectively educate new parents about infant crying and thus reduce abuse.