Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Program

The Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC program is working to prevent shaken baby syndrome through a province-wide community-based educational program, the Period of Purple Crying©.

The Period of Purple Crying© focuses on infant crying, especially inconsolable crying and its connection to shaken baby syndrome using a child development model. Program materials, which are distributed to parents of newborns at birthing hospitals, include a booklet and a 10-minute DVD that addresses three basic concepts:

  1. That early infant crying and even colic is a normal part of infant development;
  2. Frustration over early infant crying is the most common trigger for shaking an infant or child; and
  3. Shaking an infant or child is very dangerous.

The program has been fully implemented in all birthing hospitals and health units across BC. Staff in a wide range of community, health and government organizations have received training on the program.

The program goal is to create a cultural change in parents’ understanding of and response to infant crying, and to reduce the number of cases of abusive head trauma (shaken baby syndrome) by 50 percent.

The Period of Purple Crying© program is still in progress. Initial results since the implementation of this program are very encouraging, with a better than 80 percent reduction in the number of cases of abusive head trauma in infants up to six months of age, as compared to previous years.

For more information, please visit the Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC website.