The Kansas Children’s Service League is asking for volunteers to create soft purple hats to be given to newborns at area hospitals, and the Basehor Community Library has stepped up to be a drop point for those hats. 

While most of the libraries within Kansas are connected by a courier service which they use to share materials, a library in Topeka had the idea to use the courier service to collect the purple hats.  

“Knitters and crocheters can bring their caps and we will send them through our courier to Topeka,” said library director Diana Weaver. “They will make sure the caps get to the Kansas Children’s Service League. It’s a great partnership.”

The grassroots campaign asks volunteers to knit or crochet purple hats based on patterns and ideas on clickitforbabies.org

Named after the clicking sounds that knitting needles make, the organization is dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of never shaking a child.

Specific size and other requirements are listed and should be adhered to so donated hats can be used by local hospitals.  Hats should have a circumference of between 13 and 15 inches and a height of four to six inches. Yarn that is used should be soft to the touch and washable. No attachments such as pom-poms, tassels, straps, bows, ribbons or buttons should be used due to a potential choking hazard.  

The hats will be used on infants who are just one or two days old and should be made of any shade of purple. Free infant hat patterns are available on the website.

In the United States, shaken baby syndrome is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases. About 30 per 100,000 children under 1 year old suffer from shaken baby syndrome each year. This often occurs when a parent or caregiver shakes an infant out of frustration or anger, often happening when the baby won’t stop crying. When a child is shaken, the brain moves within the skull, injuring or destroying delicate brain tissue. Blood vessels in the brain can be torn during a shaking incident which causes bleeding around the brain which can pool within the skull and potentially cause brain damage.

Completed hats may be dropped off at the Basehor Community Library through Sept. 30. They will be sent to the Children’s Service League for distribution.

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com