Knitter Addie Posch with one of the purple caps.

Seniors support newborns with knit-cap campaign

Knitting group at South Surrey retirement residence contribute to Click for Babies initiative.

A small group of dedicated knitters in a Semiahmoo Peninsula retirement community have spent their summer trying to help some the country’s youngest residents.

Since June, the knitting club at The Peninsula Retirement Residence – “about four or five people,” according to Diane Toth, the facility’s lifestyle consultant – has been getting together each week to knit tiny purple caps for newborn babies as part of the Click for Babies campaign, which aims to boast awareness of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

“It’s a group of ladies who get together… they’ve been at it for a good three months now, and they’ve been knitting caps like crazy,” Toth said.

Toth heard about the purple-cap campaign after receiving a flyer from B.C. Children’s Hospital.

“I told the group about it, and seniors love babies – everyone loves babies – so they were very interested,” she said.

In addition to their weekly meet ups, the knitters would often knit on their own time, as well – which meant a few extra trips to the store to buy wool, Toth laughed.

“I’m not a knitter, so I didn’t really know about this stuff,” she said.

“I heard about (the Click for Babies program), downloaded some of the patterns off the website, and then went out and bought a bunch of wool in different shades of purple – but they’d always come to my door and say they needed more.”

Since June, the group has knit more than 300 caps, and they’re to be delivered to the hospital this week.

In the meantime, the knitters’ handiwork is on display at The Peninsula – the caps are hung in a row along a staircase bannister.

“I just thought it would be nice to show everyone what they’ve done,” Toth said. “Everyone loves it.”

Shaken Baby Syndrome is an injury to a baby caused by being shaken violently and repeatedly. The shaking can cause swelling of the brain and internal bleeding, which can lead to serious longterm health problems, even death.

The Click for Babies campaign – organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome – aims to raise awareness for parents and caregivers that they should never shake a child as a response to prolonged crying.