PURPLE Program

PURPLE Program

The Period of PURPLE Crying® Program (PURPLE) has been provided in BC for over 12 years by health and community practitioners to parents and caregivers of infants. This program supports more than 44,000 new families each year.

All maternity, public health, and primary care nurses deliver PURPLE education and resources as part of their practice supporting expecting and new parents and caregivers.

PURPLE is a parent education intervention program that provides information and resources on infant crying, managing frustration, alternative soothing methods, and coping strategies and the dangers of shaking a baby, with the intent to increase knowledge, change behaviours and reduce the incidence of Traumatic Head Injury - Child Maltreatment/Shaken Baby Syndrome (THI-CM/SBS).

What is thi/cm?

THI-CM is defined broadly to include traumatic injury to the head (skull and/or brain and/or intracranial structures), which may also be accompanied by injuryto the face, scalp, eye, neck or spine, as a result of the external application of force from child maltreatment.

Our program would not be possible without the support of nurses and health providers across the province who work with pregnant people and new families to help them understand infant crying, how to prepare for this period in their baby's life, and how to keep baby safe.

Who can use PURPLE?


PURPLE is universally available and free, thanks to funding from the BC Ministry of Health. Anyone who supports parents and caregivers of infants in their practice can take the free training and use PURPLE education and resources when educating parents about infant crying, soothing and coping, and the dangers of shaking. These practitioners include:

  • Maternity nurses/Midwives 
  • Public health/Primary care nurses 
  • Community service providers who support pregnant people and new parents and caregivers including: family physicians, social workers, pregnancy outreach workers, family support workers, early childhood educators, daycare providers, StrongStart leads, foster parents, doulas, etc.

Learn more about training on our training page.

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Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC is continually developing new partnerships with community service agencies so that they can deliver PURPLE education. If you are interested or would like more information about the program, please contact us.

When is PURPLE used?

Adjusting to life with an infant and the amount of parenting information can be overwhelming and scary for new parents and caregivers. This is why PSBSBC uses a “three dose”/multi-exposure method in BC to ensure that new families hear about PURPLE crying more than once.

DOSE 1 - primary
Week 1 after birth

Maternity hospital nurses at all 49 hospitals in BC that provide birthing services deliver PURPLE education and materials to parents and caregivers of all newborns prior to discharge. This is also done by midwives for home births during the first week of a baby’s life.

DOSE 2 - secondary
Week 1-8 after birth

Key messages are reinforced by public health and primary care nurses in over 121 public health and primary care units and centres in BC. This typically occurs during post-delivery contact, home visits, well-baby check-ups, or the first immunization appointment.

Friendly paediatrician doctor explain something to mother with newborn baby.
DOSE 3 - supplementary
Prenatal and/or weeks 1-20 after birth

We bridge our health and social service systems through community support and public education. This allows caregivers to hear messaging from those in the community and from trusted online health education resources.

Map showing Children's Virtual Care Locations in British Columbia (2018)

Where is PURPLE used?

Funding for this program, including training, resources, and tools, is provided by the BC Ministry of Health. This program would not be possible without the support of the nurses and service providers who deliver PURPLE education to parents across BC within the five regional health authorities, and the two provincial health authorities (FNHA and PHSA).