Brian Lopez

Brian Lopez

The Period of PURPLE Crying shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma prevention program shows an additional benefit in preventing general physical abuse

(British Columbia, Canada and Farmington, UT, USA) - According to the Canadian General Social Survey 2014, a national survey of self-reported victimization, 26% of respondents identified having experienced physical abuse or witnessed physical abuse before age 15.  Physical abuse among children is defined as any physical force or action that results or could result, in injury to a child by a caregiver. The Period of PURPLE Crying program was implemented in British Columbia (BC), Canada in 2009, in an effort to prevent infant traumatic head injury due to child maltreatment (THI-CM) commonly known as shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma (SBS/AHT). 

In a 2018 study, an 8-year evaluation showed the Period of PURPLE Crying program was associated with a 35% reduction in THI-CM hospitalization rates among children aged 0-24 months after it was implemented in BC. “Because THI-CM is a subset of physical abuse, we hypothesized that if the program reduced THI-CM hospitalizations, it may have also reduced physical abuse hospitalizations,” said the program director, Dr. Ian Pike.

And they were right. The research team recently published a manuscript in the Canadian Journal of Nursing Research demonstrating hospitalization rates for physical abuse, for children 24 months of age or younger in BC, decreased by 30% after the Period of PURPLE Crying program was universally implemented.

“The Period of PURPLE Crying teaches parents and other caregivers that inconsolable crying in a baby that starts at two weeks of age, peaks or is the most at about two months of age and ends at about four to five months is a normal part of a baby’s development,” says Danielle Vazquez, executive director of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) located in Farmington, Utah. The NCSBS, in partnership with Developmental Pediatrician Dr. Ronald G. Barr, developed the Period of PURPLE Crying program.

Inconsolable crying is the number one trigger for SBS/AHT. This most often occurs when a parent or caregiver gets so frustrated with the baby’s crying that they become angry and shake the baby or injure the baby in a way that causes serious brain injury.

“The program's key messages emphasize that crying is a normal and healthy way for infants to communicate and provides parents with tools and strategies for responding to crying in a positive and supportive way. So, it makes sense that the Period of PURPLE Crying key messages such as putting the baby down to take a break when you get frustrated with the crying, that all babies go through this period of increased crying, and that it’s ok if you can’t stop the baby’s crying, would work to help reduce the frustration that can lead to physical abuse,” says Dr. Pike.

The organization Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome British Columbia (PSBSBC) housed with the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit oversaw the implementation of the Period of PURPLE Crying program in all birthing healthcare institutions in BC. Nurses are given training on the Period of PURPLE Crying as part of their onboarding process. Maternity nurses spend approximately five minutes providing PURPLE education to parents of new babies, and public health/community nurses communicate key messages during infant follow-up appointments. PSBSBC provides continuous training support and ensures that those who provide the PURPLE program to families are following best practices. 

“The ability to make the Period of PURPLE Crying program universal in BC as well as the diligence of the nurses who provide the program to new families was critical to the program’s success,” says Dr. Pike.

Read the study abstract online at:

About the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

Founded in 2000, the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) is a non-profit 501(c)3 public charity with a mission to “The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome commits to prevent shaken baby syndrome / abusive head trauma and promote the well-being of infants through supporting and educating families, caregivers and professionals.”

The NCSBS works nationally and internationally with hospitals, public health, pediatricians, social workers, home visitors and other similarly aligned individuals and organizations to provide education and resources to families and professionals that will ultimately keep babies safe. The NCSBS is a leader in the development of shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma (SBS/AHT) prevention programs, training courses and public education campaigns. Each year, the National Center's resources and services reach over a million people worldwide. For more information, please visit

About Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome British Columbia

Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC (PSBSBC) is a program of the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit at BC Children’s Hospital. PSBSBC delivers a primary prevention program to reduce the incidence of shaken baby syndrome in British Columbia. We do this by providing timely, relevant, and scientifically sound information to parents, caregivers, and professionals involved in THI-CM cases, including: maternity nurses, health care professionals, and social workers.

PSBSBC was created out of the BC Children’s Hospital Steering Committee on Shaken Baby Syndrome that formed in early 2003 to examine the need and potential of a standardized prevention program for BC. A provincial environmental scan was completed, followed by a large three-year randomized-controlled trial. It was determined that the Period of PURPLE Crying® program (PURPLE) was the best program to educate new parents and caregivers. PSBSBC has been implementing the PURPLE program in throughout BC since 2009, resulting in reducing the rate of THI-CM/SBS in BC. For more information visit

Wednesday, 31 January 2024 09:47


Registration is OPEN!

2024 Registration Prices

 Physicians $595
 General $495
 Students* $250
 Families of Victims $250
 Survivors Free
 Groups of 5-9**                 $425 per
 Groups of 10+*                 $375 per
 Baby Bootcamp for Trauma
 Investigators Only
$150 per
 Baby Bootcamp for Trauma
 Investigators Add-On
$125 per

*Will need a field of study/year and affiliation to register
**Will need to register together and pay on a single transaction

Registration rates include access to all keynote, breakout sessions and opening reception. The NCSBS will provide two breaks per day which includes coffee and snack items. Lunch is on your own.

Be advised: Clicking the "REGISTER NOW" button will take you to our conference micro-site. This micro-site is associated with our conference app, Zoho Backstage for Attendees. This website, the app and the miicro-site will be updated regularly as we gather more information. You can go to the micro-site directly at:

If you have any questions pertaining to registration, please contact Trachelle Hilton-King at  or (801) 447-9360. ext. 112.

Tuesday, 31 October 2023 11:21

2024 Salt Lake City Venue

The Little America Hotel

500 Main Street

Salt Lake City, UT 84101

The Little America Hotel underwent an extensive $30 million renovation during COVID, and the property is amazing. Guests will love the free downtown train zone, walkability of the city, vibrant nightlife with bars and endless dining options. The temperatures in the fall are outstanding and you won’t be disappointed with the colorful mountain views from the downtown streets!

The NCSBS has secured a fantastic group rate of $219++ a night (excluding taxes) for conference attendees. Rates are dependent on room block availability. Dates available from September 9th - 24th for any who are looking to extend their stay. Extended stay availability is based off hotel occupancy.

Reserve Your Room

Tuesday, 31 October 2023 10:56

2024 Salt Lake City Abstract

Abstract Submission

Interested in presenting at the Nineteenth International Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma? Join other world-renowned experts and share your latest research, policies, investigative techniques, legal expertise and prevention efforts focused on shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma.

The NCSBS is now accepting abstracts for workshop and poster presentations. The program planning committee is looking for abstracts to present from the following areas of expertise: 

  • Latest medical diagnostic and treatment of SBS/AHT cases
  • Investigative and legal procedures and techniques
  • Evidence-based and creative SBS/AHT prevention initiatives and programs
  • Support for families and rehabilitation for victims of SBS/AHT

All contact information must be included as well as a thorough biography. The abstract will need to be submitted as a separate document with a word minimum of 150 words and a maximum of 1000. It must be in a word or PDF format. Please note: presentations with commercial interest will not be accepted.

Accepted abstract presenters will be responsible for own travel and registration costs. Co-authors presenting must also register for the conference.

Please Read the Abstract Submission Requirements Document Before Submitting an Abstract
Abstract Submission Requirements

Abstracts Due January 31, 2024

Any questions can be directed to Trachelle Hilton-King at (801) 447-9360 ext. 112 or .

Submit Your Abstract

Friday, 06 October 2023 11:55

Thank You, David & Chantel

For the past decade, the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome has had the privilege of being led by two fantastic Governing Board members. After such a long commitment to the organization, Chantel Chase and David Lloyd are stepping down and they will be greatly missed.

David Lloyd joined the board in 2013 and held numerous positions including most recently Board Chair. During his tenure, he supported the transition of two executive directors, supported the NCSBS through the trials brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and shared his overall passion for the protection of our most vulnerable population. David held many esteemed roles during his professional career including counsel for the Child Protection Division of Children’s National Medical Center, director of the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in the Department of Health and Human Services, and the director of the Family Advocacy Program for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. His wealth of knowledge helped shape the NCSBS into what it is today. His wealth of knowledge and lifelong commitment to protecting children helped shape the NCSBS into what it is today.

Chantel Chase joined the board in 2014 also serving a wide array of positions including most recently Vice-Chair. Chantel joined us during the early part of her career at Zion’s Bancorporation. With her unwavering dedication and commitment, Chantel quickly rose positions within the financial institution and the NCSBS benefited from the knowledge she gained with each new role. She became a champion and role model for women in business and was recognized for her work on a local and national level. Chantel helped the NCSBS evolve their financial operations to be as efficient and conservative as possible without impacting any of the vital programs we offer. We are so excited to watch Chantel continue to support growth of Utah businesses with her new role as Director of Business Banking Loan Center.

The NCSBS is incredibly fortunate to have had David and Chantel share their knowledge, passion and hearts with the Center to grow our outreach and develop our programs to better serve families and keep our babies safe from harm. Thank you for your unwavering support during success and challenges. Thank you for your dedication to protecting children world-wide. Thank you for everything.

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 11:54

Conference Loyalty Program

Conference Loyalty Program

Don't forget that if you attended our 2022 International Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome / Abusive Head Trauma (SBS/AHT) in Philadelphia, you are eligible to receive 10% off the registration fee for our upcoming 2024 conference in Salt Lake City. Our Conference Attendee Loyalty Program introduced at the Philadelphia conference rewards our frequent attendees and places attendees in three tiers*:

  • Ally: Earn 10% off registration fees after attending one conference
  • Supporter: Earn 15% off after two conferences attended
  • Champion: Earn 20% off after three conferences attended

* Attendance credit begins with the 2022 Philadelphia conference.

Email Trachelle at  or call 801-447-9360 ext.112 if you have any questions.


Tuesday, 05 September 2023 10:56

Welcome, New Board Members

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome is thrilled to welcome two new members to our Governing Board. Ashley Shreeve is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Goldenwest Credit Union. She brings a wealth of knowledge of both the HR needs to best serve the organization and employees but also experience in the financial world which will ensure the NCSBS operates with fiscal responsibility. Click the button to read Ashley's full bio.

Margaret "Meg" Walker has dedicated her career to family maltreatment prevention. As a nurse she has served many roles like home visitor, Nursing Director, as well as overseen research, program and policy development. As an advocate for the well-being of infants, children and their families, Meg will guide the NCSBS as we develop, update and implement SBS/AHT prevention programs throughout the world. Click the button to read Meg's full bio.

We are so honored to have such an esteemed Governing Board. Their guidance and oversight guarantees the NCSBS will be able to continue to grow and works towards our vision to prevent shaken baby syndrome and improve the overall care of infants.  If you are interested in supporting the NCSBS, please reach out to our Development Director at .

Tuesday, 05 September 2023 10:08

Ashley Shreeve, BS


Wednesday, 21 June 2023 12:56

2024 Salt Lake City

Nineteenth International Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome / Abusive Head Trauma

Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT

September 15, 16, 17, 2024

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome is pleased to announce our nineteenth biennial conference will be in Salt Lake City on September 15-17, 2024. Nearly 30 years after we hosted our first conference, we will again call Little America Hotel home for 3 days in the gorgeous weather and colors of the Rocky Mountains in the fall. 

We are incredibly excited to host in our home state. The hotel underwent an extensive $30 million renovation during COVID, and the property is amazing. Guests will love the free downtown train zone, walkability of the city, vibrant nightlife with bars and endless dining options. The temperatures in the fall are outstanding and you won’t be disappointed with the colorful mountain views from the downtown streets! The room block is now open! Reserve your room using the link in the Venue section below. Conference registration will open in January 2024. We will host a variety of learning opportunities, focusing on those working in the fields of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, investigation, prosecution, or rehabilitation of victims of shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma.


Pre-Conference NCSBS x NYC OCME Collaboration: Baby Bootcamp for Trauma Investigators

September 14, 2024 : 9:00A - 12:30P

This symposium will provide invaluable training and information for medical, legal, judicial, and law enforcement professionals on the basics of pediatric trauma investigation. The cost to attend this pre-conference bootcamp is $150 or can be combined as an add-on ticket to the SBS/AHT conference for $125. Register for the bootcamp and conference at the link in the following section.

Thursday, 26 January 2023 10:19

2022 Philadelphia

Eighteenth International Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma

The Eighteenth International Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma was held on October 23, 24, 25, 2022 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. It was extremely well-attended, with more than 400 people participating in over 60 sessions focusing on family/victim support, investigative techniques, legal and trial experiences, prevention programs from around the world, the latest research from experts in the field, and shared experiences from parents and survivors.

We were honored to have the conference kick off with a presentation by Dr. Hank Puls, “The Rates of AHT During COVID-19.”

Some of the other highlights of the 3-day event included:

  • Dr. Mary Case being presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. The award was presented by Dr. Lucy Roarke-Adams. Dr. Case has spent her career as a forensic pathologist speaking for child victims of abuse and as an expert witness for shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma.
  • Our “Ask The Experts” panel was facilitated by Dr. Randall Alexander, Dr. Lori Frasier, Tom Fallon (JD), and Joelle Moreno (JD). The discussion was vibrant and informative.
  • The premier of “A Survivor’s Story” featuring Josh Sorrels, filmed by Christopher Baier, relating the story of adult Josh discovering he is a victim of shaken baby syndrome.
  • A powerful and moving presentation by Sameer Sabir, “Justice for Rehma,” as he discussed the loss of his daughter to this devastating form of abuse and the judicial process that victimized the family further.

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome is indebted to the willing experts who presented at the conference, shared years of experience, research, and knowledge, and to the brave families and victims who shared their heartbreaking stories. Our next conference is scheduled in 2024. The location will be announced in Spring 2023.