Sarah Duzinski, a research scientist at Dell Children’s Medical Center, has noted that the number of head trauma cases at the hospital’s emergency room increase during a time known as PURPLE crying, a period that is frustrating to parents.

“It’s a normal part of an infant’s development, and all mammals experience it,” Duzinski says. The period runs from about two weeks to four months of age and peaks at about six weeks.

The PURPLE mnemonic stands for:

P – Peak of crying. Cries most in month 2.

U – Unexpected. Comes and goes, and you don’t know why.

R – Resists soothing. May not stop no matter what you try.

P – Pain-like face. Baby looks like she’s in pain.

L – Long lasting. Can last 5 hours or more.

E – Evening. Cries more in afternoon and evening.

As a member of the Prevention Subcommittee of the Child Protection Roundtable, Duzinski has engaged in successful legislative advocacy for abusive head trauma prevention in Texas.

For more information about PURPLE crying, visit

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