At the White River Medical Center (WRMC) in Batesville, baby boy Samuel James received the first red hat from the Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign of the American Heart Association (AHA). Every baby born at WRMC in February will receive a hand-knitted red hat to raise awareness for heart disease and promote heart health.
Heart Disease is the number one killer of adults in America. In addition, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimate that Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) affect nearly 40,000 babies in the United States a year. It is the most common type of birth defect.
The Little Hats, Big Hearts program was designed by the American Heart Association in collaboration with The Children’s Heart Foundation to inform parents and families of the importance of heart health. The hats serve to remind parents to live heart-healthy lives and to help their children do the same.
“We are proud to collaborate with the American Heart Association in support of those who are affected by Heart Disease,” said Gary Bebow of CEO of White River Health System. “We encourage families to learn more about the disease and how to manage it.”
In addition to the newborns receiving a red hat, parents will also receive information pertinent for the heart health of themselves and their child.
Individuals interested in participating in the program can contact the Central Arkansas Chapter of American Heart Association at (501) 707-6600. Knitted or crocheted red hats are accepted year-round. The AHA also accepts donations to support the program, including yarn, for those who would like to contribute but don’t knit or crochet.
Little Hats, Big Hearts began in Chicago in 2014. The project has grown to include 660 hospitals in 40 states handing out more than 100,000 hats. In addition to using red hats to raise awareness of heart disease and congenital heart defects, Little Hats, Big Hearts also drives awareness for the American Heart Association’s Support Network, an online forum for families affected by heart disease and stroke.