DAYTON – Babies born at local hospitals during the month of February are receiving little red keepsake hats from the American Heart Association and CompuNet Clinical Laboratories to raise awareness of congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the nation.
“Little Hats, Big Hearts honors babies, moms, and heart-healthy lives in a very special way,” said Kim Chesnut, Go Red for Women director for the Miami Valley Division of the American Heart Association. “Supporters are knitting and crocheting red hats to be given out to babies during American Heart Month to empower moms to live heart-healthy lives and to help their children do the same. Together, we are working to raise awareness of congenital heart defects, provide resources and inspire moms to take their family’s health to heart.”
Congenital heart defects affect 25,000 babies each year in the United States alone. This translates to more than one such defect for every 150 births. At least 500,000 of the nation’s children have some form of cardiac problem. Approximately one million people are living with congenital heart defects today.
“The Little Hats Big Hearts program helps call attention to a medical condition that affects a significant number of infants in our community,” Chesnut said.”The good news is that, thanks to modern medicine, children with complex defects typically not only survive into adulthood, but also go on to lead normal lives.”
Hospitals participating in the Little Hats Big Hearts program, which is sponsored locally by CompuNet Clinical Laboratories, include: Miami Valley, Miami Valley South, Upper Valley Medical Center, Atrium, Mercy Health Springfield, Southview Medical Center, and Grand Lake Health System.