Volunteers for the American Heart Association (AHA) and Mercy are celebrating American Heart Month with knitted-red hats for all babies born at Mercy Joplin in February. The Little Hats, Big Hearts™ project raises awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of Americans, and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country and the leading killer of infants with birth defects.
Volunteers from across the country have knitted over 2,000 hats that will be given to all babies born at eight Southwest Missouri hospitals during the month of February.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. CHD affects approximately one in every 110 babies every year in the United States alone.
The American Heart Association is second only to the federal government in funding cardiovascular and stroke research, including congenital heart defects.
For more information on Little Hats Big Hearts visit www.heart.org/LittleHatsBigHearts.