In addition to the hand-made hat, each mom will receive a health packet which includes tips on raising healthy children, works outs to do at home, an American Heart Association cookbook, as well as information on congenital heart defect.
Congenital heart defects 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. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as "holes" between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.
The American Heart Association put a call out to knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in December and January, and little red hats came pouring in from all over the state. The initial goal of 300 hats was well surpassed, with the American Heart Association receiving nearly 900 hats. The additional hats will be used in May and next February to continue building the importance of heart health with new parents across the state.
The American Heart Association is committed to raising awareness for CHD, and helping children live stronger lives through education, research and public policies. In fact, the organization’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government.
Thanks to efforts of the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association, New Jersey law requires hospitals and other birth facilities to administer a pulse-oximetry test to each baby 24 hours after birth, which can help identify heart defects. The American Heart Association also creates guidelines and trains parents, caregivers and medical professionals CPR specifically for infants and children.
More information about the Little Hats, Big Heart program in NJ, visit www.heart.org/njlittlehatsbighearts or calling 609.208.0020.