For American Heart Month, area hospitals are gifting babies born in February with red hats to raise awareness about heart disease.
The knitted red hats are donated by The American Heart Association and The Children’s Heart Foundation, part of their Little Hats, Big Hearts program.
The program is in its fourth year in New Jersey. Babies go home with hats and their families with tips on how to raise healthy children, ways for moms to care for themselves, heart-healthy recipes and information on children’s heart health.
Congenital heart defects are among the most common birth defects, affecting 8 out of 1,000 infants each year. Most of these structural issues, which are present at birth, can be fixed.
Participating hospitals include Community Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center, and RWJ Barnabas Health Monmouth Medical Center.
The program was started in Chicago and is now in 40 states. For more information, visit heart.org/littlehatsbighearts.