BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s American Heart Month, the month for Valentine’s Day and a time for the American Heart Association to raise heart health awareness.
And where better to start than from birth with the Little Hats Big Hearts Campaign.
The American Heart Association and the University of Maryland Medical System teamed up to provide resources to families with babies born with heart conditions, and present little red hats to newborns to show they take heart health to heart at the Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center.
About 40,000 babies are born with congenital heart defects every year.
Dr. Alicia Chaves of the UM Children’s Heart Program says there have been great advances in recent years.
“Many of these used to be fatal defects,” Dr. Chaves said. “Fortunately due to a lot of advances in research and surgical techniques, we’re able to save a great majority of these babies.”
This February, newborns in more than 400 hospitals in 40 states are given red hats in recognition of American Heart Month. In addition, the parents will receive an infant CPR kit to learn what to do in an emergency situation.
The combined efforts are paying off.
“In fact there are now more adults with congenital heart disease than babies with congenital heart disease because of this great success,” Dr. Chaves said.
And thanks go out to the thousands of volunteers who do the knitting and crocheting every year.