February 28, 2017 (Brattleboro, VT) – Local infants helped raise awareness for heart disease – all by wearing red hats. Throughout the month of February, each baby born at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) received a red hat, courtesy of Little Hats, Big Hearts, a program started by the American Heart Association (AHA).
“The program empowers moms to live heart healthy lives and help raise their children to do the same,” explained Stefanie Phillips, Director of Communications of NH/VT American Heart Association.
Little Hats, Big Hearts started in February 2014 in Chicago, IL, collecting 300 hats in the first year. The program has now expanded to more than 40 states, including Vermont. Donors from across New England provided handmade knit and crocheted hats for over 20 babies that were born at BMH in February.
Beyond the cute crimson caps, the effort sheds light on a serious medical issue, as heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect in the country.
“While we often think of heart disease as an issue for older adults, living heart healthy lives actually begins at birth,” explained Erinna Cooper, director of BMH’s Birthing Center. “Education about heart healthy lifestyle choices for can be empowering for mom and baby, as early detection and support can be critical for the family. We are appreciative of both the donors’ beautiful hats and AHA’s partnership.”