Newborns Wear Red Knitted Caps to Raise Awareness on Heart Disease

Knitting wool

An AHA event raises awareness on congenital heart disease by offering newborns red knitted caps to wear

Children now learn how important is to maintain a healthy heart even immediately after they’re born. This initiative is promoted by North Okaloosa County Medical Center through a program called “Little Hats, Big Hearts”.

The American Heart Association (AHA) launched this program and many other hospitals in the country joined in the initiative. It consists of an annual event that is meant to raise awareness on congenital heart defects and how important it is to keep a healthy lifestyle. These are celebrated through some red knitted caps that are given to newborns to wear.

The North Okaloosa County Medical Center decided to join the program last year, after discussing with an AHA representative. Alicia Booker, the director of Marketing and Community Relation for the center, revealed that, after making public their participation, a team of volunteers offered to knit 80 red caps and also promised to help the center host the event next year.

The group of knitters, led by Rae Schwartz, meets every Wednesday in downtown Crestview in a coffee shop. They accepted without hesitation to take part in this amazing event. Schwartz is a professional knitter with more than 50 years of experience.

Despite the fact that she enjoys challenges, she just could not turn down this meaningful project. She declared herself touched by this heart-warming initiative. She said that heart disease affected all of us, either directly or indirectly. Also, all of them took care of their children and grandchildren and they could not imagine how painful it is to have a child with heart disease.

About half a dozen volunteers knitted the red caps, which stretch so that they can be used for a longer period of time. They took about three to five hours to finish knitting a cap. Also, they used patterns from an online forum to create the model of the caps.

AHA started this event in February 2014 in Chicago and, since then, it spread to 40 states. They hope that many other hospitals would participate in the next year’s event. This year, the staff of the North Okaloosa County Medical Center would deliver the hats to the newborns throughout the entire months. If any of them remain unused, they would store them for next year.

If you are interested in knitting caps for the event, you can craft them and send to the local representatives who will deliver them to the hospitals. Amazing skills are not a requirement, it is the intention that counts.
Image Source: Pixabay