Orange Regional Medical Center is partnering with the American Heart Association (AHA), in connection with The Children’s Heart Foundation, for the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” program during February/American Heart Month to help raise awareness for congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country.

Every baby born at Orange Regional Medical Center during February will receive a little red hat.

American Heart Month aims to raise awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of American men and women, and Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) Awareness Week, February 7 – 14 focused on congenital heart defects.

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 AHA put a call out to knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in December, and little red hats came pouring in from all over the region. Some parents of children born with congenital heart defects sent hats in, as well. Some donated hats in memory of those lost to heart defects.