This month Magnolia Regional Medical Center is providing small red knit caps to new babies and their families. The caps are thanks to the American Heart Association’s Little Hats Big Hearts program. Along with a knit cap for the new baby, parents will receive information about the importance of starting healthy habits at a young age. The initiative is in connection with the Children’s Heart Foundation and locally sponsored by Delta Dental of Arkansas.

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect of babies born in the United States, impacting eight in every 1,000 babies. Volunteer knitters across the state provided the crochet and knit caps.

“We are thrilled to participate in this exciting program taking place across the state. We know heart health is important at every age, and being able to place information in the parents hands at birth will hopefully make a difference in the lives of these children, ” says Nikki Heard, MRMC Labor & Delivery Director.

“Heart disease is 80 percent preventable – and the best way to do that is by teaching children heart-healthy habits as early as possible. We are truly grateful for our volunteer knitters, our hospitals who are distributing the hats, and for Delta Dental of Arkansas for supporting this wonderful cause,” says Joyce Taylor Executive Director of the Central Arkansas American Heart Association.

In addition to Magnolia Regional Medical Center, facilities in Little Rock, Batesville, Benton, Camden, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Mena, Newport, Paragould, Russellville, Searcy, El Dorado, Pine Bluff, Monticello, Stuttgart, Mountain Home, and Conway are also participating in the program.

Little Hats, Big Hearts™ started in Chicago in 2014. From just 300 little hats in the first year, the program has now embraced hundreds of thousands of babies across more than 40 states.