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Tiny Hats for Newborns Raise Heart Health Awareness

Published February 2, 2018 | Updated February 7, 2018

box of hand-knitted hats
police officers carrying boxes of hats
baby wearing red knit hat
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box of hand-knitted hats
police officers carrying boxes of hats
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During the month of February, babies born at Duke University and Duke Regional hospitals will receive tiny red hats to raise awareness about heart health for babies, moms and the entire family.

The campaign, called Little Hats, Big Hearts, is coordinated by the American Heart Association.

This week volunteers from the Durham Police Department dropped off almost 200 of these hats to Duke, which officers, staff and other volunteers knitted and crocheted over several months. The hats are packaged with information about heart health and congenital heart defects in babies.

One of every 100 babies are born with a congenital heart defect, and often these are life-threatening, said Joseph W. Turek, M.D., Ph.D., chief of pediatric heart surgery for Duke Health.

"To give you some perspective, congenital heart defects are 60 times more prevalent than childhood cancers," Turek said. "If you look at the prevalence, the funding compared to the prevalence is very low. And so it's very important to raise awareness as to congenital heart defects so that, hopefully, we can increase the amount of research, awareness, and actually have some solutions to treating this entity down the road."

Almost 50 hospitals across North Carolina are participating in Little Hats, Big Hearts. More information on the campaign is available on the AHA website, including instructions to knit and crochet hats for next year.

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Newborns at Duke will get tiny hats in February for American Heart Month. Durham police and volunteers made 180 hats for Little Hats, Big Hearts, and American Heart Association campaign. The hats come with important health information for all hearts, big and small.

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