The American Heart Association is kicking off the ‘Little Hats Big Hearts’ campaign to make sure families are keeping their children healthy for life.
For one local family, heart health goes beyond a single month — it’s something that they live with every day.
Six-year-old Solara seems like any other kid her age.
She likes learning, playing games, and she wants to be a police officer when she grows up.
But less than two years ago, Solara had to have open heart surgery after being born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) that went undetected.
“We just told her she had a special heart and she was unique and eventually we would fix that but she had a hole and that’s all she knew,” Solara’s mother, Heidi Jiminian, said.
The Rogers family isn’t alone, in the United States one in 100 babies will develop CHD.
“Something like this was just completely caught off guard and we didn’t know how to take it,” Jiminian said.
When detecting certain heart defects knowing the options available is critical.
That’s why the American Heart Association of NWA plans to bring the information straight to parents.
“It’s scarier for the parents sometimes than it is for the children,” American Heart Association’s Cyd King said.
King said starting on Monday, February, 11, her team will pass out small hand made knit hats to newborns in February.
“It’s just a really simple way, it’s just a little hat,” King said.
The small hat is just a symbol of the importance of raising awareness on a big issue.
“Hopefully as those habits are instilled early, they will become life long habits in their adulthood,” King said. “So it’s important to get to those kids early.”
An important issue that is now something so close to the Jiminian family’s heart.
“In our situation, we were a little worried about the cost but her health was a little bit more important than that so defiantly get it checked out,” Jiminian said. “With her, we had no idea.”
The American Heart Association is delivering the red caps at Willow Creek Women’s Hospital in Johnson and Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville on Monday, February, 11.