Caroline Spelman MP is calling on parents across her Meriden Constituency to check for warning signs of possible heart problems in babies and follow life-saving guidance from the UK’s leading children’s heart charity.
The MP is supporting ‘Think HEART’, a campaign by the Children’s Heart Federation to increase the early diagnosis of children’s heart conditions.
‘Think HEART’ provides parents with five easy signs to help to spot a heart problem:
H – Heart Rate (Is their heart rate too fast or too slow. Normal rate is between 100 to 160 beats per minute)
E – Energy (Are they sleepy, quiet and too tired to feed)
A – Appearance (Is your baby a pale, waxy, dusky, blue or grey colour)
R – Respiration (Are they breathing too fast or too slow. Normal rate is between 40 to 60 breaths per minute)
T – Temperature (Are they cold to touch – particularly their hands and feet)
Mrs Spelman is also backing the Children’s Heart Federation’s campaign for all babies to be tested for heart conditions at birth to help save lives. Pulse Oximetry is a quick, painless and cheap test that measures oxygen levels in blood and detects over 90% of life threatening heart defects in newborns.
Mrs Spelman said: “Every year, around 5,000 babies are born with Congenital Heart Disease, however only a third are detected before birth, meaning babies with potentially lethal but treatable conditions leave hospital without being diagnosed. Delays in diagnosis cause distress, physical harm and can be life-risking.
“This is why I’m backing the Children’s Heart Federation’s campaign to get all babies tested for heart conditions at birth and I encourage parents across Meriden to look out for the charity’s five ‘Think HEART’ signs.”