Did you know that February is National Heart Month? No me neither. This week (7th-14th) is especially important as not only is it also Heart Week 2015, but Tiny Tickers, the baby hearts charity, is endeavouring t0 raise awareness of their organisation and their BIG TICK campaign, to help babies born with congenital heart defects (CHD).
As many as 1 in every 125 babies in the UK has a congenital heart defect. Only 1/3 of major heart defects are spotted during pregnancy, and another 1/3 are picked up in standard newborn hospital tests.
That means that around 1,000 newborns are sent home from hospital every year in the UK with no identification that they may have a life-threatening condition.
Tiny Tickers is a small national charity that aims to improve the detection, care and treatment of CHD in babies. They provide specialist training to Health Professionals and Sonographers so that they are better equipped to identify a heart defect during a pregnancy scan. They support parents and families during diagnosis, and most importantly they are trying to raise awareness of heart defects in babies so that parents know the signs to look for.
When CHD is detected during pregnancy, babies get treatment from the first possible moment. Early detection is shown to greatly improve their chance of survival and long-term quality of life. It also lowers the risk of side effects of heart failure such as brain damage.
On their website they have Tiny Tickers list a comprehensive 3 key signs checklist for newborns.
Their major promotion this week is the BIG TICK campaign. The Big Tick campaign is simple: they think that every parent-to-be should be given enough information to properly discuss their baby’s heart health with their Sonographer during the 20 week scan. Tiny Tickers believes that by discussing you baby’s heart health with your Sonographer, you’ll be able to give your 20 week scan a Big Tick. Click here to order your free Big Tick info card
Knowing the questions to ask is the key to being informed and that is the Charity’s overall objective for their campaign. Please spread the word and help to educate your friends and family. I certainly didn’t know about this during my two pregnancies but I’m glad that I do now.