PARENTS should check their children for early signs of heart problems, says one Bolton MP.

Julie Hilling, MP for Bolton West, is backing Think Heart — a campaign by the Children’s Heart Federation to increase the early diagnosis of children’s heart conditions.

The campaign promotes five signs — Heart rate, Energy, Appearance, Respiration and Temperature — which make the acryonym HEART.

If any of these are out of the ordinary, it could be a sign of underlying heart problems.

Ms Hilling, who attended an event in Parliament promoting the cause, said a delay in diagnosis could be potentially life threatening.

She added: “Every year around 5,000 babies are born with Congenital Heart Disease, a number of them here in Bolton West.

“However, only a third are detected before birth, meaning babies with potentially lethal but treatable conditions leave hospital without being diagnosed.

“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 Bolton West to look out for the charity’s five Think HEART signs.”