DURHAM, N.C. -- Police officers are helping to take care of the tiniest of hearts thanks to a project made with love.

Durham Police Officers helped to make nearly 200 red hats for newborns at Duke University and Duke Regional Hospitals. The red hats raise awareness about heart health for babies, moms, and the entire family.

The officers along with volunteers knitted and crocheted over several months to make the hats. The hats also come 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 of Duke Health.

“To give you some perspective, congenital heart defects are 60 times more prevalent than childhood cancers,” said Turek.

Nearly 50 hospitals across the state are participating in the Little Hats, Big Hearts program.

Find out more about Little Hats, Big Hearts Program

Children & Heart Health

  • Information provided by the American Heart Association
  • Severe heart disease generally becomes evident during the first few months after birth.
  • Some babies are blue or have very low blood pressure shortly after birth.
  • Other defects cause breathing difficulties, feeding problems, or poor weight gain. Minor defects are most often diagnosed on a routine medical checkup.
  • Minor defects rarely cause symptoms. While most heart murmurs in children are normal, some may be due to defects.


Web Booklet: If Your Child Has A Congenital Defect - Our guide for parents

Common Tests For Congenital Heart Defect

Tools And Resources

Duke Primary Care For Children

Cardiology At Duke

Duke Children's Hospital

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