An advert which shows how to stop a baby from choking and stars the voices of David Walliams, David Mitchell and Sir John Hurt has been credited with saving the lives of at least 36 children.
The Chokeables advert was devised after research found that nearly four in five parents (79%) did not know what to do if a baby started choking.
Off the back of its success, St John Ambulance has now launched a new free e-book entitled 'The Pen That Lost His Lid' to help parents and children learn first aid together.
Becca Hensman, from Aldershot, Hampshire, said she was able to save her baby after seeing the 40-second advert.
She said: "When my baby son Jax started choking it was an especially scary moment as he had required resuscitation when he was born and he's had trouble getting rid of the mucus in his lungs in the past.
"On the 21st January 2015 I was sat on the sofa with my 12-week-old baby boy asleep in my arms when suddenly he started making a strange noise and started to go a funny colour.
"It became very clear quickly that he was choking on something. I'd seen the St John Ambulance advert a few days earlier so I flipped my son over on to my leg and after the third back slap I gave him he coughed.
"My dad checked his airway and luckily the obstruction cleared - my son had been sick in his sleep," she revealed.
"If I hadn't seen that advert I'm not quite sure how I'd have reacted but thankfully I had so I knew what to do straight away."
The animated advert sees a pen lid voiced by Mitchell ask for the audience's attention before a red jelly baby - voiced by Johnny Vegas - starts choking and turns blue.
Walliams' princess demonstrates the correct technique on him until he coughs up the peanut played by Sir John.
The recommended manoeuvre involves placing the baby face down on an adult's thigh, giving up to five back blows and, if that does not work, up to five chest thrusts.
If both positions fail, the advert recommends that parents should call an ambulance.Story continues below...
Using puppets that act out good and bad behaviors, Yale's Baby Lab has been studying infant ethics for decades. In one experiment, a cat puppet was struggling to open a box when a bunny puppet in a green t-shirt came along and helped him. The puppet masters then re-did the scenario with a bunny puppet in an orange t-shirt who cruelly slammed the box shut and ran away. The lab's studies revealed that over 80 percent of babies under 24 months showed a preference for the puppet that demonstrates good behavior -- the helpful bunny in the green shirt. With 3-month-olds, the number increased to 87%.
A 2014 study published in the journal Cognitive Development looked at 150 15-month-olds. The babies watched an adult demonstrate how to use several noise-making toys. Then, a second adult entered the room and angrily scolded the first for making so much noise. After the demonstration, the babies were welcome to play with the toys, but for half of them, the angry second adult left the room or turned away, while the latter half remained under that adult's gaze. Babies in the former group did not hesitate to start playing with the toys, but the ones in the second group generally waited a little bit and then played with the toys differently than they'd seen in the demonstration. This indicated that they were trying to adjust their actions to avoid the anger of the second adult -- therefore, they are able to resist their impulses and show self-control.
Mere hours after their birth, babies can sense the difference between sounds in their native language and a foreign one. Researchers in Sweden and Washington state studied 40 newborns wearing pacifiers that were wired to a computer. When the babies heard sounds from foreign languages, they sucked the pacifiers for much longer than when they heard their native tongue -- this indicates that they could differentiate between the two. According to researcher Patricia Kuhl, "The vowel sounds in [the mother's] speech are the loudest units and the fetus locks onto them."
By the time they reach 5 months, babies are able to sense each other's feelings. In a BYU 2013 study, 20 5-month-old babies and 20 3.5-month-old babies sat in front of two monitors, which showed a video of a smiling baby and a video of a frowning baby. Then the scientists played two audio recordings: one of happy baby and one of a sad baby. Upon hearing the the sounds of the happy baby, the 5-month-olds looked at the monitor with the smiling baby, and when they heard the sad baby audio, they turned to the frowning baby video. The 3.5-month old babies were less successful in matching these sounds and images.
A recent study published in Pediatrics found that infants react more to words from moms than from dads. All 33 babies in the study wore sound-recording vests which revealed that they heard three times more words from moms than from dads. A researcher from the study, Dr. Betty Vohr, told Time that "a possible explanation is that the pitch of mother’s voice or its proximity is more stimulating for babies."
Although babies generally don't start speaking their first few words until 12 months old and still have a limited vocabulary by age 2, they have the ability to develop an impressive mastery of sign language from the age of 6 months. After noticing that the children of his deaf friends were communicating with their families with sign language from a very early age, Dr. Joseph Garcia founded the "Sign With Your Baby" program in which instructors teach parents and babies American Sign Language.
A 2012 study showed that babies read people's lips when they're learning to talk. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University observed almost 180 babies at ages 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 months and studied their behavior when they saw videos of adults speaking. The experiment showed that when babies are about 6 months old, they stop looking into adults’ eyes and start focusing on their lips to learn how to make sounds. So next time you’re in the presence of a lip-reading baby, you might want to be a little more mindful about what you say.
Sue Killen, chief executive of St John Ambulance, said: "The success of the campaign has been staggering, with over seven million views in our first few weeks, and we are thrilled that people have got behind the campaign.
"It's thanks to them spreading the word that so many people have been able to save a child from choking," she added.
"The Pen That Lost His Lid is a new chapter for The Chokeables, and we hope that lots of parents will download it to read with their children.
"You're never too young to learn life-saving skills and we hope the book and the video continue to make parents feel more confident and able to act in a choking emergency."