The big story: slipping through the net

With the number of health visitors falling and those that remain carrying ever greater caseloads, there is a real risk of missing contact with vulnerable children. But what can be done to mitigate that risk?

Australia: dummies don’t cause speech disorder

Dummies are not associated with phonological impairment, a study has found.

Denmark: poorer children more likely to commit violent crime or self-harm

Children from poorer families are at greater risk of being involved in violent crime and harming themselves as young adults, a study has shown.

UK: AI helps predict why children struggle at school

Researchers have harnessed artificial intelligence (AI) to better identify why children struggle at school.

USA: gene activity may ease stress of breastfed babies

Breastfed babies react less to stress because of epigenetic changes made by maternal behaviour, a study suggests.

USA: verbs not nouns make children persistent

Encouraging children ‘to help’ rather to be ‘helpers’ can make them more persistent when carrying out tricky daily tasks.

Canada: two-thirds of children fall short in ‘physical literacy’

Around two-thirds of Canadian children have failed to achieve an acceptable level of physical literacy, according to results from a large national research project.

England: severe obesity soars in Year 6 children

Severe obesity among 10- and 11-year-olds has increased by more than a third since 2006-07. 

News in numbers: December

A breakdown of community health news this month, in numbers. Download PDF here.

HVs wanted for poisoning prevention campaign

A campaign to raise awareness of the need to keep children safe from accidental poisoning and eye injury is requesting the help of health visitors to spread its key messages.

Junk food ads banned on London transport

Adverts for junk food will be banned on the entire Transport for London (TfL) network, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed.
 

Call for ban on calorific milkshakes

Milkshakes with ‘grotesque’ amounts of sugar and calories should be banned from being sold in high street restaurants, campaigners claim.

Nursing and midwifery numbers rising

In the past year the number of nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK has increased by almost 4000, the NMC reports.

New Zealand: overweight mothers more likely to stop breastfeeding

Overweight mothers are more likely than their healthy-weight counterparts to stop breastfeeding in the first week after having a baby, a new study says.

UK: sixfold increase in children’s mental health problems

Mental health problems in children and young people have soared across the UK.

Switzerland: cough medicines could do more harm than good

Over-the-counter cough medicines don’t help clear up persistent coughs, a study suggests.

UK: friends and role models cushion impact of ACEs

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can severely impact on a child’s education and health prospects, but resilience resources such as friends and role models can help lessen the impact, researchers have found.

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