Big story: a tough start in life

A report by the Health and Social Care Select Committee finds that children in England are not being supported in their critical first 1000-day period. Journalist Juliette Astrup takes a look at the recommendations and the reactions.

India: free lunch boosts children’s test scores

Primary school children given free school lunches have significantly better learning outcomes.

Australia: self-poisoning in children doubles in 10 years

The number of Australian children intentionally poisoning themselves with drugs such as paracetamol and antidepressants has doubled in the past decade, say scientists.

Finland: smoking in pregnancy risks ADHD in children

Pregnant women who smoke are more likely to have children who develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a study suggests.

Ireland: screen use and obesity linked to short-sightedness in children

Sedentary lifestyle, obesity, heavy use of screens and reduced daylight are making short-sightedness in children more likely, researchers have found.

USA: parents put unhealthy amounts of toothpaste on children’s brushes

Parents are squeezing potentially unhealthy amounts of toothpaste onto their children’s brushes, a study suggests.

UK: PTSD strikes one in 13 youngsters

One in 13 young people in the UK have had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) before reaching the age of 18, new research suggests.

Northern Ireland: child autism diagnoses double in five years

The number of children being diagnosed with autism has more than doubled in five years, a BBC investigation has revealed.

Scotland: new guidance on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

A new SIGN guideline has been introduced to help better identify fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

Northern Ireland: more than 6500 attacks on NHS staff in 2018

More than 6500 nursing staff and healthcare workers were attacked last year, according to figures released by Northern Ireland’s five health trusts.

Wales: lesson plans to teach young people healthy messages

Encouraging young people to take responsibility for their health is now easier with the launch of an online resource containing lesson plans and practical information for those who deliver key public health messages.

Scotland: shortage of paediatric doctors endangering children’s health

A shortage of paediatric doctors is putting children at risk, warns a new report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

England: stress and bullying push staff wellbeing to five-year low

Wellbeing levels have hit a five-year low in the NHS, with two in five staff feeling sick from stress last year, according to the NHS staff survey.

Wales: diabetes prevalence reaches 7.4%

The prevalence of diabetes is higher in Wales than any other UK country, new analysis by Diabetes UK Cymru shows.

UK: parents support watershed for junk food ads

The public supports tougher restrictions on junk food advertising, including a 9pm watershed, according to the results of a survey published by Obesity Health Alliance (OHA).

England: baby-weaning campaign will boost mothers’ confidence

A new campaign to help parents introduce their babies to solid foods has been launched by Public Health England (PHE). Its survey revealed that more than one in four mothers lack confidence in doing so.

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