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.

News in numbers: April

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

Scotland: avoidable child death rate overtakes rest of the UK

The number of avoidable deaths among children and young people are higher in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.

England: 370 schools to take part in new mental health trials

Hundreds of children are taking part in one of the largest trials in the world to boost the evidence about what works to support mental health and wellbeing.

Scotland: RCPCH reviews progress on child health

Two years on from the launch of State of child health: Scotland, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has carried out a review of progress.

England: social media spreads vaccine misinformation

A report from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) suggests that social media is stoking misplaced fears about vaccines, including concerns over their side effects.

Wales: adverse childhood experience pilot shows promise

Health visitors in Anglesey have been asking new mothers about their adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as part of a radical new parenting initiative.

Northern Ireland: political deadlock is harming child health, says RCPCH

Political deadlock blocking progress in child health policy is jeopardising the health of children in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland: new advice for parents on good dummy habits

The Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland has produced a new factsheet to help parents develop good dummy habits for their babies.

England: reading with pre-schoolers is linked to language boost

Parents who read regularly with their small children can give them an eight-month language skill advantage, researchers have found.

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