The big story: follow the footprints

Today, the average child’s digital footprint is broader than ever. What do community practitioners need to know when it comes to advising parents and helping to safeguard children?

Scotland: HVs bumped up to Band 7 are paid £5k more than rest of UK

New health visitors will be paid ‘significantly more’ than their counterparts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, under a new deal negotiated by healthcare unions.

USA: probiotics don’t help children with acute gastroenteritis

A study across 10 paediatric A&E departments found that giving probiotics to children with gastroenteritis did not help their recovery.

Wales: staff training budget increases for fifth year in a row

The Welsh Government is to increase its investment in education and training for healthcare professionals in the next financial year by £7m – its fifth consecutive annual rise.

Great Britain: prepare disadvantaged young children for school, HVs told

Health visitors should play a greater role in preparing disadvantaged young children for school, says a new report from the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF).

England: ‘Red book’ and maternity records are going digital

The child health record ‘red book’ is going digital, along with maternity records, under new plans to modernise neonatal and maternity services.

England: breastfeeding crucial for infant dental health, says PHE

Public Health England (PHE) has highlighted how important breastfeeding is in protecting infant dental health.

Northern Ireland: reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, says PHA

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is calling for greater awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) after a new survey found many adults didn’t know about the risk factors.

Scotland: NHS staff become ‘corporate parents’ to vulnerable young

A new ‘corporate parenting’ training resource has been launched for NHS workers to help them understand their duty to promote the interests of young people who are or have been in care.

England: virgin wins back HCP contract after legal challenge

A council ordered by the High Court to re-run the procurement process for health-visiting and school-nursing services has identified Virgin Care as the preferred bidder for a second time.

Scotland: retirees will mentor newly qualified nurses

Up to 100 retired nurses will be trained as ‘professional practice advisers’ to mentor new NHS recruits.

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.

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.

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.

UK: AI helps predict why children struggle at school

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

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.

News in numbers: December

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

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