Catching the anti-vax bug

As concern grows about the spread of measles worldwide and the role of social media in sharing misinformation on immunisation, journalist Juliette Astrup looks at the scale of the problem and what can be done to combat the anti-vax movement.

UK: routine breech scans could cut mortality and save money

Scanning mothers-to-be late in pregnancy could prevent thousands of unexpected breech births and emergency caesarean sections (CS), and save the lives of several babies a year, a study has shown.

Australia: Post-vaccination febrile seizures no more serious than other types

Research from the University of Sydney has found the severity of febrile seizures following vaccination is no different from febrile seizures due to other causes, and that the majority of seizures are short-lived, self-resolving and don’t require ongoing treatment.

Norway: gaming could affect girls’ but not boys’ social skills

A study from Norway looking at how playing video games affects social skills has found differences based on age and gender.

USA: not reading to children creates ‘million word gap’

A US study has suggested young children whose parents read them five books a day enter nursery having heard about 1.4 million more words than their peers who were never read to.

USA: more water cuts children’s intake of sugary drinks

A US study has found that one in five children and young people do not drink any water on a given day, and that this is associated with consuming extra sugar and calories from sweetened drinks.

Canada: gestational diabetes linked to child diabetes risk

Children born to mothers with gestational diabetes could be at increased risk of type 1 diabetes themselves.

England: new NHS ‘sleep clinic’ boosts families’ wellbeing

A pioneering pilot scheme to help children get a good night’s sleep has boosted the mental health of youngsters and their parents, NHS England has said.

June news in numbers

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

Big story: mindful from the start?

With mindfulness exercises set to be among techniques taught in a government-led trial across primary schools, journalist Juliette Astrup asks about the growing interest in mindfulness and how it can help support children’s wellbeing.

Spain: mother’s diet modulates ADHD risk

What a mother eats during pregnancy could affect her child’s risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suggests new research.

Australia: time-out is a positive discipline strategy

A University of Sydney study says that time-out is helpful as a method of discipline for children.

Denmark: MMR vaccine does not cause autism: reconfirmed

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine does not cause autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children and is not associated with clustering of cases following vaccination.

UK/Sweden: painkillers in pregnancy do not cause childhood asthma

The risk of children developing asthma does not increase when their mothers take painkillers during pregnancy, a major study has concluded.

USA: adversity in early life disrupts gut microbes linked to brain function

A study has linked disruption of a child’s gastrointestinal microbiome, triggered by early-life adversity, with emotional health. 

UK: air pollution linked to teenage psychotic episodes

Research from King’s College London has provided the first evidence of an association between air pollution and psychotic experiences in adolescence.

Scotland: £50M more for perinatal mental health services

More than £50m is to help improve access to mental health services for expectant and new mothers, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

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