Creature comfort

Our pets make us smile and laugh – but they might also help improve the health of the nation. Should CPs be making greater use of animal-assisted therapy?

Is there a crisis of childhood?

Children in the UK are buckling as a result of unprecedented social pressures, political turmoil and a void in government policies that should keep them safe and well, says a recent report. Journalist Jo Waters asks what can be done to help avert a crisis.

Big story: more harm than good

Rates of self-harm are rising steeply, especially among young women, but the majority are still not able to access the right medical or psychological care. Can you play a helpful role? Journalist Juliette Astrup investigates.

Australia: Feeling the beat is a step towards child self-regulation skills

Marching, wiggling and tapping a beat helps young children develop self-regulation skills and improves school readiness, research published in Psychology of Music has found.

Ireland: Second-hand smoke linked to increased risk of child obesity

The children of women who do not smoke are less likely to become overweight or obese, report researchers from University College Cork.

The daily grind

Millions of people in the UK of all ages have one form of arthritis or another, and pain can be the biggest obstacle to a normal life, says journalist John Windell.

Wales: Cardiff offers bikes on prescription in UK first

Two GP practices in Cardiff have launched a pilot project prescribing patients with a six-month membership to a bike share scheme, in a bid to tackle heart disease.

UK: Plain packaging call for sweets and treats

All confectionary, crisps and sugary drinks should have plain packaging like tobacco, a leading think tank has urged.

Social care system at crisis point

BBC Panorama’s ‘Crisis in care’ highlighted the state of adult social care in the UK and the human costs of a failing system. 
 

A postive note

Research is now exploring the link beween singing and better health more rigorously, says journalist Rima Evans. 

A Systematic review of the effectiveness of infant massage programmes in improving mother and infant attachment and dyadic attunement.

Rebecca Balakrishna, Melanie Teixeira, Jane Meyrick and Roxanne Hart sought to answer this question with a systematic review of the evidence from studies across 36 years.

Any questions?

Having access to, and understanding, quality health information is vital for life, yet too many adults are still missing out. Journalist Erin Dean asks, what’s going on?

PTSD wake-up call

Young people aren’t getting the support they need for trauma experienced in childhood, and it’s having serious consequences. Journalist Anna Scott reports.

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 service gives health visitors access to digital ‘red book'

Healthcare professionals can now access vital child health information digitally, following the launch of a ground-breaking service.

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