Duchess launches centre for early childhood to drive awareness and action

The Duchess of Cambridge has launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood to drive awareness of, and action on, ‘the transformative impact of the early years’.

Treat me well

Closing health equality gaps for people with a learning disability must start in childhood, says Paul Donnelly, head of campaigns at learning disability charity Mencap.

Healthy body image protects against weight gain in teens

A two-year study of 1225 Norwegians in early adolescence found that positive ‘self-rated health’ and self-esteem protected them against weight gain.

Poorer outcomes for mums and babies during the pandemic

Pregnancy outcomes for mothers and babies have worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic, revealed a global study.

Genetic risk of hypertension linked to pre-eclampsia

Researchers have found that the genetic predisposition to hypertension and increased BMI is related to the risk of pre-eclampsia.

Parents shouldn’t worry about babies’ inconsistent sleep

Sleep consolidation should be viewed by parents as a ‘continuous and dynamic process’, rather than a milestone to be achieved at a specific age, according to a study in Sleep Medicine.

Vaping is not a ‘safer option’ for pregnant women

According to the first known study into the effects of prenatal nicotine exposure on babies, e-cigarettes might not be a safer alternative to smoking during pregnancy.

Self-harm risk is higher in early pubescents

Those who experience puberty earlier than their peers have a higher risk of self-harm in adolescence, reveals research published in Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences.

Possible risk of neurological harm to young people from air pollution

Researchers found markers of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease in the brainstems of 186 young Mexico City residents aged 11 months to 27 years.

Sporty young girls show fewer signs of ADHD later on

Girls who play regular extracurricular sports between six and 10 show fewer symptoms of ADHD aged 12 than girls who don’t play, a study has found.

England: children and adults with learning disabilities still dying prematurely

People with learning disabilities in England are not only dying prematurely, but from treatable causes of death, reveals the latest annual report from the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme.

Signs of possible diabetes can be seen decades earlier in childhood

Early signs of being more susceptible to type 2 diabetes as an adult can be seen in children as young as eight years, research has found.

Adolescents from deprived communities show gene regulation differences

Young adults raised in communities marked by more economic deprivation, physical dilapidation, social disconnection and danger display differences in the epigenome – the proteins and chemical compounds 
that regulate the activity of their genes.

Is mental health the new pandemic?

Covid-19 has put unprecedented pressures on the mental health of millions of people in the UK – including young people, new mothers and healthcare professionals. Journalist Jo Waters looks at the impact, now and moving forward, plus what’s needed to help.

More than words

Nurturing language development in children should start from an early age, experts agree. But how can you support today’s parents to promote effective communication from the outset? Journalist Helen Bird reports.

Mobile devices may blunt children’s self-regulation

Children who begin using mobile and screen media devices earlier in life have lower self-regulation skills, those needed to plan, control, and monitor their thoughts, feelings and behaviours, says a study.

Intensive care babies have greater risk of mental health problems

Children who spend time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at birth have a higher risk of mental health issues later, regardless of birthweight.

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