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.

Childminding initiative: room to breathe

Health visitor Jo-Anne Linnane encourages local parents to take up the two-year-old childcare offer, which provides 570 hours of free childminding a year.

Heavy screen use may make pre-school children less physically active

Two- and three-year-olds who spend more than three hours a day on screens are less physically active at age five than those who watch for less than an hour.

One in four primary school children lack movement skills

A quarter of primary school children in Ireland cannot run properly and lack basic movement skills, according to a new study of more than 2000 five- to 12-year-olds.

Premature babies at higher risk of diabetes

Babies born before 37 weeks are at an increased risk of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes, a study says.

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.

Finland: Countryside children have better motor skills than those in towns

Children living in the country spend more time outdoors and have better motor skills than those in towns, says a study of almost 1000 three- to seven-year-olds published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

England: BMI is higher in children of separated parents

The body mass index (BMI) of children who have separated parents is significantly higher than that of children whose families have stayed intact.

Wales: Scientists spot eating disorder early warning signs

Researchers have found a series of early warning signs that could herald the development of an eating disorder.

Scotland: Government targets child weight-management inequality with £1.7m boost for health boards

The Scottish Government is giving £1.7m to health boards as part of its push to reduce the number of overweight under-18s by half by 2030.

England: Change4Life highlights wellbeing boost from exercise

Change4Life, a campaign run by Public Health England (PHE), is highlighting the positive impact of exercise on wellbeing with the launch of Disney-inspired short bursts of activity.

September news in numbers

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

On the look out

Unexplained changes in children’s eyes should never be ignored, so it helps to know the signs of serious and routine issues. Journalist John Windell also offers tips for protecting young eyes from accidental damage. 

What do you see?

Negative body image is an issue for children and adults alike. What’s the impact, and how can you help? Journalist Anna Scott reports.

New parents still not being seen

Around 25% of new parents are missing out on mandatory health visits, which may increase the risk of mental health issues, experts believe. 
 

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