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fat school child

Data reveals over 200,000 Year 6 children are classed as overweight or obese

By baby health, children's health, Food & Eating

Public Health England has recently revealed that tackling obesity is one of the greatest long-term health challenges currently facing England, as one in three children leaving primary school are overweight or living with obesity and one in five are obese.

According to these figures, a staggering 227,314 children aged 10-11 were classified as overweight or obese in 2021/22, a figure that has risen by 30% since the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019/20, 172,831 Year 6 children were classed as overweight or obese before records were skewed during the 2020/21 Covid-crisis.

According to eating disorder experts at UKAT, (the UK Addiction Treatment Group) the number of children overweight or obese in 2021/22 was the highest count of overweight or obese children age 10-11 ever recorded, with figures going back as far as 2006/07.

Analysis of the new data by UKAT also reveals that the number of children in reception, those aged just four to five years old, classed as overweight and including obese rose from 91,723 in 2019/20 to 126,701 in 2021/22, a 38% rise since the pandemic. Those in Year 6 who are classed solely as ‘severely obese’ has risen drastically too. In 2019/20, 22,885 children age 10-11 were classed as severely obese. This rose to 34,818 in 2021/22 – a 52% rise.

There is concern about the rise of childhood obesity and the implications of obesity persisting into adulthood. The risk of obesity in adulthood and risk of future obesity-related ill health are greater as children get older. Around two-thirds (63%) of adults are above a healthy weight, and of these half are living with obesity.

Obesity prevalence is highest amongst the most deprived groups in society. Children resident in the most deprived parts of the country are more than twice as likely to be living with obesity than those in the least deprived areas.

Nuno Albuquerque, Head of Treatment for the UKAT Group comments; “Our concern is for the physical and mental wellbeing of children who are overweight or living with obesity. The health consequences of childhood obesity include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and exacerbation of conditions like asthma, to name a few. But the psychological problems that come with obesity at such a young age include social isolation, low self-esteem and bullying, all factors that go hand in hand with the development of an eating disorder. We treat people aged 16 and over for eating disorders, and the vast majority of those began their unhealthy relationship with food during their childhood. For some, over-eating is not a choice, it is a progressive illness that worsens over time and can be extremely dangerous. These figures clearly show that children’s eating habits worsened during the global pandemic and as a society, we need to tackle this head on as a priority.”

For population monitoring purposes, children are classified as overweight (including obesity) if their body mass index (BMI) is on or above the 85th centile of the British 1990 growth reference (UK90) according to age and sex. For population monitoring purposes children are classified as living with severe obesity if their body mass index (BMI) is on or above the 99.6th centile of the British 1990 growth reference (UK90) according to age and sex.

For further information and 24/7 confidential help and support with understanding eating disorders please visit

loving hands

Your guide to overcoming separation anxiety: Leaving your baby for the first time

By baby health, Childcare and Nannying, family, Relationships

Baby separation anxiety is a real struggle for many parents. When the moment comes to leave your baby for the first time, your parental instinct kicks in. “Would my baby be safe?”, “What if something happens, and I’m not there?”, “Is my baby sad right now?” are only some of the questions that start spiralling in your head when you close the door and leave your baby behind, even if it’s just for one hour.

Although your baby is in safe hands, you can’t help but feel like your heart is breaking into tiny pieces, because you don’t know what’s happening with your baby every minute. Nevertheless, leaving your baby for the first time and getting over the separation anxiety is beneficial for both you and your baby. Baby brand, Nuby, explores how to cope with separation anxiety and make sure that your baby is safe and happy.

The earlier you overcome it, the better
Separation anxiety is normal and usually affects young children between the ages of six months and three years. It usually fades after that, but if the symptoms persist, it can have a long-term impact on your child.

The earlier you start practising leaving them, the easier it will be for them to get used to it and overcome any potential separation anxiety.

As a parent, you also might be suffering from some form of separation anxiety, so it’s important to take the right steps to leaving your baby for the first time.

Do it gradually
You don’t have to jet off on holiday the first time you leave your baby – this will cause turmoil to both of you.

Instead, practise being separate gradually. At first, you might dedicate a two-hour slot where you leave them in your house with their grandparents. It’s advisable that the first times you leave them, it’s with someone they know and in a familiar setting to ease the shock of separation. Later, you can start trusting a nanny or a childminder to take care of your baby while you’re away.

After the first trial, you can slowly start extending the time you’re away from them and even leave them at their grandparents’ and nanny’s house for a night or two. The more often you do it, the easier it will get.

Don’t hold onto the guilt
It’s normal to feel guilty when you first leave your baby. But just like in many other life situations, guilt is not a healthy feeling to experience. Even though it’s totally valid, try not to fall into the trap of self-agonising over the fact that you’ve left your child in the hands of someone else.

It’s something that you need to overcome, as it will help develop a healthy relationship between the two of you and not a co-dependent one. You’re teaching your baby to trust you but not rely on you for everything. Retrospectively, you’re learning that your child is its own person and will eventually grow and separate from you for much longer than an hour-long coffee break. So, the earlier you start the process, the better.

Give clear instructions
Babies have their own individual routines. Whether they like to have a snack right before bed to help them nod off or be read their favourite bedtime story, this is what they’re used to.

Your babysitter’s approach might not match that, so it’s important to communicate your baby’s precise routine with them. This will help your baby to settle and will ensure that there is no additional unfamiliarity and stress.

Pack a comforter
Before you leave, pack a bag of newborn essentials that will be at hand for your babysitter, and make sure to include a comforter.

While their main source of comfort, you, might be away, your babysitter can resort to their physical comforts. Perhaps your baby has a specific toy they like to cuddle or play with, or, for a newborn, they love being tucked in their cosy sleeping bag.

Prepare these items in advance, so that your baby can feel secure in an unfamiliar situation if needed.

Don’t sneak away
Easing your baby into the temporary separation is crucial. This applies to the moment your babysitter arrives and the moment you leave the house.

Dedicate some time to help your baby get used to their babysitter, whether that’s a childminder, a nanny or their grandparents, while you’re still there.

When you’re leaving, don’t just sneak away. Rather, kiss your baby and say a happy goodbye, after which your babysitter will immediately engage their attention and hopefully stop them from crying.

It’s also advisable that your babysitter picks up the baby right away, so that they feel secure in their hands and build a positive relationship.

Leaving your baby for the first time can be frightening, but it’s an essential part of the growing up process. Practising healthy separation from early on will ensure your child becomes its own individual and is able to be on its own.

For further information please see

First aid for parents

By baby health, children's health, Education, Safety
by Feola McCandlish
Daisy First Aid

Would you know what to do if your child choked, swallowed something they shouldn’t have, hit their head, was burned, had a seizure or fell unconscious? Would you know how to recognise the early stages of meningitis or a severe allergic reaction?

No parent wants to think about their child being harmed; but unfortunately accidents do happen and learning essential first aid skills can make all the difference in an emergency situation.

What is first aid?
First aid is the immediate treatment given to a person before medical help arrives. Your first actions while you wait for an ambulance can make all the difference and can sometimes even mean the difference between life and death.

There is so much to think about when you have a baby and it’s understandable that first aid might not be at the top of your list – especially when you are sleep-deprived and trying to figure out how to keep your tiny human alive.

Learning first aid can be scary, particularly when it is our own children we are talking about, but it doesn’t have to be. Learning first aid with like-minded people in a relaxed and informal environment can actually be a lot of fun.

Perfect for pregnancy
Did you know you can do a first aid class when you are expecting? It’s safe to do during pregnancy and it’s something you can tick off that ever-growing list of things to do! Learn with your antenatal group, friends and family.

Lots of parents, understandably, worry about choking when they are beginning to wean their baby. Did you know that babies have extremely sensitive gag reflexes, which are there to help keep your baby safe from choking?

When a baby is weaning it’s completely normal to experience a lot of coughing, gagging and going red in the face. A common misconception is that you will hear a person choking but you won’t; severe choking is usually completely silent. Knowing the difference between gagging and severe choking is really important, particularly when you are about to wean your baby. If they’re coughing and going red in the face that’s a great sign, we can usually let them work it out themselves; if they’re silent and turning blue they need our help.

Doing a first aid class can put your mind at ease when it comes to weaning your baby so you can relax and enjoy the process (and focus on cleaning the mess!) and feel confident that you know what steps to take if your baby does choke.

Not just for babies
It’s not just babies who sometimes require first aid. Once your child is mobile, a whole new world will open up to them; it’s an exciting time for them and you! Young children love putting things in their mouths. Did you know this is for sensory reasons? They have more nerve endings in their mouths than they do in their fingers so they find out more about an object if they put it in their mouth! But this obviously poses a choking risk.

Once your child is walking, running and climbing it’s normal for blows to the head to become a fairly regular occurrence (at least, they are in our house!) Would you know how to treat a head injury? And would you know what signs to look out for in a serious head injury?

Learning vital first aid skills gives confidence to parents and other child carers so that they would know what to do in an emergency involving their baby or child. All it takes is two hours.

Daisy First Aid teaches award-winning courses to parents, expectant parents and children all over Sussex in homes and public venues. They also provide OFSTED compliant courses for teachers and childcare professionals in local venues and private settings. For more information visit

The communication and capabilities of a newborn baby

By baby health, Education, Language, play, Relationships, sleep
by Karen Emery
Founder of Haven & Base,
Perinatal Practitioner, Parent Coach & Children’s Sleep Advisor

It wasn’t too long ago that we thought newborn babies couldn’t do much at all, other than eat, sleep and cry. But the exact opposite is true. Newborn babies are born with amazing communication capabilities and are primed and ready for social contact with their parents and caregivers right from birth. More importantly, brain science has shown us just how important this early communication is between a baby and their parent for a baby’s brain development.

Many parents are unaware that a human baby is born with an undeveloped brain and that a baby’s brain and nervous system grows most rapidly in the first few years following birth. A baby’s brain grows and develops in response to their environment but crucially in response to the interactions that a baby shares with their parent(s) and caregivers. Communication is more than talking. It’s any form of message sent from one party to another through sounds, words, or physical hints like body language. From the first moment that your baby is placed in your arms, you and your baby will be communicating with each other. These first glances, sounds, and touches literally shape the way in which your baby’s brain will grow and develop.

Everyone knows that babies cry but did you know that every baby has their own crying repertoire? Every baby has a unique and different cry for a different reason. Unlike other mammal babies, human babies are born completely dependent upon their parent or caregiver for survival and their ability to cry is very important for alerting an adult that something is wrong, or a change is needed. Babies have different cries for different reasons: a hungry baby may cry in a low or short pitched tone, while a baby who is angry or upset may cry in a choppier tone. As your baby grows, you as a parent will be able to recognise and understand what need that your baby is expressing. Even if we as parents cannot always work out why our baby is crying and what our baby is trying to express to us, it’s always important to respond to your baby’s cry for help. Responding to your baby’s cries (even when we may not know what they are crying for) helps to make your baby feel safe, secure, listened to, and heard. You cannot spoil a baby when you are meeting their physical and emotional needs.

Babies love talking! Although a baby doesn’t say a meaningful word until they are about a year old, they love to ‘take turns’ communicating with you as a parent or caregiver with facial expressions, gurgles, coo’s and body language. Why not give this a try? Find a moment when your baby is quiet but alert and give this ‘turn taking’ a go. Position your baby in front of you gazing into their eyes. What ever your baby does – you copy. If your baby gurgles, you gurgle back. Always wait for your baby to respond. This is a beautiful way to connect with your baby but don’t expect a full-blown conversation for hours at a time. Newborns can only manage this type of interaction for a few moments at each sitting before it can become over stimulating for their immature nervous system. As your baby grows and develops you can spend longer gazing at one another and conversing for longer periods each time but it’s always best to follow your baby’s lead. When your baby has had enough, they may look away, grimace, arch their back or posset (spit up milk). Crying is usually the last signal that your baby has had enough, and a change is needed.

This is the second article of three in a series about babies. In my final article, which will be available in the summer edition, I will discuss sleep tips for babies aged from birth until three months old.

You can learn more about how to communicate with your baby by visiting

Karen Emery is available for VIRTUAL one-to-one parent-baby consultations.
You can email her for an appointment at

What to expect from your new baby’s sleep

By baby health, Health, sleep
by Katie Venn
Precious Little Bunnies

This article, ‘What to expect from your new baby’s sleep’, is the first in a series of three articles on children’s sleep. This will be followed by ‘Nailing the perfect bedtime routine’ and ‘Sleep myths busted’. Before we get into baby’s sleep, did you know that foetus’ start sleeping from 23 weeks? In fact they spend most of their time before birth asleep. Mothers can even affect how the foetus is sleeping. Most women avoid alcohol in the first trimester, as it is widely known to impact development, what is lesser known is that alcohol in the final trimester and particularly the last few weeks before birth can reduce the foetus’ ability to REM sleep (which is the type of sleep needed for development).

Birth – 10 weeks

In the early days sleep is driven by the feeding. Babies will wake to be fed and often fall asleep whilst being fed. If your baby is waking up a lot, he/she is probably hungry or needs a nappy change, rather than having a sleep issue. Whilst all babies are different, there are a few things you might expect in this period:
• Initially your baby will want to feed regularly (expect 8-10 times a day) – this means sleep and awake times will be evenly distributed over 24 hours.
• Don’t be surprised if your baby hates being put down. It’s difficult to cope with, but completely normal and is a historic protection mechanism going back to caveman days where a baby left on it’s own would be vulnerable to attack. Being defenceless and unable to move, all they could do was cry to ensure their caregiver remained close to them. Remember this stage doesn’t last long and congratulate your baby for it’s strong desire to survive!
• You may find yourself holding the baby most of the time. Consider a sling/baby carrier in the day as these are fantastic for keeping the baby close but allowing you to do other things too.
• Babies twitch, snuffle and move around whilst sleeping. This is completely normal and happens when your baby is in REM (dream) sleep. Usually in REM sleep the brain sends inhibitory signals to the muscles (effectively paralysing the sleeper); this doesn’t happen with babies as they are not sufficiently developed to be able to block motor impulses.
• As long as there are no medical concerns, go with the flow and don’t panic about having a routine.
• You can’t create habits at this age – enjoy comforting and cuddling your baby when he/she needs it.

Helping your baby sleep well in the early days
• Help the baby differentiate between night and day by:
1) Keeping the night time dark and quiet.
2) Keeping the daytime light and noisy.
3) Limiting your interaction with the baby at night. Of course you may need to change their nappy but this isn’t the time to start chatting with your baby.
• Try changing the nappy when the baby first wakes up, then if they fall asleep whilst feeding you don’t have to wake them up to change them.
• Breastfeeding. Yes I know most people associate breastfeeding with less sleep but breastmilk actually contains tryptophan the precursor to melatonin which helps your baby sleep in those early weeks.
• Swaddling. Wrapping the baby in a swaddle can prevent natural twitches and movements from triggering the startle reflex waking them up.
• Quick bedtime routines (5-10 minutes) – a quick bath, massage and lullaby can help them associate the start of the night from an early age.
• Try warming the sheet with your hand (or a warmish, but not too hot, hot water bottle) before laying the baby down.
• Babies are used to noise in the stomach, white noise or heartbeat noise machines can keep them calm.
• Try putting the baby down on its side and then gently roll over to it’s back, this technique can help reduce the falling feeling for babies when you put them down.

By 10-12 weeks

Congratulations, you’ve made it through those newborn days!
• Your baby has now developed a circadian rhythm (a 24 hour body clock, making us sleepy at night and awake in the morning).
• Your baby’s sleep is starting to mature (introducing lighter sleep
as part of the sleep cycle).
• Your baby should now be getting into a more regular three/four nap pattern.

Your baby may not magically sleep through the night at this stage, and many babies are still feeding at night up to 18 months, but you should start to see more independence. From six months, if you are struggling with your baby’s sleep, do seek help. Sometimes a small tweak can make a big difference!

How much sleep should my child be getting? (1)

Happy sleeping!

Katie Venn (Sleep Consultant and Director) of Precious Little Bunnies.
For more information go to

1. Hirshkowitz M, Whiton K, Albert SM, Alessi C, Bruni O, DonCarlos L, Hazen N,Herman J, Adams Hillard PJ, Katz ES, Kheirandish-Gozal L, Neubauer DN, O’Donnell AE,
Ohayon M, Peever J, Rawding R, Sachdeva RC, Setters B, Vitiello MV, Ware JC.
National Sleep Foundation’s updated sleep duration recommendations: final report. Sleep Health. 2015 Dec;1(4):233-243. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh. 2015.10.004. Epub 2015 Oct 31. PMID: 29073398.

Breastfeeding help for all new mums

By baby health, family, Health, prenancy, Relationships
by Clare Castell

Many mums-to-be are worried about breastfeeding and they feel apprehensive about whether they’ll be able to do it. Although breastfeeding is completely natural it’s also a skill that needs to be learned – by mum and baby together – a bit like dancing together or riding a tandem.

Clare Castell, founder of Blossom Antenatal, an online antenatal education platform for parents insists there should never be any judgement about feeding choices. She encourages mums to do whatever works for them. “A mother should never feel pressured into breastfeeding or any guilt for the way she chooses to feed. The most important thing for us is that all mothers are supported in their choices.”

Clare shares her insider secrets to help avoid the most common pitfalls.

• The one thing we always recommend to our new parents is to lower all your expectations. You need time to adjust to your new life. The first couple of months are often the hardest as tiny babies need frequent feeding. But, as your baby grows, you should find that this intensity is reduced.

• One of the most beneficial things expectant mums can do to support themselves is attend a breastfeeding class. Blossom runs these for free and our experience is that this helps women to understand how breastfeeding works which really does help them know what they need to do when baby is born.

• Don’t expect your baby to follow the clock. We advise you to watch your baby for feeding cues and respond to their needs. The more time you spend with your baby the quicker you will be at working out what they want. Keep baby physically close to you so that as they stir from sleep you are able to quickly offer them the breast before they start to cry or get agitated.

• Get as much skin to skin contact with your baby as possible. The first hour after birth is often called ‘the golden hour’. But, it’s never too late to start skin to skin. You can do this to calm a baby at any time. Skin to skin is great for bonding and increasing milk supply.

• Another concern new parents have is whether baby is getting enough milk. It’s normal for babies to lose some birthweight in the first couple of weeks, but after this your baby should gain weight steadily. One of the most important indicators is nappy output – what goes in must come out! From day four or five onwards baby should have two soft yellow poos and at least six heavy wet nappies every 24 hours. We know some parents find it hard to tell if a tiny newborn disposable nappy is wet. Our top tip to give you an idea of what to look and feel for is to add two to four tablespoons of water onto an unused nappy and see how heavy that feels.

It’s crucial to locate local sources of support in advance in case things get difficult. If you’re having your baby in hospital there is a lot of support available while you’re there – so make the most of it and ask for help. Search online for local meetups or Facebook groups. We also advise our mums to get the phone number of the Community Infant Feeding Team. Write it on a piece of paper and stick it to your fridge. Every area has a community feeding team and they usually run drop in groups for mums and new babies.

The Blossom Antenatal team consists of midwives, lactation consultants and NCT trained teachers. All classes are taught by these qualified instructors who have years of experience of working with expectant parents. Many currently work in the NHS and are volunteering their time to help teach parents.


Can friendly bacteria help reduce the occurrence of allergies?

By baby health, children's health, Education, family, Food & Eating, Green, Health
by Rebecca Traylen (ANutr)

What is an allergy?
Allergy UK define an allergy as “the response of the body’s immune system to normally harmless substances, such as pollens, foods, and house dust mites. Whilst in most people these substances (allergens) pose no problem, in allergic individuals their immune system identifies them as a ‘threat’ and produces an inappropriate response.”

Allergies such as eczema, hay fever and certain foods are becoming increasingly common in children and are on the rise. They can have a major effect on children and their families lives and therefore, anything we can do to understand how they develop and where possible minimise their occurrence should be encouraged.

What is the link between your gut and allergies?
There are trillions of microbes including bacteria, fungi, archaea, viruses and protozoans which are present in and on our body. 95% of these microbes are found in our gastrointestinal tract, weighing a staggering 2kg! Our gut microbiome has several important roles including digesting food, ensuring proper digestive function and helping with the production of some vitamins (B and K).

Our gut microbiome can strengthen the integrity of our gut wall and helps reduce inflammation. It also helps teach our immune system to respond appropriately to substances and fight off harmful pathogens. This allows our immune system to react appropriately to substances and ensures it doesn’t overreact to substances, as typically seen in allergies.

70% of our immune system lies along our digestive tract which further highlights the significant role our gut microbiome can play in our immune system.

Rates of allergies have been increasing as we have moved towards more urban environments. This has meant the variety of foods we are eating have decreased, our use of antibiotics has increased, and we are spending less time outdoors. Subsequently, this has been thought to reduce the diversity of our gut microbiome.

Research has shown that having a healthy and diverse gut microbiome is associated with fewer allergic symptoms. Therefore, our move to urban environments is thought to play a role in the increased number of allergies, through changes in our gut microbiome.

Reducing the risk of allergies
Friendly bacteria are live beneficial bacteria that can be consumed in food or supplement form. Taking friendly bacteria has been suggested to reduce the occurrence of allergies by supporting the gut microbiome.

One way to reduce the risk of allergies in your infant starts in pregnancy. Research has shown that taking a friendly bacteria supplement during pregnancy may reduce the chances of their infant developing eczema by 22%.

In addition, taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy may also reduce the chance of children becoming sensitised to egg (a sign of a potential allergy) by 31% and also may reduce the chances of peanut allergy.

Therefore, supplementing with both friendly bacteria supplements and omega-3 during pregnancy could be of particular benefit for allergy prevention in the infant.

Friendly bacteria supplements during infancy have also been demonstrated in some cases to prevent atopic sensitisation (this is a positive test for eczema, hay fever and allergic asthma).

Should you try a friendly bacteria supplement?
Whilst the research is still relatively new around friendly bacteria supplements and allergies, so far, they are shown to be safe and well tolerable. If you have a family history of allergies, taking a friendly bacteria supplement might be worth considering, either during pregnancy or for your infant.

Most importantly you should be looking after your gut by eating plenty of fibre, having a diverse diet, getting outside and exercising for at least 20 minutes every day, staying hydrated and reducing stress whenever possible.

Make sure you check with your GP or health practitioner before introducing any supplements when pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.

Probio7 have been supporting digestive and immune health in the UK since 1995 and we are dedicated to developing a unique range of the highest quality friendly bacteria supplements. Please visit for more information.

ostepath and paediatrician

Cranial osteopathy and paediatric osteopathy – what’s the difference?

By baby health, Health, Mental health
by Sian Eaton
Osteopath and Specialist Paediatric Osteopath

Cranial osteopaths treat children and babies, right? Wrong. Here’s how to tell who’s most suited to treat your little ones.

A cranial osteopath uses very gentle techniques to treat the body but may not have experience treating children. A paediatric osteopath treats babies and children and has completed further study to have a broader skill set to enable them to do this in whichever way is best suited to the individual.

A paediatric osteopath will have undertaken further extensive training and be able to assess and advise on general paediatric health and development. They may use cranial osteopathy techniques for part or all of the appointment and typically, a paediatric osteopath, will also give advice on feeding, sleeping and exercises to do at home. They will also be equipped to refer to other healthcare practitioners if needed.

Confused? Don’t be…

What can a paediatric osteopath help with?
Paediatric osteopaths treat a wide variety of patients from newborns to teenagers.

Newborns can struggle with the effects of birth – even the most medically straightforward birth can leave the baby a little uncomfortable, typically around the head, neck and shoulders. The most common issues are a slightly altered head shape or a struggle to latch on or
find a comfortable position when they are feeding.

Babies can often suffer with digestive issues such as reflux and colic. Their digestive system isn’t fully developed at birth and they can suffer with pain and vomiting.

As they get older and start to move around, parents might notice uneven movement or any developmental issues might become more apparent.

Toddlers: Once little ones get on their feet, issues with limbs might become noticeable such as pain or discomfort in their feet, knees or hips.
Preschoolers: This is the age when speech and language really develops and issues can be detected, often due to glue ear and adenoid problems.
School children: Will often come in with an injury from the playground or their parent/carer may have noticed a change in their movement.
Teenagers: Can suffer with similar issues with their bodies as adults, sore necks after too much school work or an injury from sport. Their musculoskeletal systems haven’t finished growing yet so the way they are treated is important and there are certain conditions that effect them that wouldn’t occur in an adult.

What would an initial appointment involve?
The initial appointment is focused on getting to know the child and giving them a full assessment. This will vary depending on the child’s age.

For the newborns and babies a lot of the discussion will be based around birth and pregnancy and then a thorough examination is performed to check everything from head to toe, paying particular attention to the issue they are coming in with.

For instance with a breastfeeding issue they would be assessed for their latch and possible tongue tie issues, along with their head and neck movement. Or for the reflux/colicky baby, paying specific attention to rule out Cows Milk Protein Allergies or more structural issues such as pyloric stenosis (a narrowing of the opening from the stomach to the first part of the small intestine).

For an older child, time will be spent talking to the child and parent/carer to get to know them, their home life and their childcare or learning environment. The examination is then usually a much more active process that can involve playing with toys or equipment. Once the child has been assessed, there would be a discussion about if treatment is needed and what would then be involved.

Is it safe?
Yes. A paediatric osteopath will take care with your child and the techniques used will be very gentle and subtle. Parents often comment that their child will be more settled and often tired and sleep for longer periods after a treatment.

All osteopaths are registered with The General Osteopathic Council and are fully insured.

Osteopathy is considered an essential service and osteopaths are allowed to continue to work through national lockdowns and through all tiers of local restrictions. We have high levels of cleanliness and PPE use.

Sian Eaton is a Specialist Paediatric Osteopath and qualified in 2004 from the British School of Osteopathy. Sian lives in Sussex and has two small children of her own. Her clinic is in Hove ( for further information and booking or please contact Sian directly on 07788 554409.

happy child

Protecting your precious little one’s palate

By baby health, Education, family, Food & Eating, fun for children, Playing

How getting early feeding right can benefit your child’s future health and wellbeing.

Emily Day is Head of Food Development at Organix Brands Ltd, a purpose driven children’s food brand, founded in 1992, with a clear mission to ensure healthy nutritious food is a real choice for everyone. Emily recognises the importance and challenges of providing the appropriate early foods which will set babies on the right path for a lifetime of healthy eating.

“Eat your greens!” is a parental mantra that has persisted through countless generations of vegetable shy youngsters – with Popeye style threats if you don’t!

Start as you mean to go on! Introducing what is an essential part of all our diets, vital for the health of our bodies, should start from those first wonderful weaning moments. Like anything new or unfamiliar, this may not always elicit a thumbs up or gurgle from our little ones. So be patient – persist, because if you crack it early, you’ll avoid mentioning our favourite cartoon sailor.

How can you future proof your tiny tots’ precious palates, and help them be appreciative of the flavours, textures, shapes and tastes of fruits and vegetables so they have a lifelong loving relationship?

For starters, did you know that children learn about their likes and dislikes by being in direct contact with foods; through tasting smelling, touching, holding and also observing others and the way they eat. In fact, even before they start on solids, your baby’s taste buds will be responding to what they’re being fed on, even from inside the womb and if breastfed through the milk.

And don’t forget it’s not just about taste, meal time is also a key development time for children, so should be fun and engaging. To support parents, at what we know can often be a tricky time, we’ve put together some top tips to help:
• After six months of nothing but breast milk or formula, it’s understandable that new tastes come as a surprise to babies, especially when more challenging flavours such as vegetables are introduced. And after all, it’s natural for them to be somewhat suspicious, after only being accustomed to the sweet taste of milk. Our bodies, especially in childhood, do not need or want added salt, sugar or additives, which is why Organix only develop foods with our ‘No Junk Promise’, so parents can trust what they are giving to their children.

• Exposing babies to vegetables in the early weaning stage is a known means of gaining their early acceptance – but not for all! The taste and smell can lead to food refusal. But don’t give up! It might take up to 15 attempts on a regular basis to introduce a baby to a new taste, but research shows that repeated and frequent exposure to them is the most successful route to familiarity and their ultimate acceptance.

• Familiarising babies and toddlers with fruit and vegetables through listening, seeing, touching and smelling them can be a very effective way to win over little taste buds. Try the wonderful aromas of a banana or strawberry, or create a fun to make visual feast by making a fun food plate together.

• Don’t forget fruit and vegetables make wonderful baby finger foods or toddler snacks. Once your baby is past the 12 months stage, two to three snacks are recommended daily. This makes for an excellent opportunity to squeeze in a little extra, so why not choose a fruit or vegetable that is in season for two? Then if required for a third, give yourself a break and why not try Organix Melty Veggie Sticks made with organic corn and pea and flavoured with vegetables? These are baked into a chunky shape, making them easy to hold.

Organix weaning and finger foods help babies discover new shapes, tastes and textures, and our wide range of toddler snacks provide parents with healthier snacking options to fuel happy days.You can find heaps of further information in the Organix Baby & Toddler Cookbook which has over 70 quick and easy recipes from weaning purees to dinner time faves for the whole family to enjoy!

Tips to soothe your child when they have chickenpox

By baby health, children's health, Education, family, Health, Uncategorized, vaccinations and ailments

The varicella zoster virus (VZV) is more commonly known as chickenpox. It is one of the most common illnesses to affect young children, affecting more than 95% of children and is most prevalent in children under the age of 10.
It is a very common illness and most children make a full recovery without needing medical intervention. However, it can still be uncomfortable and upsetting for little ones and worrying for parents. When the red, fluid-filled spots appear, there are some things you can do to comfort your child and distract them from the itching.

Doctor Stephanie Ooi, a GP from MyHealthcare Clinic, has provided five tips to advise parents on the best ways to soothe a child when they have chickenpox.

Use gentle itching remedies
While traditional remedies such as calamine lotion have long been the go-to home treatment for chickenpox, there are newer mousse products available on the market that can help. These can be easier to use than creams or lotions as they are less messy and don’t require rubbing in to sensitive rash-covered skin.

Another natural remedy to soothe the discomfort and itching is to take an oatmeal bath, which helps to prevent the spread of infection from one to another part of the body. To make your own oatmeal bath at home, you can use regular unflavoured porridge oats, slow cooked oats or instant oats. Use around 100g for a toddler and 300g for an older child. A coffee grinder or food processor can be used to the grind the oats up to a smaller consistency. Test a tablespoon of oats in a glass of warm water – if the water goes a milky colour, your oats are ground-up enough. Draw a warm bath (not too hot), place the oats in and have your child soak for around 20 minutes.

Some children also find baking soda soothing. You can add roughly a mug of the baking soda to a lukewarm bath and soak for 20 minutes. When you help the child out of the bath, use a clean towel to pat, rather than rub the skin dry.

Keep your child hydrated
Try to encourage your child to drink as much water as possible. When chickenpox spots appear in a child’s mouth it can make eating or drinking slightly distressing and uncomfortable. Try to give soft and bland foods and avoid salty snacks that can aggravate a sore mouth. A very common symptom of chickenpox is a loss of appetite – whilst this is worrying for parents, hydration is more important than food here.

One way to encourage children to consume more liquids is to create soothing ice pops. Simply fill a lolly tray with water or coconut water, or flavour with some squash. It’s best to avoid orange flavouring as the acidic content of this may irritate the mouth. If your child does feel up to eating, natural yoghurt with honey, stewed apples or pears or a chicken bone broth are good options. Dairy and chicken contain the amino acid lysine which is said to aid healing.

Be aware of signs of dehydration – dark urine, infrequent need to use the bathroom or dry nappies, fast breathing, having few or no tears left when crying, dry lips or blotchy, cold hands and feet. If your child has any of these symptoms, please seek urgent medical advice.

Seek medical advice for some cases
In most cases you won’t need to take your child to the GP for chickenpox as it will get better on its own. This usually takes about a week. However, there are some instances when medical advice should be sought. If you notice that skin around the spots has become red, hot and painful, consult your doctor as this can be a sign of skin infection. Also seek medical advice if your child has had a fever for more than four days, if there are signs of dehydration as mentioned above or their condition seems to be worsening. Ultimately you know them best so if something doesn’t seem right then seek medical advice.

Soothe the pain and fever with approved painkillers
Aside from the uncomfortable rash, chickenpox can also often cause cold and flu-like symptoms, including a high temperature (38+ degrees), muscular aches and pains, as well as headaches. These can make children feel pretty miserable and unwell. You can use paracetamol at home to soothe the pain and fever. It’s best to avoid giving aspirin to any child in any illness as this can leave your child at risk of developing Reye’s syndrome (a rare disorder that causes swelling in the liver and brain).

Provide distractions
Due to the highly contagious nature of chickenpox, it’s advised to keep your child away from school, nursery or social situations with other children until the spots have fully crusted over. This can take as long as 10 days. Many children will just want to rest and a day in front of the television is completely understandable! However, lots of parents know that after a few days of isolation, children can feel restless and need a distraction from the itching and misery of being house-bound.

Activities such as colouring, sticker books, reading and puzzles can be good distractions. Try making an indoor assault course with cushions, chairs and blankets. If you have a garden and the weather is nice, try having a picnic together, planting some seeds, or using outdoor chalks to create pictures.