This section of the website presents news and information on topical issues relating to the health of children and young people, and maternal health. It includes health stories appearing in the popular media.
We do not accept responsibility for the availability, reliability or content of these news items and do not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them.
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Girls start to see themselves as less innately talented than boys do when they are only six years old, a group of US researchers has said.
To mark Young Carers Awareness Day, this blog post by a young carer discusses what it means to be a young carer and how vital it is they get support.
The NSPCC is calling on Government to act quickly to close two legal loopholes that leave the door open for children to be targeted in sport and beyond.
Disabled children in England with severe behavioural and complex mental health issues are being "separated and hidden" from society, a review warns.
Child health in the UK is falling behind that of many other European countries, a major report says.
A new survey by Carers Trust has revealed that young carers across the UK are struggling to get the most out of their education and are in danger of not fulfilling their ambitions due to their caring role.
NICE and PHE recommend children and young people are taught the importance of hand washing to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
In this article the Minister for Community Health and Care discusses doing more to help young carers fulfil their goals.
In this blog post, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for the Maternity Review and Women’s Health evaluates the Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle for reducing stillbirths.
A major genetic study has identified 14 new childhood developmental disorders.
Three projects with ambitious plans to transform children’s services in their areas have been awarded a share of more than £7 million in government grant funding.
"Youngest children in class more likely to get ADHD medication, study says," The Guardian reports. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines the evidence behind this report.
Doctors in Sheffield are pioneering the use of a compact MRI scanner for imaging the brains of premature babies.
Senior judges are taking steps to end the presumption that a father must have contact with a child where there is evidence of domestic abuse that would put the child or mother at risk.
The UK has one of the worst rates of drinking while pregnant in the European region, with only Ireland, Denmark and Belarus showing higher figures, according to a new study published in The Lancet Global Health.
Schools should encourage pupils with poor grades to mix with stronger students if they want to keep them in education, suggests a study.
Opportunity areas will create local partnerships with early years providers, schools, colleges, universities, businesses, charities and local authorities to ensure all children and young people have the opportunity to re ...
Red flag events commonplace on labour wards as midwives are pushed to the limit
Almost a third of 2,000 UK teenagers, polled for a body confidence campaign, avoid activities like PE because of fears about their looks.
Three out of five young people in rural areas of England do not have adequate public transport to get to secondary school, according to research from Rural England.
A study of screen time and mental wellbeing among teenagers has suggested moderate use of devices may be beneficial in a connected world.
Applications for the latest round of the Life Chances Fund have now opened to support the development of Social Impact Bonds focused on helping children and young people.
This blog post covers two documents published by PHE about young people’s substance misuse.
New figures show there were more than 40,000 hospital operations to remove teeth in children and teenagers last year – the equivalent of more than 160 a day – with council leaders calling for radical action on sugar.
Seven in 10 children in England think the government should ensure all children have school lessons on sex and relationships, new figures reveal.
A Bill described as "a bonfire of child protection rights", which would let councils opt out of key legal duties to children, was debated on Tuesday.
Public health experts have called for a ban on alcohol advertising in the UK in light of new research that claims the industry’s marketing practices encourage young people to drink.
The Education Secretary has announced a £50 million grant scheme to provide thousands of new childcare places.
A multi-million pound package to support children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) has been announced.
The NSPCC claims that the government is dragging its feet on making it illegal for an adult to send a sexual message to a child in England and Wales.
The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index warns that more than a quarter of young people (28%) don’t feel in control of their lives, with concerns about job prospects, self-confidence and recent political events playing ...
The Prime Minister has announced a comprehensive package of measures to transform mental health support in our schools, workplaces and communities.
In this speech, the Prime Minister sets out her vision for the shared society, the government's role within it and how to transform mental health support.
Children across England are being given specialised sports prostheses from the NHS to help them run, swim and play sport, following the creation of a £1.5 million fund by the Department of Health.
"Babies should be given peanut early – some at four months old – in order to reduce the risk of allergy, according to new US guidance," BBC News reports. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines the evidence behind t ...
Wales is considering banning parents from smacking their children, after it was announced Welsh leaders will be handed new powers allowing them to make changes to parental law.
PHE’s new Change4Life campaign shows that children are consuming half the daily recommended sugar intake before the morning school bell.
More than 1,000 schools have no outdoor sports facilities, according to Scottish Labour.
One in four babies born in the UK are not receiving mandatory checkups from health visitors during the first two years of their life.
The Scottish Government is gifting every newborn baby a Box of essential items, such as clothes, nappies and books, to help ensure they get the best start in life.
Almost 30% of contacts to the NSPCC helpline in December 2015 were about neglect.
Young people from black and Asian Muslims communities are more likely to be unemployed and face social immobility later in life than working class white boys despite doing better at school, according to new research by t ...
Nine projects with ambitious plans to tackle specific forms of abuse affecting children have been awarded a share of government grant funding in 2016 to 2018, worth more than £2 million.
A new study from the Children’s Commissioner for England reveals that just a small fraction of young carers are receiving the support that they need.
NHS England has published updated guidance for managing seasonal pressures in paediatric intensive care.
Grapes and cherry tomatoes should carry safety warnings about the choke hazard for young children, doctors say.
Safer Internet Day 2017 will take place on Tuesday 7th February with the theme 'Be the change: unite for a better internet'.
The Public Accounts Committee report says that Government has not proved the effectiveness of a programme to support troubled families.
As 2016 draws to a close, this blog post rounds up some recent developments in the battle against childhood obesity.
The government's cross-departmental child poverty unit has been abolished, with the government confirming that its functions have been subsumed into the wider remit of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Downing Street has said its decision to abolish the civil service’s once high-profile child poverty unit does not mean it no longer takes the issue seriously.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s response to research showing that the potential socioeconomic impact of child neglect and abuse may persist for decades.
People who were maltreated as children are more likely to have poor health and living standards decades later, a study suggests.
The Newborn Blood Spot Failsafe Solution (NBSFS) IT system, which flags up babies who may have missed screening, is now complete in all parts of England.
"Sugary drinks tax 'will benefit children most'," BBC News reports. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines the evidence behind this report.
A Public Accounts Committee report has raised concerns that there is still no credible plan to improve services and grow a quality social work force.
At least 117,000 children are set to face Christmas homeless and in temporary accommodation in England this year, new data shows.
Trampolines should be used only under professional supervision, according to a senior bone surgeon.
Nearly two thirds of children groomed online who were referred to a number of Barnardo’s specialist services, were sexually exploited after meeting their attacker.
A nationwide campaign, launched by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, will help parents spot the symptoms of sepsis to protect young children and save lives.
NICE recommends councils could provide toothbrushing schemes in schools and nurseries in areas where children have poor oral health in a new quality standard.
"Detailed MRI scans should be offered to some women in pregnancy to help spot brain defects in the developing baby, say researchers," BBC News reports. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines the evidence behind thi ...
The 2015 Health Survey for England (HSE) found that 16 per cent of children aged 8 to 15 reported ever having an alcoholic drink. This is the lowest level ever reported since the HSE began, down from the highest point of ...
The vast majority of parents of overweight children in England do not recognise the fact, the annual NHS health survey has found, raising fears that high levels of obesity have normalised unhealthy weights.
The Minister for Civil Society has launched an independent review to look at the challenges and benefits of young people committing to full-time social action (more than 16 hours a week).
Homeless children with the most complex problems are having to stay in bed and breakfasts due to a lack of suitable accommodation in Wales, a charity has claimed.
2,796 counselling sessions about gender identity and gender dysphoria were held by Childline last year. These sessions have more than doubled since 2012/13
"Brain tests predict children's futures," BBC News reports. A study found that childhood factors such as low IQ, parental neglect and poor self-control were strongly associated with "socially costly" outcomes in adulthoo ...
Girls are being taken to female genital mutilation (FGM) "parties" in cities across England, a charity has warned.
This blog post discusses Personal Maternity Care Budgets (PMCBs), a tool which allows the system to ensure that the funding of maternity services follows the choices that a woman makes.
This blog post discusses new guidance on smoking cessation and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
Education and training will be put at the heart of youth justice, the Justice Secretary has announced in response to a ground-breaking review led by child behavioural expert Charlie Taylor.
Seriously ill children are waiting up to nine hours for an intensive care bed to become available, while others are being transported up to 120 miles from their homes to receive the medical treatment they urgently need, ...
This blog post gives an update about progress so far in NHS England’s national review of paediatric critical care and specialised surgery.
More than 150 children's centres closed in England in 2015 - double the number of the previous year.
"Children are more likely to use cannabis if their mother smoked while pregnant," the Mail Online reports. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines the evidence behind this report.
One in four women are transferred from midwife-led units to consultants because of complications when giving birth, an investigation found.
Following a full public consultation, the Committee of Advertising Practice have announced new rules banning the advertising of high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food or drink products in children’s media. The rules will ap ...
Families with dying children must be put at the heart of care, new guidance from NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) says.
This blog post discusses how working with the charity, Together for Short Lives, enabled young people to make a valuable contribution to the NICE guideline ‘End of life care for children’.
In this article Richard Sangster, leader of the DH obesity policy team, looks to the future of food in the fight against childhood obesity.
Multiple births charity Tamba has partnered with nine fetal medicine centres in the UK, including four in London, to set up the TTTS (twin to twin transfusion syndrome) Registry. Leading clinicians at the four hospitals ...
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is facing calls to scrap and rewrite the policy on restraining minors after it emerged that a report it commissioned found some authorised techniques could kill children or leave them disabl ...
The UK government has published draft legislation for a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, which is set to begin from April 2018.
The number of children and young people with eating disorders who require hospital treatment has jumped by a third since 2011, new figures reveal.
Seriously sick children are having to be transported long distances to receive intensive care because of a lack of beds in major cities.
Using the Freedom of Information Act, BBC Yorkshire has obtained figures from 135 councils in England, that show there are at least 12,600 council-run schools where asbestos is known to be present.
This blog post discusses how the rate of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV in the UK and Ireland continues to decline
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has brought together government ministers, frontline professionals, charities, campaigners and survivors to co-ordinate efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) at home and abroad.
Children are at substantially increased risk of contracting drug-resistant infections in the months after taking a course of antibiotics, a leading public health official has warned.
More than 30,000 children were missing from schools in England and Wales for substantial periods of time in the 2014-15 academic year, local education authority figures show.
Parents and guardians are being warned to be vigilant following publication of a new report indicating that 450,000 children are gambling in England and Wales every week.
The Chairs of five Parliamentary Select Committees have written to the Secretary of State for Education calling on the Government to act on proposals to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PHSE) and Sex ...
One in three children who ends up in hospital with an asthma attack has been exposed to cigarette smoke, prompting renewed concern about parents smoking at home around their offspring.
"New brain scans reveal sleep deprivation damages children's brains more than previously thought," the Mail Online reports. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines the evidence behind this report.
Head teachers are urging MPs to back a plan to ensure all children from poorer homes are automatically registered for free school meals.
Newborn babies should not be screened for the muscle wasting condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, according to the UK’s independent expert screening committee.
Almost a third of children in England are behind in their development when they start primary school, according to official figures for 2016.
Fundamental deficiencies in the way that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) understands and responds to child abuse and sexual exploitation is putting children in London at risk, according to a report by Her Majesty’s ...
Hundreds of babies in the UK are born suffering the effects of drug withdrawal because of their mother's addiction, but one unique facility is working to keep the newborns together with their parent while they detox.
To mark national #iwill week, which celebrates the huge impact young people make through volunteering and social action, the Chief Nursing Officer for England explains why their work is so vital in this blog post.
"Children of confident fathers who embrace parenthood are less likely to show behavioural problems before their teenage years," The Guardian reports. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines the evidence behind this ...
Teenagers, aged between 11 and 18, drink almost a bathtub full of sugary drinks on average a year, according to new calculations from Cancer Research UK.
Poorer pupils in disadvantaged "opportunity areas", designated for extra help by the government, are lagging almost two years behind better off counterparts elsewhere in England.
Up to one in three young people seeking help from their local council because they are homeless or about to become homeless are being turned away unaided, new research has found.
Pornographic websites that refuse to stop children accessing explicit content will be blocked under new Government plans.
The proportion of women having at least one child by the age of 20 has fallen to its lowest level in decades, the Office for National Statistics says.
The government has announced more than £300 million to help young people from every background enjoy the benefits of music and the arts.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils are still experiencing high rates of bullying in schools, according to campaigners.
Cancer Research UK: The rate of children dying from cancer has fallen by more than 30 per cent in the last 20 years, according to the latest figures released by Cancer Research UK
The cost of picking up the pieces from damaging social problems affecting children, young people and families such as domestic violence and abuse, mental health, abuse and neglect, unemployment and youth crime remains al ...
One in three internet users between the ages of 12 and 15 say they saw "hate speech" online in the past year, according to Ofcom's latest survey of children's media habits.
Trafficked children and unaccompanied child asylum seekers are going missing from UK care homes at "an alarmingly high rate", two charities have said.
The action required by policy makers to help empower mothers to breastfeed for as long as they wish is set out in the WBTi UK report. The associated score cards show that Scotland and Northern Ireland have done most in i ...
An estimated 160,000 GP appointments could be freed up if schools stopped sending home children with infective conjunctivitis, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners.
New research warns that infants under four weeks shouldn't travel in car seats for more than 30 minutes.
"Scouts and guides provide 'mental health boost for life'," BBC News reports. A study of adults with a scouting or guiding background found they were less likely to be anxious or depressed in later life. This 'Behind the ...
Schools are being urged to focus improvement efforts on struggling white working-class pupils who get the worst GCSE results of all the main ethnic groups, amid growing concern about stark disparities in attainment.
The Chair of the Maternity Transformation Programme has announced seven local areas who will be taking forward the recommendations set out in Better Births. The Early Adopter sites will test a range of new and innovative ...
"Scientists say they may have found a way to protect babies in the womb from the harmful effects of Zika," BBC News reports. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines the evidence behind this report.
Pupils with behaviour problems are too often "offloaded" into illegal schools, the chief inspector of schools says.
This is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Civil Society’s keynote speech on young people at the Ambition National Conference.
WHO has issued a new series of recommendations to improve quality of antenatal care in order to reduce the risk of stillbirths and pregnancy complications and give women a positive pregnancy experience.
A project aimed at reducing the number of children taken into care by offering contraception to vulnerable women is to extend its work across England.
Plans to ban smoking in school and hospital grounds and playgrounds in Wales will be introduced on Monday.
Numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children cared for by councils in England more than doubled in the two years to March, says a report.
Domestic violence and poor mental health are the biggest issues facing children on the books of social services in England, new figures show.
School letters sent to parents telling them their children are overweight should not be watered down despite widespread anger, the chief medical officer has said, arguing against the “normalisation” of obesity.
"Streaming instead of dreaming: Using phones and tablets before bed stops kids from sleeping and can lead to health issues" is the rather poetic headline from the Mail Online. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines ...
Following a clinical recommendation by experts at the UK National Screening Committee, a new non-invasive prenatal test for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes, which is safer for women and their babies, has been appr ...
More support is needed for young care leavers when they become parents to prevent their children from being taken into care, the Children's Commissioner for Wales says.
A therapy that successfully treats two-thirds of children with chronic fatigue syndrome is being trialled for NHS use.
Children who are exposed to abuse, domestic violence or other stresses are far more likely to develop long term health problems, says new research.
This article from an anonymous health visitor discusses the challenges health visitors face.
This Public Health Matters blog post discusses the opportunities teachers, school nurses and others who work in educational settings have to educate young people about antimicrobial resistance.
NHS England has announced six maternity pilot sites to drive the design of new approaches to midwifery supervision, helping to improve quality of care for women and their babies.
Public Health England has published a range of blogs as part of #Health5to19, a week of action dedicated to looking at the work being done to support children and young people between the ages 5 and 19.
ASH has released new data which finds no evidence that children are being recruited to smoking through their use of electronic cigarettes.
NHS England has today published new ratings on mental health and maternity, highlighting where areas are performing really well, but also helping to identify where improvements can be made.
"Toddlers should be screened for an inherited form of heart disease … experts suggest," BBC News reports. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines the evidence behind this report.
"A new form of therapy has for the first time been shown to improve the symptoms and behaviour of autistic children," The Guardian reports. This 'Behind the headlines' article examines the evidence behind this report.
The number of mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies varies wildly across the UK, new figures reveal.
A major drive to end the criminalisation of children living in residential homes has been launched by the Howard League for Penal Reform.
Using freedom of information requests, Barnardo’s found more than 800 care leavers in England were placed in B&Bs in 2014. Now, two years later, the figure has fallen to 525 – a drop of 35 per cent.
The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) has announced new screen time guidelines for children aged up to two.
A study suggests there are parallels between the way youngsters turn into hackers and how youths become addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Many women with diabetes who become pregnant are at increased risk of complications because of a lack of preparation for pregnancy, according to a new report.
UK burns units say one in 20 of all admissions for children's burns last year involved hair straighteners.
The status of physical education in schools needs a "radical shake-up" and it should be valued in the same way as core academics subjects, a report says.
NHS England has announced more details of the accelerated national reviews into paediatric critical care and specialised surgery for children.
This blog has an update about the progress being made in NHS England’s work to secure sustainable specialist surgical and critical care services for children.
A government initiative to help the most disadvantaged families in England has made no "significant impact", a report suggests. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research suggests it has had no measurable eff ...
RCPCH response to a study on the effects of high BMI on biological age of new born babies.
"Women aged 40 or over are less likely to have babies with birth defects if they conceive by IVF," the Daily Mail reports, while The Daily Telegraph says: "Older mothers have healthier babies if they conceive using IVF". ...
New measures to make giving birth safer, including maternity safety funding and publishing maternity ratings, have been announced.
The "Our Chance" campaign has been developed with charities Best Beginnings and Sands to give parents the knowledge and confidence to maximise their chances of healthy outcomes for themselves and their babies.
Parents in England whose children are injured at birth may benefit from a new government compensation scheme.
The voluntary scheme is intended to settle complaints more quickly and allow medical staff to speak openly ab ...
Communities Minister, Lord Bourne writes about the troubled families programme.
The sugar levy on soft drinks should be administered by councils, who are best placed to work with schools and communities to fight childhood obesity, council leaders say. The Local Government Association says rather tha ...
As part of Baby Loss Awareness Week a debate was held in the House of Commons. It was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee following a representation from Antoinette Sandbach MP and Will Quince MP.
"Is your child a fussy eater? It could be down to genetics not parenting," the Daily Mirror reports. A study involving twins suggests food fussiness as well as food neophobia – unwillingness to try new foods – may partia ...
The flu programme is being extended to include children in year 3, helping to protect millions of people most at risk.
This media release has a response to a recent National Audit report by Councillor Richard Watts, Chair of the LGA's Children and Young People Board.
Taxing sugary drinks can lower consumption and reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay, says a new WHO report.
The RCPCH respond to the Obesity Health Alliance's new figures on childhood obesity.
During the last decade, 1,655,000 children have started secondary school overweight or obese in England, according to new calculations by Cancer Research UK.
The NSPCC have pulled out key messages and recommendations from the 'Time to listen' report into child sexual exploitation.
"Sunbathing mothers guard against hyperactive babies," The Daily Telegraph reports – a headline that achieves the dubious dual distinction of being both inaccurate and irresponsible. This NHS Choices 'Behind the headline ...
Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s & Children’s Services Partnership is the first in the north of the UK to issue Finnish-style baby boxes for newborns.
Babyloss Awareness Week is held annually from October 9 to 15. Involving twenty-one pregnancy and baby loss charities in the UK, it’s a special opportunity to mark the brief lives of babies lost in pregnancy or soon afte ...
Two MPs who know the pain and trauma of losing a baby are calling for more support for people affected by stillbirth or neonatal death.
A report from youth charity YMCA has found that more than one in three young people with mental health issues have suffered stigma. Sitting down on a shop floor crying, Connie Free was at a low point in her battle with b ...
As local areas prepare to take forward the recommendations of the national maternity review, Lillie Wenzel, Policy Fellow at The King’s Fund, considers the role of user feedback in driving improvements in maternity servi ...
New figures show almost 3 million apprenticeships created since May 2010 as part of government’s drive to create opportunities for all.
This e-bulletin highlights perinatal mental health commitments from national stakeholders at a ministerial roundtable and has features on the devolved nations.
The majority of specialist nurses say mental health care for young people isn't good enough. According to a survey of 631 workers in children and adolescent services, 43% said things were getting worse.
New opportunity areas across England will receive £60 million of funding to help local children get the best start in life.
"Long periods sleeping in car seats may be dangerous for young babies," the Daily Mail reports. This NHS Choices 'Behind the headlines' article examines the research behind this report.
The annual Baby Loss Awareness Week is due to take place from 9 to 15 October. It is an opportunity to talk openly about the subject and raise awareness of pregnancy, baby and infant loss.
The problem of women being injured in childbirth has been exacerbated by poor diagnosis, improper care and an unwillingness to speak about the issue, experts say. Two women talk about their experiences on the BBC's Victo ...
Girls in the UK are markedly less confident about their looks than they were five years ago, research by Girlguiding suggests.
One in six young people eat fast food twice a day, according to a survey of the nation's eating habits.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has launched a programme of work to develop a set of quality improvement measures specifically for children and young people.
Young women are the highest risk group in England for mental health problems, according to new data from NHS Digital.
A new report finds that child sexual exploitation can be tackled best when all partners take responsibility for their roles, while also working collaboratively, with strategic goals clearly identified, understood and agr ...
Childcare costs could "sky-rocket" in parts of England as nurseries grapple with less funding for a free government childcare scheme, a charity says.
Food and drink industry businesses, health charities and campaign groups have attended a Public Health England (PHE) briefing on the reduction and reformulation programme.
This blog post discusses the launch of the Children’s Oral Health Improvement Programme Board.
Experts are urging neonatal units to form partnerships with neighbouring hospitals in a bid to reduce variation and drive up standards of care for very sick babies.