A healthy winter ahead?
Whether you work with carers looking after children or have children in your own family there is a sense of dread that comes with the new school term. Will it bring with it the next round of bugs and illness? There is some concern about several illnesses being a bit more problematic this winter.
One possible problem could be a rise in measles cases, particularly in the London area. Also, there is a decrease in the percentage of teenagers having had their vaccines protecting against various types of meningitis. As young people head off to a new college, job or university they are slightly more at risk of meningitis as they mingle with new people. We also know that it is often really hard getting appointments with local health services at the moment. The demand on both GP and hospital services is huge with waiting lists for lots of child health services unfortunately still very much on the rise.
But there are things we can do ourselves. My background is health visiting and so I really want to mention a couple of things that you may find helpful. Now is a great time to think about whether children and young people are fully vaccinated. If not they can often catch up! A quick trip for a vaccination now can save misery later. Find out more about immunisations.
Hopefully there won’t be too many children poorly on the very first days of term but if there are, the NHS provides guidance on whether you should send your child to school or not.
Ellie Johnson, Health Consultant, CoramBAAF