Children

New mental health and eating disorders services

Ashford Clinical Commissioning GroupFrom 1 September 2017, people of any age in east Kent with an eating disorder, and children and young people who need specialist mental healthcare, will get more joined-up services.

This is because contracts for a new all-age eating disorders service in Kent and Medway and an innovative children and young people’s mental health service in Kent have been awarded to the same organisation: NHS trust NELFT.

Currently, different trusts provide different aspects of the service, and there is no separate specialist service for people with eating disorders: it is part of wider mental health services.

Although the contracts were awarded separately, NELFT won both of them after being judged best for quality and value for money by each of the teams involved, who included GPs and mental health specialists. All the Kent services provided by NELFT will be based locally.

Children, young people and families with experience of mental health problems, and teenagers and adults with experience of eating disorders played a key role in the process, including setting out what they expect from the new service. (more…)

Registration for the Kent Test

Registration for Kent Test (11+) is now open for any parent of a year five child who would like them to be considered for a place in a Kent Grammar school for 2018.

Parents have until 3 July to register for the test. These will take place after the summer break on 7 September for children who go to school in Kent and 9 September for those children who go to school outside of Kent. Results will be sent out on 12 October.

Roger Gough, KCC Cabinet Member for Education said: “To speed up the process we urge as many parents as possible to register online. 95% of all test registrations are made this way and allows results to be sent by email.

“The Kent Test helps parents and children find the most suitable type of school for the next stage of their education.

“As more grammar schools include priority for pupils eligible for free school meals in their admissions arrangements we are particularly keen to encourage these families  to register and sit the test.“ (more…)

New school health services

Innovative new school health services underway across Kent

New school health services are being rolled out in Kent which will see greater access for children and young people to support for physical and mental health issues.

Kent County Council has awarded two new contracts – the Primary School Public Health Service and the Adolescent and Targeted Emotional Wellbeing Service – to Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT).

The new contracts for school-age children were drawn up after consultation with people using and working with the services. It will start on 1 April and parents, children, young people and schools will notice a variety of improvements over the next couple of months including:

  • increased opening hours from 8am until 6pm, Monday to Friday
  • easier access with one number, email and online referral to contact the service
  • uniforms to make the school health team more visible
  • increased drop ins at schools, youth clubs and community venues
  • for children and young people, with web chat.

(more…)

Need urgent help?

Check the helplines listed on our Useful links page

National Domestic Violence Helpline Tel: 0808 2000 247
Women’s Aid www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/helpline/
provides services to women and children experiencing domestic violence.
Refuge www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/
offers a range of services which gives women and children access to professional support whatever their situation.

Samaritans www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us Tel:116 123. or
visit the local branch www.samaritans.org/branches/samaritans-ashford-and-tenterden
offers confidential and emotional support for those who are experiencing despair.

Saneline www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/  0300 304 7000 from 4:30pm – 10:30pm every evening
offers information and support for those with mental health issues.

Release the Pressure www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/release-the-pressure
Tel: 0800 107 0160
Chat online www.mentalhealthmatters.com/our-services/helpline-services/time-online/
A KCC funded service provided by an independent charity, offers advice and help for those suffering from stress

FRANK www.talktofrank.com/contact-frank Tel: 0300 123 6600,
Need a quick answer? Text a question and FRANK will text you back Text 82111 or
Chat online www.talktofrank.com/livechat 2pm – 6pm every day
helps people with drug problems.

Drinkline Tel: 0300 123 1110
free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s.

Shelter http://england.shelter.org.uk/contact_us Tel: 0808 800 4444
offers housing advice.

Runaway www.runawayhelpline.org.uk/advice/  Tel or Text 116 000,
Chat online using link above, or
email: 116000@runawayhelpline.org.uk
advises young people aged 17 if they are thinking about running away, if they have already run away, or if they have been away and come back and those that are worried that someone else is going to run away or if they are being treated badly or abused.

Childline www.childline.org.uk/get-support/ Tel: 0800 1111,
Chat online: www.childline.org.uk/get-support/1-2-1-counsellor-chat/, or
Email: www.childline.org.uk/locker/inbox/
helps children or young people in distress. Tel: 0800 1111

Silverline www.thesilverline.org.uk/ Tel: 0800 470 8090
provides information, friendship and advice for older folk.

Swaddling & slings

Safer Sleep WeekSwaddling

Some believe swaddling young babies can help them settle to sleep. Whilst we do not advise for or against swaddling, we do urge parents to follow the advice below.  If you decide to adopt swaddling, this should be done for each day and night time sleep as part of a regular routine:

  • use thin materials
  • do not swaddle above the shoulders
  • never put a swaddled baby to sleep on their front
  • do not swaddle too tight
  • check the baby’s temperature to ensure they do not get too hot

Slings

Slings and baby-carriers are useful for holding a baby hands-free, however they are not always used safely. Although there is no reliable evidence that slings are directly associated with SIDS, there have been a number of deaths worldwide where infants have suffered a fatal accident from the use of a sling. These accidents are particularly due to suffocation, and particularly in young infants.

The risk appears to be greatest when a baby’s airway is obstructed either by their chin resting on their chest or their mouth and nose being covered by a parent’s skin or clothing.

The safest baby carrier to use will keep the infant firmly in an upright position where a parent can always see their baby’s face, and ensure their airways are free. Complete guidance is available by visiting The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Download

Lullaby Trust factsheet on mattresses, bedding and cots
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/file/—–internal-documents/Fact-Sheet-Mattresses-bedding-and-cots.pdf

#safersleepweek

The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/swaddling-slings

 

Using a dummy

Safer Sleep WeekSome research suggests that it is possible that using a dummy when putting a baby down to sleep could reduce the risk of sudden infant death.

  • If you choose to use a dummy, wait until breastfeeding is well established (at up to about 4 weeks old).
  • Stop giving a dummy to your baby to go to sleep between 6 and 12 months.
  • Don’t force your baby to take a dummy or put it back in if your baby spits it out. Don’t use a neck cord.
  • Don’t put anything sweet on the dummy, and don’t offer during awake time.
  • Using an orthodontic dummy is best as it adapts to your baby’s mouth shape.
  • If you choose to use a dummy make sure it is part of your baby’s regular sleep routine.

Download

Lullaby Trust factsheet on the use of dummies
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/file/Fact-Sheet-Dummies.pdf

#safersleepweek

The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/dummies

 

A clear cot is a safer cot

Safer Sleep WeekBabies need just a few basic items for sleep: a firm flat surface and some bedding. New parents now have a massive range of baby products to choose from and it can be really confusing to know what is needed. Our advice is simple: the safest cot is a clear cot.

There is evidence to suggest that babies are at higher risk of SIDS if they have their heads covered and some items added to a cot may increase the risk of head-covering. Unnecessary items in a baby’s cot can also increase the risk of accidents. Make sure that any product you use meets the relevant British safety standard. Whilst evidence on individual items is not widely available, it makes sense to be as cautious as possible. We therefore recommend babies are slept in cots that are kept as clear as possible and specifically advise:

  • No pillows or duvets;
  • No cot bumpers;
  • No soft toys;
  • No loose bedding;
  • No products to keep a baby in one sleeping position such as wedges or straps.

We cannot comment on individual products, but would advise parents to read the safety advice when making choices. Sadly there is no product that can reduce the chance of SIDS and we would advise parents to be cautious about any product that makes such a claim.

#safersleepweek

The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/clear-cot

Mattresses and bedding

Safer Sleep WeekThe safest place for your baby to sleep is on their own sleep surface, in the same room as you, for at least the first six months. A Moses basket or cot is a safe place for a baby to sleep.

You should use a firm and flat mattress that is protected by a waterproof cover. This will help keep the mattress clean and dry, as the cover can be wiped down.  Make sure your baby’s mattress is in good condition and that it fits the Moses basket or cot properly.

It can be common to use a second-hand mattress either from friends and family, or from your previous children. There is some research that found an increased chance of SIDS when using a second-hand mattress although the link is not yet proven. To help reduce this risk, if you are using a second-hand mattress make sure the mattress you choose was previously completely protected by a waterproof cover, and then use one for your baby as well. The mattress should also still be firm and flat to keep your baby sleeping safely.

Firmly tucked in sheets and blankets (not above shoulder height) or a baby sleeping bag are safe for a baby to sleep in. Be sure to remove any soft toys from the cot before each sleep period. Sleep your baby in the feet-to-foot position and avoid using soft or bulky bedding such as quilts, pillows and duvets.

Pillow use alone has been shown to increase the chance of SIDS occurring by up to 2.5 times, so it may be helpful to talk to one of our helpline advisers if you were thinking of using one with your baby due to concerns for plagiocephaly (or ‘flat head syndrome’). There are techniques you can use that could help plagiocephaly which will not increase the risk of SIDS.

Cot bumpers

Cot bumpers can pose the risk of an accident to your baby once they begin to roll and move about the cot. There have been a number of cases in the UK and abroad where infants have become entangled in the ties and material, or fallen from pulling themselves up on the bumpers. A simple mattress in your cot with no loose bedding or bumpers is the safest sleeping place for a baby.

Download

The Lullaby Trust factsheet on mattresses and bedding
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/file/—–internal-documents/Fact-Sheet-Mattresses-bedding-and-cots.pdf

#safersleepweek

The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/mattresses-and-bedding

Breastfeeding

Safer Sleep WeekAny breastfeeding, even for a few days, is better than none, but most authorities including the Department of Health now recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed for at least six months. The Department also recommends that that breastfeeding is continued, with the addition of appropriate weaning foods, for as long as the mother and baby want.

Breastfed babies have a lower chance of SIDS

As long ago as 1965 it was shown that babies under 3 months who died of SIDS were less likely to be breastfed than infants who did not die. Since then, numerous studies have supported the protective effects of breastfeeding, with one overview report concluding that breastfeeding reduces the incidence of SIDS by approximately half.

Even a brief period of breastfeeding can be protective for your baby. It has been shown that both partial and exclusive breastfeeding have been associated with a lower SIDS rate, but that exclusive breastfeeding was associated with the lowest risk.

Download:

#safersleepweek

The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/breastfeeding

 

 

Keep your baby smoke free

Safer Sleep WeekKeep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth

Scientific evidence shows that around 30% of sudden infant deaths could be avoided if mothers didn’t smoke when they were pregnant. Taken together with the risks of smoking around a baby at home, this means that smoking could be linked to 60% of sudden infant deaths.

  • Both you and your partner should try not to smoke during pregnancy and after the birth
  • Smoking both during pregnancy and after your baby is born greatly increases the chance of SIDS, and your baby can be affected by either you or your partner smoking
  • You should also keep your baby out of smoky areas – Don’t let people smoke near your baby and keep your home, car, and other places your baby spends time, smoke free
  • If you or your partner smoke, you should not share a bed with your baby as this greatly increases the chance of SIDS even if you do not smoke in the bedroom

If you smoke 1-9 cigarettes a day during pregnancy you are more than 4 times as likely to have a baby die as a sudden infant death than a woman who didn’t smoke at all during pregnancy.

Even if you did smoke when you were pregnant, you should still try not to expose your baby to smoke after birth as this can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death. Quitting smoking is not easy and will require a lot of discipline, but it is an effort worth making.

For free advice and support to quit smoking call Kent Community Heath now on 0300 123 1220, fill in their online form, text ‘quit’ to 87023 or call at Ashford’s One You shop in Park Mall www.kentcht.nhs.uk/our-services/health-improvement/stop-smoking/

#safersleepweek

The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/smoking