New Help for parents to give Every Child in Wales the Best Possible Start

A new Public Health Wales programme, ‘Every Child Wales’, is being launched today in oder to improve the health and wellbeing of children, as new survey results reveal that parents do not always recognise when their child is overweight.

In the survey, just 4% of parents with children aged 4 to 5 described their child as being overweight for their age and height.

However, the 2015/16 Child Measurement Programme results show that just over a quarter (26%) of children aged 4 to 5 are overweight or obese in Wales.

Beaufort Research undertook a survey on behalf of Public Health Wales consisting of a total of 1,503 telephone interviews with parents and carers of children aged 0 to 5 in Wales, between 11 April and 6 June 2017, in order to gather data for this study.

Every Child Wales, which was launched at Gibbonsdown Children’s Centre in Barry, brings together lots of great information and advice to support parents in giving children a happy and healthy start in life.

A new Every Child Wales website will help parents from when they are planning their pregnancy to when their child is five.

The advice will help parents to ensure their children stay a healthy weight.

A child who is overweight at five is more likely to be obese by the time they are eight, and could grow up to develop long term health problems like type 2 diabetes or asthma.

Every Child Wales provides advice to parents on subjects like breastfeeding, how to cut down on sugary drinks, how to make sure children get enough sleep, and how to manage the amount of screen time their children have.

These are all factors that can increase the risk of a child becoming overweight or obese.

Dr Julie Bishop, Director of Health Improvement for Public Health Wales, suggested that the new initiative could have a positive impact on public health.

“Every child deserves the best possible start in life. If a child spends their early years healthy and happy, they are more likely to grow into healthy and happy adults. Many parents may not realise that their child is overweight, or they may not be aware that it’s something to take seriously. When children are a healthy weight, they feel better about themselves, and they find it easier to play and learn. Starting from birth, helping children stay a healthy weight is the best approach.”

The launch of Every Child Wales is the first stage of a long term programme of work to increase the proportion of children who start school a healthy weight.

 

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