About 6,000 UK children and young people die every year. Around two-thirds of these are aged under-five, and the majority are under the age of one. The UK has one of the worst records in Europe for deaths in this age group. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health recently launched a report about these deaths rates and concluded that the risk of such deaths was highest amongst the poorest families in the Country.Research indicates that the differences in life outcomes for children born into the poorest families are far worse than those born into the wealthiest families in the UK.
From early childhood education, right through to Secondary school, teachers are under pressure to drill reading, writing, and math deep into their students' brains -- and there are only so many hours in the school day. What is often forgotten is teaching the importance of physical activity and leading a healthy lifestyle.
In reading to my daughter when she was younger it became apparent that modern children's writing differs from the classics of my own childhood. Heidi and the Secret Garden might propel me back to the comforts of childhood, but for her fiction from the pre-TV era grated because the prose felt too descriptive.
More than six months after confirmation of the first polio case in Syria, Unicef continues to support efforts to tackle the outbreak in all parts of the country. The April nationwide polio round which started this week aims to reach 2.8million children across Syria with a special focus on hard-to-reach children in conflict zones and besieged areas...
As I woke up at 4am to do a nappy change last night, grappling with the darn thing half asleep myself and trying not to wake the sleeping baby, it suddenly dawned on me... Who would be doing this for Peaches Geldof's two boys now she has gone, and how on earth was their father Tom Cohen going to cope?
It is troubling that the 9% decline in aid spending to basic education in low income countries between 2010 and 2011 has hit 19 of the poorest countries - Tanzania amongst them. Without donor support to education as promised in 2000 at the World Education Forum in Dakar, these countries will struggle to provide the quality of education that their children deserve.
Helping the most vulnerable children is a daunting and complex task, and there will be disagreements about how to do it. But to move forward we need to keep the child at the centre, build on the progress children's centres have made and use it to make sure all children get the best start in life, healthy and supported at home.
I think it is time to prioritise child abuse as a public health issue like heart disease, smoking and obesity. These diseases get a high profile in part because they have a cost, not only in human misery but also for the economy. The NSPCC is currently researching the economic costs to the UK of child sexual abuse and it is likely that it will be billions of pounds of year.
We all want children and young people to feel safe and loved as they grow up, surrounded by people they can trust at time of innocence. Sadly for some the reality is very different. Children who become the victims of sexual predators who groom them, coerce and exploit them are left emotionally and physically scarred for life by these horrific experiences. They need careful support to help them towards recovery, provided by organisations like Barnardo's. Just as importantly, we need to take steps to stop these terrible crimes before they happen, and bring perpetrators to justice.
At Action for Children, we have reached a huge milestone - following our three-year campaign and thanks to the Ministry of Justice, the legal definition of child cruelty will include emotional as well as physical harm. This new law will change lives. I've met children and young people who have suffered intolerable emotional abuse at the hands of people who are supposed to love them most.