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Charity reveals child death risks

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shortage of health workers for childrenThe risk of death for children in countries that have a shortage of health workers is five times higher than in other parts of the world, a charity has warned.

Countries where child poverty is high such as Chad and Somalia are bottom of a list by Save the Children ranking the best and worst places in the world that a child can fall sick.

The rate of death for the bottom 20 countries in the index, which have just over two health workers for every 1,000 people, is five times higher than those further up the table, according to Save the Children.

The UK lies in 14th position in the index while Switzerland and Finland are at the top and Ireland is the third best. Other countries in the top 20 include Norway, Belarus and the United States. Countries in the bottom 20 also include Laos, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

The research looked at 161 countries and measured how many health workers there are in a country, how good their access was to people who need them and how much of an impact the health workers had.

School lessons too easy - pupils claim

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lessons could be too easy for many primary and secondary school pupils, a study has found.

class roomResearch by the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE) looked at a poll of 8,000 pupils. They were asked about life at their school and the lessons taught under the national curriculum.

Pupils were given the statement "lessons are often too difficult for me" and asked whether they agreed with it or disagreed.

A fifth (20%) of primary school pupils aged eight-11 strongly disagreed. Slightly less (16%) of secondary pupils (11-18) expressed the same view.

The researchers concluded that lessons may be too easy in some cases, although the survey could just mean children "found lessons appropriately difficult". The cleverest children may be more likely to feel they are not being challenged, the experts said.

Off-licences 'link' to underage drinkers

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The number of off-licences in an area is directly linked to the number of youngsters taken to hospital with drink-related problems, a charity has warned.

Underage drinkingAlcohol Concern has called on the Government to look at the number of off-licences in areas in England after a study found "statistical links" between the number of stores in an area and the amount of underage drinkers taken to hospital after drinking too much.

For every two stores selling drink per 100,000 people in an area, one person under the legal drinking age of 18 had been taken to hospital with drink-related problems, the study found.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of the West of England, found that nearly one in ten of all drink-related hospital admissions for under-18s in England were directly linked to the number of off-license in their area.

Don Shenker, Alcohol Concern chief executive, said: "It is a sobering thought that the numbers of off-licences in any one area has an impact on under-18s drinking and ending up in hospital.

"It is a failing of the current system that so many licences are being granted without due consideration to young people's health"

Health warning over pre-packed lunches

Monday, September 5, 2011

Eating healthy food is important to ensure your body has everything it needs to be happy and strong, so avoiding sweets at lunchtime is a good idea.

healthy vegetablesThe more fruit and vegetables you eat, the better you will be able to do gym or run about with your friends in the playground.

You might even notice that you concentrate on your class work better if you eat good food.

For those of you who take a packed lunch to school: check what is in your lunch box. Do you have stuff which is already in a packet (something that is not home-made)? If so, you could be eating too much sugar or too much salt, or both.

Some clever scientists have worked out that for every five lunch boxes, four of them will contain something pre-packaged (like a mini-pack of biscuits or cheese) and which contains too many bad ingredients which can affect your health.

Often, your lunch food which has not been made from scratch (it usually then comes in a packet) is the most unhealthy thing for you to eat.

Perhaps you should ask whoever prepares your packed lunch to think more about how healthy the food is which they are giving you to take to school every day.

For children aged five, just one item of pre-packaged food can fill them with about half the amount of salt they are supposed to take for a whole day, and about a quarter of the sugar needed - so it can be quite unhealthy.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?- the group behind the research - , said: "These products might seem like handy fillers for your child's lunchbox, but they can be bad for their health and your wallet.

"You're better off making your own children's lunches or giving them school dinners which are much more nutritionally balanced."

Some schools 'can improve safety'

Friday, September 2, 2011

Do you feel safe when you're sitting in the classroom or making friends with other pupils at break time?

school crossingOfsted inspectors found that 21% of schools in England had room for improvement on safety issues after being found to only rate as satisfactory at "safeguarding", or keeping their children safe.

However a union leader has spoken out over the findings of the Ofsted Safeguarding in Schools: Best Practice report and the way it had defined "satisfactory", calling it "seriously misleading".

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), suggested that schools given a rating of satisfactory were fulfilling the expectations placed upon them.

The report investigated how schools could help boost safety for pupils on an everyday basis, and 19% of schools were rated "outstanding" for their safeguarding efforts.

The report concludes that almost all schools are taking "a careful and responsible approach to their safeguarding arrangements".

But adds: "On the other hand, safeguarding arrangements in 21% of schools were only satisfactory overall, indicating the need for considerable improvement."