NHS and Healthy Living

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The School Nursing Service is delivered by the Royal Bolton Hospital Foundation Trust and provides access to health services for children and young people who attend Bolton schools. The School Nurse provides -

  • A confidential drop in service over lunch time once a week
  • It aims to offer health advice relating to physical, emotional and sexual health.
  • One to one support for young people with health concerns
  • Deliver health promotion
  • Co-ordinate Year 10 immunisations
  • Child protection interventions for vulnerable children and young people

They are based at the Castle Hill Centre in Bolton, the telephone number is 01204 463563, or have a look at their website - School Nursing, Bolton NHS FT 

 

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Caring for young kids can be exhausting, but eating the right foods will give you energy. If your kids see you eating a healthy diet, they are more likely to follow your example.

The Eatwell plate shows the different types of food adults and children over five need to eat to have a healthy and well-balanced diet. Children under the age of five need a diet that is higher in fat and lower in fibre than this, but they should still have a good variety of fruit and veg.

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Base your meals on starchy foods -

Choose whole grains and potatoes with skin where possible which have more fibre, vitamins and minerals. Remember starchy foods contain fewer than half the calories of fats per gram

Eat more fruit and vegetables –

Choose a variety of fruit and vegetables as they contain different combinations of vitamins and minerals. Fresh, frozen, tinned and 100% fruit juices all count! Try grating vegetables like carrots and courgettes into bolognaise or add lots of vegetables to homemade tomato sauce and blend.

Eat more fish -

Aim for at least two portions per week and one of these should be oily –

  • Remember that one portion of fish is approximately 140g cooked weight.
  • Oily fish are one of the only natural food sources of vitamin D, important for bone health. Oily fish includes salmon, fresh tuna, sardines, mackerel and trout.
  • Choose from fresh, frozen, smoked and canned, but remember that smoked fish contains salt, and canned can do, so check labels and pick lower salt varieties.

Cut down on saturated fat and sugar –

  • Although we need some fat in our diet (to provide the essential fatty acids and aid the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K), too much fat may lead to weight gain, as fat provides 9 calories per gram, more than double that from carbohydrates and protein.       
  • Replace saturated fats from butter, lard, pastries, cream, pies and cheese (which can increase your blood cholesterol levels) with unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, oily fish and avocados.
  • Too much sugar, especially between meals can increase risk of tooth decay and will add extra calories so limit your added sugar intake! If you get a sweet craving try having fruit instead, helping you to achieve your 5-a-day!

Eat less salt, adults should eat no more than 6 g per day and children should have even less –

  • A high salt intake is associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure which puts you at a greater risk of developing a stroke or heart disease.
  • Most of our salt intake comes from processed foods rather than salt added during cooking or at the table, so always check food labels for the salt content!
  • When comparing foods, a high salt content is more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium). Low is 0.3g salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium).
  • Try using extra herbs, spices, citrus juices (lemon and lime), mustard or vinegar to flavour foods so you can use less salt in your recipes.

Don't get thirsty –

  • Aim for 8-10 glasses of fluid per day. Water is the best choice as it hydrates you without adding any extra calories to your daily intake.
  • Most types of drink count including water, tea, coffee, soft drinks, milk, fruit juice and smoothies, but try to avoid added sugar in your drinks as this can increase risk of dental decay.
  • Alcohol does not count because it makes you pass urine more frequently and contributes to dehydration rather than hydration!

Don't skip breakfast –

  • A healthy breakfast can provide fibre, calories, vitamins and minerals important for health. Choose wholegrain cereals, porridge or wholemeal toast with fruit for a healthy start to the day.

(Information from the British Nutrition Foundation website - https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/healthyeating/8tips.html)

Sleep

How lack of sleep can affect children -

Evidence shows that night time sleep is just as important as healthy eating and exercise for children and teenagers to develop. Those who don't get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight. This is because they tend to crave and eat sugary or starchy food during the day to give them energy to stay awake.

The key to how much is enough sleep is whether a child gets up fairly easily in the morning, is alert and happy for most of the day, and is not grumpy.

Are you having trouble dragging your teenager out of bed in time for school (or even lunchtime!)?

If so, follow these tips to help your teenager sleep better -

Talk to your teenager about their sleep problems – are they worried about something?

Promote the benefits of good sleep - it has proven advantages for memory and performance.

A minimum of eight to nine hours' good sleep on school nights is recommended for teens. These are hours of sleep based on age, as recommended by the Millpond Children's Sleep Clinic:11 years - 9 hours, 30 minutes12/13 years - 9 hours, 15 minutes14/15/16 years – 9 hours

Exercise for better sleep -

Regular exercise helps you sleep more soundly, as well as improving your general health. Teenagers should be aiming for at least 60 minutes every day, including activities such as fast walking and running.

Cut out the caffeine to beat insomnia -

Too much caffeine stops them falling asleep and prevents deep sleep -contained in drinks such as Monster drinks, cola, tea and coffee.

Don't binge before bedtime -

Eating too much or too little close to bedtime may prevent sleep, due to an overfull or empty stomach. This can be a cause of discomfort throughout the night.

Bedtime routines are a great sleep aid -

Doing the same things in the same order an hour or two before slumber time can help them drift off to sleep.

Is the bedroom sleep-friendly?

Ideally a room that is dark, cool, quiet, safe and comfortable.

Limit screens in the bedroom -

Don't have a mobile, tablet, TV or computer in the bedroom, as the light from the screen interferes with sleep. A music system is preferable.

Get a comfy bed -

Ensure they have a comfortable bed or mattress. If it's time to get a new one, encourage them to choose it.

'The Good-Night Guide for Children (PDF, 332kb) from The Sleep Council has tips for teenagers on how to choose the right bed.'

Good sleep habits last a lifetime

Remember, habits learned in adolescence often become lifetime habits, so make sure they learn good sleep habits early and they'll last a lifetime.

 

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Exercise

Exercise doesn't have to be team sport, here are some ideas -

  • Walk
  • Cycle
  • Swimming
  • Roller skating, rollerblading, scooters or skateboarding, indoors or outside
  • Do an activity challenge together, such as working towards a fun run or a walk for charity
  • Take the dog for a walk.
  • Support your kids in sports, clubs or any other activities that may interest them
  • Find time at weekends to do something active with your children –play frisbee/ fly a kite/throw and catchfootball/cricket/rounders in the park/trampolining/indoor rock climbing/walk along a promenade or up a hill/peak/mountaingardening

Parents' Survival Guide to Understanding Young Minds

Parenting isn't always easy. Although it's often amazing and rewarding to watch your children grow, and to help them learn to be independent, it can also be really hard work.

If you think your child is unhappy or if you are worried about their behaviour, it's easy to be hard on yourself and think you aren't doing a good job.

You and Your Child

Make sure they know you love them and are proud of them

A word or hug can reassure them. Praise them for what they do well, and encourage them to try new thingsBe honest about your feelings – you don't have to be perfect. We all get things wrong and shout or say unkind things from time to time. If this happens, say sorry to your child afterwards and explain why it happened. They will learn from you that it's OK to make mistakes and that it doesn't make you a bad person

Be clear about what is and isn't acceptable and tell them why -

Children need to know what is OK and what isn't, and what will happen if they cross the line. Follow through on what you say as otherwise they may get confused or stop respecting the boundaries

Own your own role –

You are the parent, so don't be afraid to take tough decisions. If your child sees you are scared of their reaction and always give in to them, it can make them feel very powerful, which can be frightening. Children need to know that you are there to keep them safe.

Helping Your Child

Worrying or difficult behaviour -

All children go through stages of feeling anxious or angry and they can show this in lots of ways, for example, tantrums, crying, sleeping problems or fighting with friends or siblings.

Talk to your child -

Even young children can understand about feelings and behaviour if you give them a chance to talk about it. Take it gently and give them examples of what you mean. Let them know you are concerned about them, and are there if they need you. Sending an email or a text can work better if this is the way your child likes to communicate

Ask your child what they think would help –

They often have good ideas about solving their own problems. If you can, talk to your child's other parent about your worries, when the child is not around - they might have a different take on what's going on. Try to deal with the behaviour together so you are using the same approach, children are quick to spot if parents disagree, and can try and use this to get their own way

Seek more advice on when to think about getting professional help, and what to do, if you are concerned about your child's behaviour.

Looking After Yourself

Don't be too hard on yourself or blame yourself -

Although it can be upsetting and worrying if your child is having a bad time, and it makes your relationship with them feel more stressful, you are not a bad parent. Children often take it out on those closest to them, so you might be feeling the effect of their very powerful emotions

If you had a difficult time growing up yourself -

Emotional or mental health problems, it can be very worrying to think that the same thing might happen to your child. But the love you show them and the fact that you are trying to help will make a difference. Getting help for them and for yourself too can give them the best chance of feeling better

If things are getting you down -

It's important to recognise this. Talk to someone you trust and see what they think. Many people go on struggling with very difficult situations because they feel they should be able to cope, and don't deserve any help

Friends and family can often help –

Don't be afraid to ask them to have your child for a bit if you need some time out to sort out your own stuff. You can repay them when things get better for you

Take some time for yourself -

You might be too busy, tired or hard up for exercise or hobbies, but even a night in with a friend, a DVD or your favourite dinner can helpSeek help - go to your GP if things are really getting on top of you. Asking for some support from your doctor or a referral to a counselling service is a sign of strength. You can't help your child if you are not being supported yourself.

Information from the Young Minds website (01/06/15) - http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/parents_guide

 

Hygiene

Children will follow the example of their parents/carers, so adults should lead by example. Maintaining correct hygiene will allow your child to be independent, lessen the likelihood of bullying if they are kept clean and tidy and will also mean less incidences of illness and therefore fewer absences for child and parent/carer. Teenagers need to wash daily and to have a clean shirt 2-3 times a week. Hair needs to be washed regularly.

Hand Washing is the most important factor relating to the spread of infection. Fungal infections i.e. Athlete's foot and ringworms are less likely to spread if hands are washed.

Children should be encouraged to wash their hands -

  • before eating
  • after using the toilet
  • after handling animals
  • if they are ill
  • if they are spending time with a newborn

Children should be taught how to effectively wash their hands –

  • wash between the fingers
  • clean under the nails, use of a nail brush if needed
  • dry hands properly
  • use an individual towel if they have an infection

Nail biting should be discouraged, particularly if the nails are being swallowed. The nails and nail beds offer a perfect environment for germs to live and breed permitting the transfer of bugs to the mouth, which can then lead to the digestive tract causing many problems.

Keeping nails short will help to reduce the amount of germs under the nail.