Sheffield Children’s supports public call to unite in the fight to improve child health

Child Health Day logo - large hand holding smaller hand
06 September 2019

Doctors and academics are uniting to encourage the public to take decisive action to improve child health.

Sheffield Children’s has worked with a range of supporters to launch Child Health Day on 9 September, which is bringing together parents, professionals and organisations to raise awareness about the health issues affecting children and how people can take action to give children the future they deserve.

Across the UK a combination of avoidable health problems in early life, underfunding of prevention work and a lack of focus on children’s healthcare is leaving a generation of children to have future marred by ill health.

Dr Edward Snelson, paediatric consultant at Sheffield Children’s Hospital said: “Lifetime health is influenced early on – factors such as air quality, availability of healthy foods and housing can play a huge role, as does specialist medical care and education around healthy living.

“Children’s health impacts the quality of their childhood, health as an adult and impacts society from the cost of healthcare to the child’s opportunity to access education and employment.

“While the steps to preserve child health are often simple and achievable, it depends on everyone playing their part – everyone can make a personal contribution to building a healthier future.

“Child Health Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the conditions affecting our children today – such as diabetes, obesity, asthma, allergies and mental health – and what we can do together to help address these issues. Whether it’s a big organisational change or a personal pledge – everyone can play their part.”

Through innovation, investment and by providing a voice to children and young people – children’s health issues can be addressed. Whether this is new technology to help diagnosis or recovery, investment in housing or education or listening to what children need to help shape policy or process, action can be taken to prevent a future child health crisis.

Organisations and individuals can pledge to make a difference and help make children’s health better, starting now.

Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said:

“The health of today’s children and young people will be one of the key factors determining whether the UK is healthy and prosperous over the next 50 years. But there are significant challenges.

“We are living in unprecedented times with entrenched inequality and poverty and numerous public health problems from mental health to obesity. There has never been a more important time for parents, professionals and the public to unite in the fight to improve child health. Whether organisations support greener and cleaner ways of working and travelling, or families build more time to eat healthily and exercise into their day, I urge everyone to play their part, no matter how big or small. Collectively we can make a sizable difference.”

The organisers of Child Health Day are encouraging members of the public, professionals and organisations to pledge for a healthier future.

These pledges are designed to give practical ways of helping, with pledges to address a range of key health issues including diabetes and obesity, asthma and allergies or mental health issues. Changes to lifestyle can help reduce air pollution, improve children’s diets, provide better access to exercise and improve support for emotional wellbeing.

Visit www.childhealthday.co.uk and pledge to give children the healthier future they deserve.

 

 

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