Number of children getting enough physical activity drops by 40%

Change4Life together with Disney and Sport England launches ’10 minute shake up’ campaign to help get children more active.

The number of children meeting the recommended amount of physical activity for healthy development and to maintain a healthy weight, 60 minutes a day, drops by 40% as they move through primary school.

A new survey from Public Health England (PHE) and Disney looked at the effects of physical activity on children’s emotional wellbeing, and found:

  • being active made the majority of 5 to 11 year olds feel happier (79%), more confident (72%), and more sociable (74%), according to their parents
  • nearly all children said they liked being active (93%)
  • the main motivations for kids to be more active was having friends to join in (53%) and having more activities they liked to choose from (48%)
  • children’s overall happiness declines with age; 64% of 5 and 6 year olds said they always feel happy, compared to just 48% of 11 year olds
  • 19% of children said they were less active due to a lack of sports or activities they enjoyed

More information:

Programs that teach emotional intelligence in schools have lasting impact

Social and emotional learning programs for youth not only immediately improve mental health, social skills, and learning outcomes but also continue to benefit children years later | ScienceDaily


Social-emotional learning teaches children to recognize and understand their emotions, feel empathy, make decisions and build and maintain relationships. Previous research has shown that incorporating these programs into the classroom improves learning outcomes and reduces anxiety and behavioural problems among students. Some schools have incorporated social-emotional learning programs — like MindUP and Roots of Empathy — into classrooms while other school systems, including the new B.C. curriculum, embrace it more systemically.

The new study analyzed results from 82 different programs involving more than 97,000 students from kindergarten to middle school in the U.S., Europe and the U.K. where the effects were assessed at least six months after the programs completed. The researchers found that social-emotional learning continued to have positive effects in the classroom but was also connected to longer-term positive outcomes.

Students who participated in programs graduated from college at a rate 11 per cent higher than peers who did not. Their high school graduation rate was six per cent higher. Drug use and behaviour problems were six per cent lower for program participants, arrest rates 19 per cent lower, and diagnoses of mental health disorders 13.5 per cent lower.

Child sexual exploitation: prevention and intervention

Evidence summary and framework to support local public health leaders to prevent and intervene early in cases of child sexual exploitation.

This report summarises the emerging evidence from the UK on the issue of child sexual exploitation. It provides practice examples to support local public health leaders to establish a public health framework for prevention and intervention.

The literature search is a summary of the latest international research about effective interventions to prevent child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation.

Suicide in children and young people linked to bereavement, new report finds

National suicide study also calls for better support for students, internet safety and services for children who self-harm.

The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Health Illness (NCISH)  has published Suicide by children and young people: National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness.

This report examines findings from a range of investigations, such as coroner inquests, into the deaths by suicide of people aged under 25 between January 2014 and December 2015 in England and Wales, extracting information about the stresses they were facing when they died.

  • The report emphasises the emotional impact of bereavement on young people and recommends that bereavement support should be widely available.
  • The researchers call on universities to do more to promote mental health on campus and support students who may be at risk.
  • The study identifies the treatment of self-harm as the most important service response in preventing suicide in young people.

Additional link: HQIP press release

How Early do Social Determinants of Health Begin to Operate?

From a life course perspective, important insights about how social determinants of health operate can be gained by analyzing the various forms that social climate can take in different life periods | Journal of Pediatric Nursing



  • Perceptions of power imbalance and exclusion affect children’s self-rated health as early as elementary school.
  • Social exclusion in school is associated with lower odds of “excellent or very good” or “good” self-rated health.
  • Rejection from peers is a more important determinant of children’s self-rated health than is physical aggression.

Full reference: Zhang, A. et al. (2017) How Early do Social Determinants of Health Begin to Operate? Results From the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. Published online: 10th July 2017

Hepatitis B vaccine to be added to childhood immunisation schedule

All babies born from the 1st of August in the UK will receive the hepatitis B vaccine as part of their routine immunisation schedule. The vaccine will be added to the 5-in-1 vaccine that is already given to protect from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and Hib | OnMedica


The move brings the UK into line with other countries which began to offer the vaccine after the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended in 1992 that babies should be immunised against the virus.

It is hoped that offering the hexavalent vaccine will drive down viral infections that cause cirrhosis and liver cancer. In children, the virus can linger for years causing serious liver damage.

Sema Mandal, a consultant in immunisation, hepatitis and blood safety at Public Health England (PHE), told The Guardian that the vaccine had been used widely and safely for many years, with about 150 million doses given to children since 2000.

Read the full overview here


Millions of children in England living vulnerable or high risk lives

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, is today (Tuesday 4 July) publishing new analysis that reveals, for the first time, the scale of vulnerability among children in England.

  • Almost 700,000 children are living in families that have vulnerabilities, including over 15,000 children living with an adult receiving alcohol treatment and nearly 12,000 living with an adult in drug treatment.
  • 580,000 children – equivalent to the population of Manchester – are so vulnerable that the state has to step in and provide direct care, intervention or support.
  • 370,000 children whose actions have put their futures at risk, including 160,000 children temporarily or permanently excluded from school in England.
  • 800,000 children aged 5 to 17 suffer mental health disorders.
  • 200,000 children are judged by their local authority to have experienced trauma or abuse.
  • An estimated 46,000 children are thought to be part of a gang.
  • 119,000 children are homeless or living in insecure or unstable housing.
  • 170,000 children are estimated to do unpaid caring for family members, of which many have not been identified and offered support.
  • 1,200 children are newly identified victims of modern slavery per year.

Full report available here