KEY TOPICS (0-5)

Here you will find a range of key topics that will assist you with a child or children who are aged between newborn and 5 years.


Click on one of the key topics below to go to the relevant section.

Accident Prevention


According to NHS figures, 40,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital following an accident, and large numbers of these accidents are preventable. There are some precautions you can take to protect your little one from some of the most common accidents that affect young children. For further guidance on accident prevention please take a look at Baby and toddler safety and Accidents to children.

For further information, take a look at the following links:

Preventing accidents in the home
Safety advice
Keeping your child safe in the car
Safety equipment
Choking prevention
How to help a choking child
How to resuscitate a child
Safe sleep

Allergies/Anaphylaxis


According to the NHS allergies are very common. It is thought that they affect more than 1 in 4 people within the UK at some point in their lives. Allergies are particularly common in children, however some allergies go away as a child gets older, while many are lifelong. Having an allergy can be an irritation, especially if it impacts on everyday activities, but most allergic reactions are mild and can be largely kept under control. Severe reactions, anaphylaxis, can occasionally occur, but these are uncommon. If a child has severe allergies they are likely to be prescribed a pen. For more information and downloadable factsheets by Allergy UK please, click here.

For further information, take a look at the following links:

NHS – Allergies
Symptoms of anaphylaxis
Food allergy
Advice for schools
EpiPen – Kidzone

Anxiety & Self-Esteem


Children and young people are no different to adults. They can feel worried and anxious at times. However, if your child’s anxiety is starting to affect their wellbeing and you are noticing a considerable change in their mood and behaviour, they may need help to overcome it. If you would like some advice on supporting an anxious child, please click here.
When a child has healthy self-esteem, they are positive about themselves and about their life. Healthy self-esteem helps children to deal with problems they may encounter as part of normal day to day life. Children with low self-esteem have low resilience to coping with problems and can appear very negative. If you are concerned about your child’s self-esteem and you would some advice around raising their self-esteem, click here.

For more information, click the following links:

Separation anxiety
Managing anxiety
Building self-esteem
Sibling rivalry

Child Seat Safety


It is a good idea to buy a car seat before your baby is born; you will need the car seat to drive your newborn home safely. The ROSPA explains that the safest way for children to travel in cars is in a child car seat that is suitable for their weight and size and is correctly fitted in the car. For their advice with choosing the right car seat please click here. As your child grows it is important to ensure they are still in the correct fitting car seat. For further advice and information regarding the law, click here.

For more information, click the following links:

Good car seat safety
Child car seats and the law
Seat belts and the law
In-car safety

Further information:

Rear facing for longer
Rear-facing car seat video
Fatal contradiction study
Further supportive info for rear-facing:
Why Rear Facing: the Science Junkie’s Guide
High Backed Boosters- continue to use over 135cm and why
Car Seat Advice (carseatadvice-uk.com)

Common Children’s Health Conditions


If you would like some information and advice about the most common infectious illnesses in children please click here. If you have concerns about your baby’s/ child’s health, take a look at the information within our what to do in an emergency page.

Eczema
Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. It often appears on the face, behind the ears, and in the creases of the neck, knees and elbows. Atopic eczema is more common in children, often developing before their first birthday. But it may also develop for the first time in adults. For more information on eczema and its treatment please click here.

Additional Information:
British Skin Foundation
National Eczema Society

Impetigo
According to the British Skin Foundation impetigo is a bacterial infection of the surface of the skin. This bacterial infection is the most common skin infection seen in young children but is also seen in people of any age. It can pass from person to person through skin-to-skin contact or via bedding, clothing, and towels and therefore can spread rapidly. For more information on the cause of impetigo and its treatment please click here.

Additional Information:
NHS – Impetigo

Epilepsy
The main symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures. These are sudden bursts of electrical activity in the brain that temporarily affect how it functions. Seizures can affect people in different ways, depending on which part of the brain is involved. If you are a young person with epilepsy, Epilepsy Action has some great advice and support for you. Click here for more information.

Additional Information:
Newly diagnosed
Support for schools
Just for kids
Information for parents of children with epilepsy

Diabetes


Type 1 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition where your blood glucose level is too high because your body cannot make a hormone called insulin. Caring for a child who has diabetes can be challenging at times. Diabetes UK has some helpful advice for parents on how to care for a child with diabetes, as well as great advice for young people in managing their diabetes. For more advice and support please click here.

For more information, click the following links:

Diabetes in schools
My life
Physical activity
NHS – Type 1 diabetes in children

Feeding Advice


BreastfeedingBreastfeeding is a skill that takes time to develop. Many parents worry their baby is not getting enough milk during the first few days and weeks. It can sometimes take a little time for both you and your baby to establish breastfeeding. As your confidence grows you will most likely find breastfeeding easy and a satisfying way to feed your baby. Start4life and the NHS have lots of helpful information and advice on breastfeeding. If you have any breastfeeding worries or concerns please contact your health visitor for support and advice.

As with breastfeeding, many parents who bottle-feed take this time to quietly sit with their baby and enjoy loving eye contact as they feed. This helps in developing a strong bond and attachment between baby and caregiver.

Formula feeding – If you’re planning to bottle feed with expressed breast milk or infant formula, Start4Life has useful bottle feeding advice, which will help keep your baby safe and healthy. Your baby’s immune system is not as strong as yours at this stage. Bottles, teats and other feeding equipment must be thoroughly washed and sterilised before each feed.

Many parents take this time to quietly sit with their baby and enjoy loving eye contact as they feed. This helps in developing a strong bond and attachment between baby and caregiver.

For more information, click the following links:

Types of infant formula
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding positions and attachment

Benefits of breastfeeding
Common breastfeeding problems
Expressing and bottle feeding
Breastfeeding in public
Making up infant formula
Common questions about formula milk
Start4Life bottle feeding advice

Good Sleep


Babies – Some babies sleep much more than others. Some babies sleep through the night and other babies wake frequently throughout the night. Your baby will have their own pattern of waking and sleeping, and this can be challenging at times. For some useful tips to help your baby get used to the difference between night and day, click here. For information on safe sleep, please click here.

Children – Sleep is essential to children’s health and growth. Sleep promotes alertness, memory, and performance. When a child gets the right amount of sleep they are more likely to be alert and active and are less prone to behavioral problems. That is why it is important for parents/carers to help their child to develop good sleep habits from an early age. The NHS has some healthy sleep tips for children and guidance on how much sleep children need. A relaxing bedtime routine is one important way to help your child get a good night’s sleep. The Sleep Council has Seven Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep, as well as other great advice for parents.

For more information, click the following links:

Eight months and still awake
Sleep advice scenarios
Safe sleep

Hearing and Vision


Hearing – You will be offered a routine hearing test for your newborn baby before leaving the hospital. Serious hearing problems during childhood are rare, however, early testing ensures that any problems are identified and managed as early as possible. During your child’s health reviews, carried out by our nursery nurses or health visitors, you may be asked whether you have any concerns about your child’s hearing, and a hearing test can be arranged if necessary. Your child’s hearing can also be checked at other times if you have any concerns. Please speak to your GP if you are worried about your child’s hearing.

Vision – You will be offered a routine vision screen for your newborn baby before leaving the hospital. Serious vision problems during childhood are rare, however, early screening ensures that any problems are identified and managed as early as possible. During your child’s health reviews carried out by our nursery nurses or health visitors, you may be asked whether you have any concerns about your child’s eyesight. In Hull and the East Riding children will be seen by an Orthoptist prior to or in the year that they start school for a vision test. Free NHS eye tests are also available at opticians for children under sixteen and for young people under nineteen in full-time education.

For more information, click the following links:

Hearing tests for children
Glue ear
Earache and pain
Eye tests for children
Childhood cataracts
Lazy eye
Squint

Helping your child to learn to talk


As your baby begins to grow it is important to develop their early language skills. There are lots of activities parents and carers can do to stimulate and encourage early speech and language development. Language development is such an important skill for their learning, socialising and understanding of the world around them. However, learning to talk is also one of the most complex skills that a child has to learn. It is not uncommon for some children to struggle a little to put the building blocks together, and need a little more help. For some useful advice on ways you can encourage a child’s language development, click here. Your local Children’s Centre also provides lots of activities and playgroups that could help your child’s development, such as Talk Time. To find your nearest Children’s Centre, click here.

If your child is attending nursery and you have concerns regarding their speech and language development, you could discuss these with the nursery staff. Many nurseries can offer additional support or can make a referral for specialist support. You can also discuss your concerns with one of our Nursery Nurses or Health Visitors. Portage is a home visiting early educational service for families who have a baby or young child (0-5 years) with additional needs. Portage workers work in partnership with parents to help them to teach their child new skills. Referrals are received through the Early Years Support Team. For more information please click here.

For more information, click the following links:

Your baby’s development
Communication and play
Speech and language difficulties
Speech and language tips

Immunisation


One of the best ways to protect a child against diseases like measles, tetanus, meningitis, and rubella is through immunisation. Their first injections start at eight weeks of age, then 12 weeks, 16 weeks and one year. If you would like to know more about your baby’s vaccination schedule, please click here. It is important that children’s immunisations are given on time for the best protection. If your child is under five, and you think they may have missed a vaccine, please contact your GP and they can arrange for them to be brought up to date. If your child is school age, and you think they may have missed a vaccination, please contact our immunisation team. If you would like more information about the full UK immunisation schedule please click here.

For more information, click the following links:

Vaccination tips for parents
Why vaccination is safe and important

Introducing Solid Foods and Healthy Eating


Introducing your little one to solid foods should start when your baby is around six months of age. It is not important how much your baby eats at the start, rather it is about introducing them to the idea of eating. Remember they will still be getting most of what they require from breast milk or first infant formula. When your child starts solid foods it can be an anxious time, as many parents/carers worry about the risk of choking. Although this is unlikely, always stay with your baby when they are eating in case they start to choke. Here is some advice on how to help a choking child. It is very important to introduce little ones to a variety of tastes and textures and allow them to experiment and play with their food; this is the way they learn. In time your child will naturally increase the amount they eat. Eventually, your little one will be able to eat the same foods as the rest of the family, but in smaller portions.

As your child grows it is important to explain to them about having a balance in their diet. To learn more about healthy eating for all ages take a look at the NHS Eatwell Guide. For some healthy snack and meal ideas please take a look at Start4life and Change4life.

For more information, click the following links:

Watch our ‘Introducing Solid Foods’ video
What is weaning?

Safe weaning
Foods to avoid giving babies and young children
Tips to help your baby enjoy new foods
Food facts
Fussy Eaters

New Parent Advice


Becoming a new parent is exciting, but it can also be challenging, so you are bound to have questions. Click here for everything you need to know about caring for your new baby during those first few weeks.

For more information, click the following links:

Services and support for new parents
Smoking
Your baby’s vaccination schedule
Breastfeeding advice
Going back to work
Perinatal Mental Health Support
East Riding health and wellbeing support
Babies Cry, You Can Cope – ICON

Oral Health


We recommend that you start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they come through. You can use a baby toothbrush with a very small smear of fluoride toothpaste. A regular teeth-cleaning routine at home is essential to ensure good oral health and hygiene. For tooth brushing tips for children of all ages please click here. They should also be taken to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear, so they become familiar with the environment and get to know their dentist. Your dentist will recommend how often you should bring your child for their dental check-up. The dentist can advise parents/carers on how to prevent decay and identify any dental problems early.

NHS dental care for children is free within the UK. For more information on accessing a local dentist click here.

For more information, click the following links:

Watch our ‘Your Baby’s Dental Health’ video
How to look after your children’s teeth

Be sugar smart
Sugar swaps
Looking after your baby’s teeth

Play and Development


Children love to play and it is the best way for them to learn about the world around them. Through play, children develop the skills they need as they grow up, including how to communicate, socialise and negotiate with their peers. It is important that parents find time to play with their child, as this not only helps in building a close bond between a caregiver and a child but also improves their development. Finding the time can sometimes be challenging for busy parents, but as children get older they learn to entertain themselves for some of the time.

Click here for some good advice on why play is important and tips for playing with younger children. For information on local East Riding playgroups, classes and activities, click here.

For more information, click the following links:

Baby and toddler play ideas
East Riding of Yorkshire Libraries
Baby moves
Activities for toddlers
Play ideas and games

Preventing Abuse


Abuse is anything another person does that is meant to cause harm according to Childline. It is not always easy to know that abuse is happening to someone you know or a member of your family. It can be challenging to have these difficult conversations with young children and help them to understand how to keep themselves safe, but the NSPCC can help. Take a look at the PANTS rules and Pantosaurus song for more information. Young Minds also have some good advice on how parents/carers can support your child during a time of change or difficulty. If you would also like to learn more about the different types of abuse click here.

For more information, click the following links:

Online safety for the under 5s
Baby and toddler safety

Safe Sleep


It is not known why some babies die suddenly from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or cot death. Research suggests that placing your baby to sleep on their back lowers the risk. Exposing a baby to cigarette smoke or allowing them to overheat also increases the risk to a baby. SIDS is rare, so it is important this does not stop you and your family enjoying your baby’s first few weeks and months. The NHS has some great advice, so if you would like to know more about preventing SIDS please click here.

In addition, the Lullaby Trust provides parents/carers with simple steps around ways to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, along with lots of other valuable information around safe sleep, including co-sleeping with your baby.

For more information, click the following links:

Breastfeeding and SIDS
Local stop smoking support
Spotting the signs of serious illness
Room temperature
Swaddling and slings
Vaccinations and SIDS
Clear cot advice
Sharing sofas and beds with babies

Starting Nursery or School


When your child first starts nursery or school it can be a big change for the whole family and a big transition. As a parent/carer you may feel a little worried about how your child will adjust to their new environment, and make new friends. It is important to encourage your child to feel excited, even when you are a little nervous yourself. It is worth remembering that most children love nursery and school and benefit from their education and socialisation. For some tips on starting primary school that you may find helpful, click here.

For more information, click the following links:

School readiness
Starting primary school
Is my child ready for school?
School Admissions

Sun Protection


Exposing babies and children to too much sun can increase their risk of skin cancer later in life. Sunburn can also cause pain and considerable discomfort for children. The NHS recommends that all children should have their skin protected from March to October in the UK. To learn more about sun safety click here.

For more information, click the following links:

Sun safety for kids: your summer holiday guide
Sunscreen and sun safety
How to get vitamin D from sunlight
Heat exhaustion

Tantrums


It is not uncommon for toddlers to have tantrums. Temper tantrums usually start at around eighteen months of age, but it can be different for each individual child. Hitting and biting can also start around this time too. It can be really challenging for parents/carers to manage unwanted behaviour. It is helpful to remember that toddlers can often struggle to express themselves, and effectively tell us what they want or how they are feeling. This often leads to them getting very frustrated, and the frustration displays as a tantrum. If you would like some advice on managing tantrums and unwanted behaviours such as hitting and biting, click here for more information. The NSPCC also has some great advice for parents/carers on how to cope with tantrums and Take 5.

For more information, click the following links:

Dealing with child behaviour problems
Setting boundaries
Dealing with challenging behaviour when a new baby arrives
Dealing with tantrums

Toilet Training & Bladder and Bowel Issues


Using a potty is a new skill for your child to learn, so it is best to take it slowly and not put pressure on yourself or your child. It is important to go at your child’s pace and not to compare your child with others. It is only when there are signs that your child is able to control their bladder and bowels that they are physically ready to start training. The NHS has some useful advice for parents/carers about when to start potty training, how to start, and using a toilet. The Children’s Bladder and Bowel Charity (ERIC) also have some excellent potty training advice, as well as Top 10 Training Tips and Potty training children with additional needs.

If your child is a little older and you are experiencing concerns regarding daytime wetting, bedwetting or bowel problems, ERIC also provides expert advice for children and the family. If your concerns persist despite following the strategies recommended by ERIC please take your child to your GP for them to assess any potential underlying medical conditions.

For more information, click the following links:

Signs of constipation
How to treat constipation
Fun activities – ERIC
Potty training children with disabilities
ERIC helpline

Umbilical Granuloma


The Institute of Health Visiting explains that an umbilical granuloma is an overgrowth of tissue during the healing process of the belly button (umbilicus). It usually looks like a soft pink or red lump and often is wet or leaks small amounts of clear or yellow fluid. It is most common in the first few weeks of a baby’s life.

If there is no obvious infection your GP, midwife or health visitor may suggest salt treatment. For more information you can click on the button below to download the Institute of Health Visiting guidance for parents.

If the umbilical granuloma does not respond to treatment after one week see your GP, midwife, health visitor or practice nurse. The health professional will consider the need for any further treatment.

Download Guidance for Parents

Unwell Child


As a parent or carer, you know your child better than anyone else, so you are often the first person to recognise when they are unwell. If your child appears seriously unwell please contact 111 for immediate support and advice. In the case of an emergency dial 999 immediately. For further guidance on caring for an unwell child please take a look at our what to do in an emergency page, which includes Choose Well guidance, local GP surgeries and pharmacies, advice by NHS Choices about caring for a sick child, signs of sepsis, how to help a choking child, dental health and much more. If you are in need of reliable advice about common childhood illnesses and infections, please take a look at the NHS Choices website for more information.