Tuesday, 28 August 2012

NHS Reminders for 4 Year Olds Starting School

If you have a four-year-old starting school this autumn, are you sure all their vaccinations are up-to-date? 

Hundreds of children in Kent and Medway miss out on the second jab to protect them against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Now NHS Kent and Medway is reminding parents to check that children, especially those starting school this autumn, are fully vaccinated. Dr Faiza Khan, Consultant in Public Health for NHS Kent and Medway, said: “Take-up rates for MMR immunisation in Kent and Medway are higher than the national average but we would like even more children to be protected. "While between 93.1 and 95.6 per cent of children have their first MMR dose by the time they are two, the rate for the second MMR jab, given before the fifth birthday, is between 88.9 and 91.5 per cent. "This is better than the England average of 86.9 per cent but still means around 1,200 children in Kent and 350 in Medway miss out on their second MMR vaccination each year. "It may be that parents are busy and forget about this vaccination or that they do not realise how important it is. "Both doses of the vaccination are needed to give children maximum protection against these serious diseases, and reduce the risk of outbreaks. "Parents will be thinking about everything they need to do to make sure their four-year-olds are ready for that important first day at school. As part of that, we would urge them to ensure they have had all their vaccinations.” 

The first MMR immunisation is given within one month of the child’s first birthday. The second dose should be given between the ages of three years and four months and five years, or before the child starts school. Parents of children whose MMR vaccinations are not up-to-date should make an appointment at their GP surgery. Even if your child has missed a vaccination, or is older than the recommended age, it is not too late to be immunised. For more information, please speak to your GP practice or health visiting team.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Help Marwell Wildlife name their baby giraffe!

©Jason Brown
Marwell Wildlife is asking members of the public to pick a name for their five day old giraffe. 
The youngster was born on Friday (August 17) and lucky visitors to the park in Hampshire were able to watch the birth as it happened. 
Keepers can confirm the new arrival is female and they have chosen four suitable names for the little one. 
  • Afia (which means born on a Friday)
  • Olympia (to mark the recent success of the Olympics and the approaching Paralympics)
  • Arria (meaning slender)
  • Subira (meaning the reward of patience) 
As well as having the privilege of choosing a name, voters will automatically enter a prize draw to win a giraffe adoption! 

Staff at Marwell are delighted with the calf’s progress and visitors are enjoying watching the youngster begin to gallop around her new home. 

The giraffe’s mum Isabella went into labour at around 8am and took almost four hours to give birth. 
The healthy female soon found its feet and bonded with mum instantly. 
John Pullen, curator of mammals at Marwell Wildlife said: “This is Isabella’s third birth. It went extremely well and Isabella took it all in her stride. The public were allowed to watch the birth along with keepers and other members of staff. As soon as the calf was born we closed the house to let baby and mum bond. Isabella is really well and very protective of her newborn. Baby is tall and strong and was standing an hour later and walking an hour or so after that.”

To vote for your favourite name visit www.marwell.org.uk/giraffe 

Voting closes on Tuesday August 28 at 9am.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The National Trust recruiting for Kid's Council

The National Trust has announced it is recruiting a group of advisors made
up entirely of children to provide advice on how to get more of the nation's
kids outdoors.

The idea follows the charity's recent Natural Childhood Report and 50 things
to do before you’re 11 campaign, and shows the Trust stepping up its game
in encouraging children to explore the outdoors and get closer to nature.

The National Trust is looking to sign up ten children aged between seven and
twelve to the Kids' Council* where they will play an important role in
developing the charity's outdoor campaigns, and making their properties more
fun for younger visitors.
The perfect candidate will be brimming with enthusiasm and fun, plus have a
natural love for the outdoors and fresh air. Potential applicants are also
required to have an adventurous spirit and a wild imagination. A fondness
for rolling down hills or jumping in muddy puddles would be considered a

To offer children a chance to try out the National Trust and get inspiration
on what they would like to change if they were appointed to the Kids'
Council, the Trust will open up its doors to children for free for the whole
month of August. Over 200 places will be free of charge to children**,
giving them the opportunity to explore National Trust places across the

The successful council applicants will be announced later in the year and
will be offered free access to National Trust places for themselves and
their family. Canoeing, surfing and camping are among the activities that
will be part of the winning prize to ensure kids and their families
experience the full National Trust offering. The Kids' Council will meet
throughout 2013 and report their findings into the National Trust's Visitor
Experience Director, so their suggestions can be put into practise to help
make the outdoors more fun for the nation's kids.

The application process will close on 7th September 2012. Applications can
be downloaded from the website at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kidscouncil and
sent back via email, post or handed in at National Trust properties***.

Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director of the National Trust, commented:
"We are really committed to helping kids enjoy the great outdoors and we
want to make our places the most fun and family-friendly day out
destinations in the UK. I'm really excited that our new Kids' Council will
help us do just that. Our kids go free promotion for the entire month of
August will not only give kids and their families the chance to get out and
explore, but hopefully inspire them to apply for our Kids' Council and let
us know what we can do better in the future."