Today marks the start of Child Accident Prevention Trust’s (CAPT) Child Safety Week 2022 (6-12 June), and iHV is delighted to be a partner and support it!

Helping families stop serious accidents lies at the heart of Child Safety Week. This year’s theme is Safety in mind and, fortunately, there are plenty of practical things we can all do to make our homes safer for children.

Being clear what the risks are at each stage of their child’s development and knowing what simple changes to make means parents can feel confident to take charge.

With the support of the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), we have updated a suite of iHV Parent Tips around safety in the home:


These iHV Parent Tips are part of a suite of helpful factsheets to help parents to find expert advice on key areas of looking after their new baby from when they are born to when they go to school. Written by experts in the field, they cover topics such as feeding, health, behaviour and development, and are based on up-to-date research and the experience and knowledge of real-life health visitors working across the UK.

The cases of Chickenpox and Scarlet Fever have been rising throughout the UK – this can be worrying for families, and it can sometimes be difficult to know when you need to see your GP or get advice from your health visitor.

We are pleased to announce we have just updated our iHV Parent Tips on Chickenpox and Scarlet Fever. These leaflets will give you advice on what to look out for, how to look after your child or baby at home, and where you can get more information and support from.

Remember, if you are worried about your child or baby, contact your health visitor, GP or call NHS 111 for advice and support.

 

We are delighted to share 5 updated Parent Tips (providing advice for parents and families) and an updated Good Practice Points resource providing up-to-date evidence and references for our members.

Updated Parent Tips

(advice to share with parents and families)

 

Updated GPPs

Please note that GPPs are available to iHV members only do remember to sign in to access them:

 


Please note that GPPs are available to iHV members only.

If you’re not a member, please join us to get access to all of our resources.

The iHV is a self-funding charity – we can only be successful in our mission to strengthen health visiting practice if the health visiting profession and its supporters join us on our journey. We rely on our membership to develop new resources for our members.

So do join us now!

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We are delighted to share 5 updated Good Practice Points, providing up-to-date evidence and references for our Associate members, and an updated Parents Tip.

Updated GPPs

This GPP outlines the principles of hearing loss and key points for HVs supporting families in suspected hearing loss in their child.

 

This GPP sets out what health visitors need to know about advising parents who have a child with a confirmed hearing loss.

 

This GPP sets out what health visitors need to know on supporting sleep issues in the older child and the importance of doing a thorough assessment to support families.

 

This GPP sets out what health visitors need to know on who may be affected by oral thrush, recognising the signs and symptoms, and the treatment options to support families.

 

This GPP provides up-to date-evidence and references on the signs and symptoms and treatment options for reflux.

 

Updated: Parent Tips – How to help if your Baby has Reflux

These updated Parent Tips provide tips and advice for parents on reflux.


Please note that GPPs are available to iHV members only.

If you’re not a member, please join us to get access to all of our resources.

The iHV is a self-funding charity – we can only be successful in our mission to strengthen health visiting practice if the health visiting profession and its supporters join us on our journey. We rely on our membership to develop new resources for our members.

So do join us now!

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This week is World Breastfeeding Week 2020, running from 1-7 August. The week aims to raise awareness of the links between good nutrition, food security, poverty reduction and breastfeeding, and galvanise action to increase breastfeeding rates.

2020 has brought new challenges as infant feeding support services have needed to quickly adapt to the restrictions of COVID-19 lockdown and physical distancing. However,  these conditions have also provided the opportunity for services to innovate and work together to ensure that women and babies receive the support that they need to successfully breastfeed.

We are delighted to be able to showcase the innovative work of the health visiting infant feeding service in Devon led by Gail Barker, Infant Feeding Coordinator Devon Public Health Nursing. This peer-reviewed case study has been selected for inclusion as part of our “Making History: Health Visiting during COVID-19” collection of case studies due to be published later this month.

 

Gail’s case study presents 12 learning points that contain a wealth of transferable tips gathered by the health visiting service in Devon during the first 12 weeks of the implementation of their adapted support service. Their experiences will resonate with others facing similar challenges which Gail outlines, “Staff were scared, families vulnerable. We needed to continue to keep everyone, families and staff alike safe, informed and supported with infant feeding challenges. We needed to be able to assess latch, build peer relationships, support growth and development, promote, protect and support breastfeeding, all whilst working in an integrated manner with our partners and parents”.

Commenting on the importance of supporting breastfeeding during these challenging times, Gail Barker said:

“Improving the UK’s breastfeeding rates is acknowledged as a key factor in improving the health of a population. Through being able to continue to support infant feeding via video teleconferencing at such a challenging time, we were able to support and promote the health of each baby and mother supported by our service. We know that infant feeding supports not only the building of close and loving relationships, which in turn promotes mental health of both mother and baby (Unicef, 2019), but it also has significant health impacts and reduces health inequalities (Victora et al 2016). At this time of COVID-19, it has never been more important to focus on children in view of these considerations for now and for the future, not just in the UK, but globally”.

Please see further resources and blogs to support breastfeeding during COVID-19:

Download iHV Parent Tips: Supporting breastfeeding during COVID-19

Read Dr Alison Spiro’s Voices blog published during England’s breastfeeding awareness week in June 2020 – Breastfeeding during the COVID-19 crisis

We are delighted to publish Parent Tips on Toilet Training.

Toilet training is one of those child developmental stages that parents can find frustrating and complex. Making the transition from nappy to toilet can certainly be a challenge, particularly if you feel it is a battle – but remember this is a developmental skill, not a war!

 

We are delighted to share updated Parent Tips for fathers to mark International Father’s Mental Health Day (22 June):

 

 

Fathers are important and good mental health is important for fathers, their partners, and their children. Close involvement of fathers from birth supports positive family/couple relationships and fathers have an important role to play in child development. Men go through many complex changes when they become a father which can make the perinatal period (from conception to one year after the birth of a baby) a particularly vulnerable time in a man’s life.

 

The period from conception to the age of 2 is an important time for child development and experiences during this time can influence the rest of a child’s life. Relationships between dads and their children matter from day 1.

 

 

 

 

 

These Parent Tips join our suite of resources for parents to find expert advice on key areas of looking after your new baby from when they are born to when they go to school. Written by experts in the field, they cover topics such as feeding, health, behaviour and development, and are based on up-to-date research and the experience and knowledge of real-life health visitors working across the UK.

 

Working in a pandemic has brought many challenges to both families and the health visiting service – but, unsurprisingly, the health visiting service in many areas has risen to these challenges with great professionalism, developing many innovations and workarounds to ensure that children and families receive the support that they need.

But you can’t pour from an empty cup and it is still important for health visitors to have time to reflect and learn during this pandemic which may continue for many weeks. To help you, we are pleased to publish today a bundle of five fabulous Good Practice Points, as well as hold our first virtual online iHV Member Event tomorrow (Thursday) on “COVID-19 in children and managing minor childhood illnesses”.

As a Centre of Excellence, the Institute supports the development of universally high quality health visiting practice so that health visitors can effectively respond to the health needs of all children, families and communities, enabling them to achieve their optimum level of health, thereby reducing health inequalities. To achieve our aim, we are constantly working to improve and develop benefits for our health visitor Associate and Student members, and our Friend members who work closely with health visiting  services.

We know through feedback from our membership surveys that our Good Practice Points (GPPs) are the resources most valued by our members. We try to write Good Practice Points that are relevant to health visitors and where there might be gaps currently.  We write GPPs with the help of authors that are experts and informative, give the evidence base and enable health visitors to be better equipped in their clinical practice.

Good Practice Points (GPPs) are available for members of the iHV; and Parent Tips (PTs) are available to parents who access our website or via health visitors sharing them – we work with parents to develop our Parent Tips.

New resources

Today, we are pleased to publish a selection of new GPPs to support our members in practice. These are:

Any new GPP/PT Topics or would you like to be involved?

We would really love to hear from you if you have any specific topics that you think would benefit from having  a GPP and/ or PT created, or if you would like to write a GPP or PT, or if you would like to be involved in our peer review process.  Peer reviewers look at all GPPs and PTs during our production process and we feed their comments back to the author.

Please contact [email protected]  if you would like to find out more about getting involved or with your thoughts and ideas of new GPPs and PTs.


Please note that GPPs are available to iHV members only.

If you’re not a member, please join us to get access to all of our resources.

The iHV is a self-funding charity – we can only be successful in our mission to strengthen health visiting practice if the health visiting profession and its supporters join us on our journey. We rely on our membership to develop new resources for our members.

So do join us now!

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All babies have a routine physical examination between six and eight weeks, but these important appointments may be missed due to the impact of COVID-19. The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) have published a guide for parents about signs to look out for if they have been unable to get an appointment, or if it has been delayed.

At the 6-8 week check, babies have a thorough physical examination – this is usually done by a GP. Babies’ eyes, heart, hips and, for boys, testicles are checked – and they also have their weight, length and head circumference measured to ensure that baby is developing as they should.

Dr David Evans, Consultant Neonatologist and Vice President at RCPCH said:

“All newborns have a physical examination after birth. This picks up most, but not all, of the problems we look out for in the first weeks of life. That’s why it’s so important for babies to have a six-week check, which is usually carried out by a GP.”

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Visiting said:

“We really want parents to attend this check-up, but we know that it may not always be possible due to the impact of COVID-19. If you’re a new parent who has struggled to get an appointment, or if it’s been delayed, we’ve produced some easy to follow signs to look out for while you wait to see a GP.

“The iHV is asking every health visitor to share this important guide with all parents when they are first in contact with them after the birth of their baby.”

The guidance says, if your baby does not have a six-to-eight-week check, you should ask yourself the following questions. If the answer to any is “yes”, you should contact your health visitor or GP.

Eyes

  • Do you think your baby can’t ever fully open both eyes?
  • Do you think your baby doesn’t make good eye contact and hold his/her gaze at you?
  • Do you think that your baby doesn’t follow your face if you move your head from side to side when standing near him/her (less than one metre)?
  • Do you think that your baby’s eyes shake/flicker/ wobble? Do you think there is something unusual about, or in, your baby’s eyes, for example, the dark central area (pupil) looks cloudy or the eyeball is an unusual shape or size?
  • Are the whites of your baby’s eyes yellow?

Hips

  • When you change your baby’s nappy, do you find that one leg cannot be moved out sideways as far as the other?
  • Does one leg seem to be longer than the other?
  • Do you have any other concerns about your baby’s hips?

Heart

  • (If the answer to either of these is “yes”, you should speak to someone the same day)
  • Does your baby seem breathless or sweaty, at any time, especially when feeding?
  • Does your baby have blue, pale, blotchy, or ashen (grey) skin at any time?

This guidance is published as an iHV Parent Tip and is available here:

As part of  World Immunization Week 2020, our resources on childhood immunisations have been updated with the latest information and advice during the current COVID-19 pandemic – two Parent Tips and one Good Practice Points for Health Visitors.

The two updated Parent Tips:

  • one providing some basic information on the childhood immunisation programme, explaining how vaccines work, how they are regulated and why it is important to ensure your baby receives all the recommended immunisations
  • the second,  provides answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” and has been written by leading national experts. It covers getting your baby immunised and what to expect, including information on things such as soothing your baby
    during and after vaccinations, and what to do if they are poorly on the day of their appointment.

Just to reassure you that despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is still recommended that your child receives their vaccines as this protects them against other serious diseases that can still cause them harm.

These updated Parent Tips, together with those published last week and yesterday, can be found in our **Parenting Through Coronavirus (COVID-19)** webpage

 

The Good Practice Points for Health Visitors:

The immunisation programme is a key component of the Healthy Child Programme. It is important for health visitors to be aware of current research and practice to promote immunisation uptake and know where to go for information.  Uptake of childhood vaccines in the UK is is generally high, although uptake of the MMR is a concern and the UK lost its ‘measles-free’ status last year. There are also concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on immunisation uptake.


COVID-19 webpages
  • For Health Visitors– This updated GPP is available in our GPP resource section of our website and can also be found on our COVID-19 (coronavirus) guidance for health visitors webpage – https://iHV.org.uk/COVID-19
  • For parents and families– These updated Parent Tips are available in the Families Parent Tips section of our website as well as our Parenting through Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage – https://iHV.org.uk/ParentingCOVID19

We have waivered our usual restrictions on resources for members and the COVID-19 sections of our website are “free access” to all to support the national response to this pandemic.