The iHV is delighted to share new Good Practice Points and Parent Tips information on food allergies, providing up-to-date evidence and references:

Good Practice Points – An Introduction to Food Allergies

(available to iHV members only)

Health visitors are likely to see many different manifestations of allergy such as eczema, asthma, hay fever and gastrointestinal disturbances, and should be aware of these conditions to question whether allergy could be a cause of the symptoms.

These Good Practice Points, authored by Sue Clarke RGN, DN, BSc (Hons) SPPH, RHV, FiHV, Health Visitor, Lecturer in Allergy, Virgincare West Essex, and Jackie Gaventa BA (Hons) RGN, SCPHN, Health Visitor, Practice Teacher, FiHV, Whittington Health Trust, set out what health visitors need to know about food allergies and when the symptoms can be managed in primary care or when referral to a specialist is needed.

New Parent Tips – Managing Food Allergies in children under 5 years

Allergies are more likely to develop if there’s a history of eczema, asthma, hayfever or food allergies in your family. Breastfeeding your baby exclusively for the first 6 months will help to lower their risk.

These parent top tips bring together a collection of evidence-based tips that new parents can put into practice today. Please share with your parents.


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.

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The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) is delighted to announce the publication of new resources to help health visitors support families and children after traumatic events – such as car accidents, violence, illnesses and operations and also large-scale incidents such as those recently at Grenfell Tower and the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena.  Developed together with the Mental Health Foundation, the new Good Practice Points provide evidence-based information for health visitors to help them to support families after a traumatic event, and the new Parent Tips provides information to parents to help them to support their children after such an event.


Traumatic events can be defined as direct or indirect experiences that put either a person or someone close to them at risk of serious harm or death. Examples of traumatic events are: road accidents; experiencing or witnessing violence; abuse; serious illnesses or invasive medical procedures; dog bites; human accidents such as fires. More rare traumatic events include: natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, serious floods or hurricanes; a terrorist attack; conditions of war.

Children will react in different ways to a traumatic event and how they react may also depend slightly on their age and where they are at in their development. However, whatever their age, they are likely to experience a range of changes in their thinking, emotions, behaviour and physical responses. For most children, these symptoms will go away on their own after a few weeks. However, for 10-30% of children who have experienced a traumatic event, they go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which can have adverse long-term effects on child development and adjustment.


Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, executive director of the Institute of Health Visiting, commented:

“With more than two thirds of children experiencing at least one traumatic event by the time they are 16 years old, we need to be able to provide good support to them and their families.  Through mandated contacts with families, health visitors build good trusted relationships with all families and are, therefore, well placed to provide guidance and support at these difficult times. We very much hope that this new guidance will help both families and health visitors manage these enormously challenging circumstances with more knowledge of what will help.”

Dr Camilla Rosan, who was the lead author on the resources, and Clinical Psychologist at the Mental Health Foundation said:

“Experiencing a frightening event can understandably really shake up a family and it can be hard to know what to do for the best. Many families find it particularly challenging to know how to support younger children and infants who might not be able to clearly let you know, or even be aware, how the traumatic event might have affected them. We hope that these materials will help reassure professionals and families that changes are completely normal and, for most children, will not continue beyond a few weeks. However, for those that do not get better on their own, it reaffirms the importance of seeking professional mental health support and accessing evidence-based treatments.”

New Parent Tips on Sex and intimacy: understanding changes to your sexual wellbeing following the birth of your baby are published. Please share with your parents.

Having a baby is a major change in any couple’s relationship, with many parents feeling less happy in their relationship after the birth of a baby. This isn’t surprising, as a new baby means less sleep, extra work and less time for each other.

We know that this can lead to changes in a couple’s sex life, with one third of couples continuing to experience sexual difficulties up to four years after birth. Sex and intimacy is one of the issues that parents argue about after they have a new baby, but it is also one of the areas that gets talked about the least.

These parent top tips bring together a collection of evidence-based tips that new parents can put into practice today.