Monthly Archives: November 2005

Boil water ‘into January’ warning

Households have been told water should be boiled before use
Tens of thousands of households across north-west Wales could have to boil their water beyond the new year, public health officials have warned.

The Cwellyn reservoir in Gwynedd is seen as the most likely source of the stomach bug, cryptosporidium.

Experts say the outbreak should burn itself out, but if it does not show signs of that by early January, the warning to boil water will be extended.

So far, 87 people have been taken ill in Gwynedd and Anglesey.

Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor and Eryri Hospital in Caernarfon have confirmed patients will be given only bottled water, and signs will be put up warning people not to drink tap water.

Bangor, Beaumaris, Beddgelert
Bethania, Bethel, Betws Garmon
Bontnewydd, Caeathro, Caernarfon
Carmel, Cwm y Glo, Dinas
Ffridd Uchaf, Gaerwen, Groeslon
Llanddaniel, Llandegfan, Llandwrog
Llandygai, Llanfaes, Llanfaglan
Llanfairpwll, Llangoed, Llanrug
Llanwnda, Menai Bridge, Nantmor
Penyffridd, Plas Gwynant, Pont Aberglaslyn
Pont-rug, Rhosgadfan, Rhostryfan
Rhyd-ddu, Seion, Vaynol Hall
Waunfawr, Y Felinheli

The National Public Health Service for Wales said the source of the cryptosporidium infection had not been established, but investigations were centred on the reservoir, which serves 70,000 households.

Dr Mark Walker said: “Unlike other water-borne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis we can’t find anything in the water, or any event that has occurred in the water treatment that could account for this.

“Cwellyn seems to be the most likely source. What we don’t know is how contamination, if it got into Cwellyn, got into there.

“So we’re engaged in a detailed environmental investigation, looking at how water gets into Cwellyn, how it flows, from the water coming in, to the water going out, and so on.”

“Experience from the past suggests that water-borne outbreaks do burn themselves out with time”
Dr Mark Walker

He said that the bug still accounted for only a minority of cases – around 10% – of diarrhoea and vomiting cases in the area.

He added that the advice to boil water would be renewed if, by 9 January next year, the outbreak was continuing.

“If there’s evidence the outbreak is ongoing, we will extend the boiling water notice but experience from the past suggests that water-borne outbreaks do burn themselves out with time.”

Dwr Cymru is to write to 70,000 customers in the area which obtain water from the reservoir, at Rhyd Ddu.

The bug causes unpleasant stomach problems for most people although those with immune system deficiencies could suffer longer term problems.

Hygiene measures

Dr Phil White, a GP with surgeries Menai Bridge on Anglesey and on the mainland, said the bug would pass through a person’s system in time. He urged people to carry out stringent hygiene measures such as hand washing.

He said: “Boiling water is a very sensible step. If it has been identified as the source of the infection then this is a very sensible precaution.

“The cysts are destroyed by just boiling the kettle once, you don’t need to continuously boil it, just bring it to boiling point.”

Beth Angell, in Caernarfon, said her two daughters and her mother had all been ill with stomach problems.

She said: “It’s concerning, but the biggest worry is the lack of information because the minute you hear ‘bug’ everyone starts to panic, especially if it’s in the water supply, it’s like the stuff that Hollywood films are made of.

“When you go on holiday you’re told don’t drink the ice, don’t wash the fruit, don’t clean your teeth in the water in the taps, and the only information I’ve seen was on the BBC news last night, and I haven’t heard anything further than that.”

Pass The Parcel This Morning


This is our 6th year of the Pass The Parcel Campaign. A staggering 207,000 gifts were collected last year and this year our aim is to beat that figure. We have expanded the campaign to include the elderly and homeless as well as disadvantaged children.

With now only 6 weeks until Christmas people will be rushing around making their plans and putting together their Xmas lists. However this time of year can also be a very lonely sad time for lots of people. Today we are launching our Pass The Parcel Campaign to urge viewers to spare a thought for those less fortunate by buying one extra present this year and help bring a smile to someone’s face this Christmas. Viewers can drop the presents off at any Superdrug store which will then be sorted through and distributed by the Salvation Army. A gift can make a huge difference and can help brighten this lonely day for someone.

Why have we extended the campaign this year?

We had huge response this year from viewers concerned about the elderly and homeless. This year we are reaching out to more people most in need. The Salvation Army work with hundreds of deprived children, homeless and elderly people and this campaign is a great way of making a difficult time better. Showing these vulnerable people that people out their do care.

The Salvation Army

The salvation army has 750 centres around the country. For the past six years they have collected presents donated by This Morning Viewers. Previously the campaign has been aimed towards underprivileged children but this year we are extending to include the elderly and homeless. This Monday is the launch of the campaign and we are urging viewers to buy one extra present this year which can be dropped off at any Superdrug store to any member of staff. The appeal runs until the 11th of December and the Salvation army begin delivering the gifts from the 11th of December right up until Christmas day. There are between 2 – 3 thousand Salvation Army staff and volunteers delivering the gifts all over the country.

How do they decide who gets the presents?

The families were decided and recommended by social services who provided the list of the people who needed the gifts most. Salvation Army then match, wrap and deliver the presents around the country.

What types of presents are suitable for children?

Often we receive a lot of toys and gifts for younger children e.g.. cuddly toys etc. but often the most forgotten and needed gifts are for older children up to the age of 16, particularly teenage boys. Good examples are sports equipment, CD’s and games.


Good gifts for older people are things like tissues, note paper, bath foams, toiletries, washing powder, perfume and hot water bottles.

The Homeless

Good gifts include toothpaste, shampoo, hats, scarves, gloves, toiletries.

Warning over ‘baby teeth’ decay

Dentist examining boy's teeth
The decay of baby teeth can trigger a lifetime of treatment
Children in Scotland continue to have Europe’s highest rate of tooth decay, according to research.

New NHS guidelines urge parents to get their children to start brushing their teeth as early as possible to prevent the decay of baby teeth.

A survey has shown that a quarter of Scotland’s under-fives suffer 75% of the country’s dental decay problems.

A third of Scottish youngsters aged between three and six years are not registered with a dentist.

Decaying baby teeth can trigger a lifetime of dental treatment.

The guidelines have been published by the NHS-affiliated Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (Sign) which has drawn on evidence from a range of studies.

Make sure the child visits the dentist for the first time as soon as the teeth come through
Brush twice a day from this point, often as young as six months, with a smear of fluoride toothpaste
Use a pea-sized amount of the same strength toothpaste from the age of two onwards, when youngsters are less likely to swallow toothpaste
Spit toothpaste out rather than rinse with water, which keeps the fluoride working, especially after bedtime brushing

Dr Dafydd Evans, consultant in paediatric dentistry at Dundee University, said: “Tooth decay in young children is a problem that can be beaten.

“Our guidelines show that starting brushing early and making good decisions about what we eat and drink will mean more of our youngsters can avoid a cycle of dental treatment and repair.”

He added: “We have made several recommendations based on the evidence that well-planned prevention work backed by good advice, easily used dental services and support through nurseries and infant schools can make a lifetime’s difference.”

Sign said foregoing sugary snacks and drinks between meals in favour of milk and water also diminished decay significantly.

It also said research showed cheese can protect youngsters from dental decay.

Sign added that background was also a factor, with children from the most deprived areas three times less likely to have decay-free mouths at the age of five than those from wealthier areas.

The guidelines also recommended giving free toothpaste to the parents of youngsters at risk and giving advice on children’s dental health to pregnant women.

Breastfeeding ‘good for mothers’

Breast milk is highly nutritious
Breastfeeding may cut a mother’s risk of type 2 diabetes, research suggests.

A team from Harvard Medical School found one year of breastfeeding was associated with a 15% drop in a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Each additional year of breastfeeding was associated with a greater reduction in risk.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found the protective effect lasted for up to 15 years after a woman’s last birth.

“Based on these findings, we have one more reason to encourage mothers to breastfeed”
Dr Alison Stuebe

The findings suggest that if a woman had two children and breastfed each child for a year, her risk of diabetes would be reduced by a third.

However, women with gestational diabetes did not appear to lower their risk of type 2 diabetes, even if they breastfed intensely.

The study also suggested that women who used medications to prevent lactation had an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

Chemical changes

Previous studies have suggested a link between breastfeeding and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance – both traits which reduce the risk of diabetes.

The Harvard team analysed data on more than 157,000 mothers enrolled in two separate studies.

Lead researcher Dr Alison Stuebe said: “We’ve known for a long time that breastfeeding is good for babies.

“In this study, we found that it’s good for mums too.

“Based on these findings, we have one more reason to encourage mothers to breastfeed.” The production of milk requires a breastfeeding mother to use an average of 500 calories each day – the equivalent of running four to five miles.

The additional energy required for lactation is associated with short-term changes in insulin and glucose.

Dr Stuebe said: “Our study supports the theory that breastfeeding may be associated with important metabolic changes that influence diabetes risk.

“However, more research is needed to determine what hormonal and biological factors are involved.”

Roopinder Brar, a care advisor at Diabetes UK, said breastfeeding had been shown to help the health of the baby and mother in a variety of ways.

“Women who give birth to large babies and those who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

“A balanced diet and regular physical activity have already been proven to reduce this risk, but we will need to wait for the results of further research before we can see if breastfeeding also plays a part.”

The World Health Organization recommends that mothers feed their babies exclusively on breast milk for six months, and continue to offer it alongside other food for up to two years.

Parents of bullies to face court

Jacqui Smith
Minister Jacqui Smith wants to send parents a strong message
Parents whose children attack or threaten classmates could be hauled before the courts and fined

Stabbed Abigail’s joy after birth

The Witchalls family, including their new baby - picture from hospital
A hospital statement said Mrs Witchalls had a natural birth
Stabbing victim Abigail Witchalls has told how carrying her baby gave her “great strength and comfort”.

The Witchalls family, from Surrey, released a statement on Saturday about the birth of her second boy, who was five weeks early but healthy.

Mrs Witchalls’ husband, Benoit, said the family was “looking forward to an exciting homecoming once more.”

Last week, Mrs Witchalls left hospital after treatment for partial paralysis following the attack in April.

The statement said Mrs Witchalls had a natural birth with very little assistance and did not require a Caesarean section on Friday at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, south London.

With help to support her newborn, who weighed 5lbs 6oz, Mrs Witchalls had started breastfeeding successfully, the family said.

‘Exciting homecoming’

Mrs Witchalls, 26, who will remain in hospital for several days, said: “I have found great strength and comfort in carrying this child over the past few months and it is such a blessing and a joy to now finally see him face to face.”

Mr Witchalls said: “Once again the healthcare professionals here at St George’s have been so attentive and generous.

“We are really looking forward to an exciting homecoming once more, except now with another beautiful son and brother for Joseph.”

Prayers of thanksgiving were said on Saturday in Little Bookham, where Mrs Witchalls was stabbed in front of her toddler son, near her home.

Abigail Witchalls with occupational therapist Emma Linley
Mrs Witchalls has slowly been regaining movement

Father John Sheehy, at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, said: “I am delighted the baby is safely delivered.

“We are all offering prayers of thanksgiving and will continue to pray for the welfare of the family.”

One villager said: “It is an absolute miracle that the baby was born.

“It shows that prayers are answered.”

Mrs Witchalls was in the early stages of pregnancy when she was attacked while pushing her son Joseph in a buggy along a country lane near her home.

She told police she turned to see her attacker holding a knife to her son’s throat as she tried to open a gate in front of her.

She walked towards her would-be killer before being stabbed in the back of the neck and left with a three-inch wound.

Harry Potter casts spell over London

The stars of Harry Potter have left fans spellbound at the world premiere of the Goblet of Fire in London.

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were greeted by 7,000 screaming fans in outside the cinema in Leicester Square.

They were joined by newcomer Katie Leung, who plays Harry’s first love interest.

The premiere drew an A-list crowd, including Madonna, who turned up with daughter Lourdes, while actress Kate Beckinsale was also there.

Some of the female fans had queued in Leicester Square for over 24 hours to get a glimpse of their hero Daniel, 16, who plays Harry Potter in the film.

He said: “For people to wait out here all day in the pouring rain is just amazing.”

Despite his

Madmums Quiz Night

Hi there!

I want you to all join me, the quizmaster, for a Madmum’s Quiznight every Monday night at 9pm.  This will take part in ‘The Bar’ in Madmums chatter box.  So you can pop in 10 minutes before and grab a drink!  If taking part in the quiz, drinks are free of charge all night unlimited!  So it’s definately worth it!

Rules are as follows

  1. I’ll type, “Q1″, to “Q50″ and then on the next line the question whatever if may be.  The person(s) who think they know the answer or want to take a rough guess type “x” and wait for me to type the name who typed “x” first.
  2. If the person 2nd in line, “shouts out answer” this will not be applicable and if you have the right answer someone may steal it!
  3. A question is worth 1 point.  I may do bonus questions for additional points for the person who answered correctly only.  If the person who doesn’t get it right, it will then be “opened to the floor” the person who types “x” after I type “open to the floor” I will reply to them and they may answer the question for 1/2 a bonus point, and then if they don’t get it right, I will take the next person’s “x” and so on.
  4. Topics may vary in questions. 
  5. NO GOOGLE!  (or other search enjines for that matter  )
  6. This is only for fun.  No rivalry!!!


I hope some of you will take part, I PM’d Flip and he said Good Idea, so I hope you’ll all take part.

It will start next Monday 7th November at 9pm!  Hope to see you there!



PM  or reply to this with your thoughts, please?  Thanks ladies!! xxx

S.A.D – Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder
Birds, mammals, rodents and amphibians; all animals react to the changing seasons in some way. Humans are no exception. Have you ever found you have more difficulty waking in the winter? More tempted to snack on unhealthy foods and feel the pounds pile on even as you attempt to diet? Do you find it harder to focus at work or in relationships? Or maybe you feel down in the dumps or, worse still, depressed? If you answer yes to any of this you could be one of the millions of people across the world who have difficulty adjusting to the changing seasons. For some of these people the symptoms are severe enough to disrupt their lives and cause considerable distress.
Standard figures show that 2% of people in Northern Europe suffer with SAD with another 10% developing the milder ‘Winter Blues’. Across the world the incidence increases with distance from the equator, except where there is snow on the ground, when it becomes less common. More women than men are diagnosed as having SAD. Children and adolescents are also vulnerable. The symptoms tend to start from around September each year lasting until April, but are at their worst in the darkest months.
The causes are still not fully understood but we know the problem stems from the lack of bright light in winter. The nerve centres in our brains controlling our daily rhythms and moods are stimulated by the amount of light entering the eyes. During the night, the pineal gland produces a substance called melatonin which makes us drowsy. At daybreak, the bright light causes the gland to stop producing this melatonin. But on dull winter days, especially indoors, not enough light is received to trigger this waking up process. More recently, good evidence has been found to link exposure to bright light with the increased production of a substance called serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, ie it carries signals from the output of one nerve to the input of the next inside the brain. Lack of serotonin is known to be a cause of depression, and indeed this maps well onto what people say: tasks which are easy when you are well become frustratingly difficult when you are depressed.
It is therefore sensible to suggest the treatment for such a disorder where lack of light is the issue would be to introduce artificial bright light. It would be even better to suggest people suffering take a holiday in a bright sunny country but unfortunately this is often not viable. The light needs to be at least 2500lux (a technical measure of brightness) which is 5 times brighter then a well lit office and a normal living room can be as low as 100lux. The light does not need to be special daylight, ‘full spectrum’ or colour matching. The preferred level of light is about as bright as a spring morning on a clear day and for most people sitting in front of a lightbox, allowing the light to reach the eyes, for between 15 and 45 minutes daily will be sufficient to alleviate the symptoms. The user does not have to stare at the light, but can watch TV or read or similar so long as the light is able to reach the back of the eye.
If you feel like any of the above applies to you then light therapy may well be the answer. A company specializing in light therapy ( offer a 21 day home trial to anyone wishing to try light therapy. Light therapy devices are also VAT free for personal use.

This is a members article written by Madzwalker


Secret Santa – [EVENT]

I was thinking of organising a Secret Santa event for Christmas for members of the Madmums Community.

Madmums Secret Santa

Here is how it will work.

Firstly if you are interested in participating please reply to this post saying so, if you are not sure what it is then read on and all will be revealed, I will compile a list of all members that have committed to taking part in this first post (I’ll edit it to add names as and when). The list will stay open until the 1st of December (2005 of course!) up until this date, you may add or remove your name, after this date consider yourself committed. Another thing to consider is that in order to take part you will have to give your real life home address to MumSam and Myself which in turn will be passed on to another member of the community (your randomly chosen Secret Santa), so if you are not comfortable with this then please don’t add your name.

How it will work, on or around the 2nd of December we will send you the address of another member who is taking part in the event, you will then be their Secret Santa, your name will be given to another member taking part and they will become your Secret Santa and so on… You do not tell anyone who’s Secret Santa you are, not even the member, hence the name, Secret Santa.

You will then be given until the 14th of December to purchase a gift for designated member, this gift should not exceed