Monthly Archives: June 2007

Cerebral palsy children ‘happy’

children cerebralpalsyCerebral palsy children ‘happy’

Children with cerebral palsy are just as happy as children without the condition are, a study has shown.

Their physical impairment does not have a negative effect on their relationships, moods or welfare, researchers report in The Lancet.

Experts said the study of 500 children aged 8-12 years with cerebral palsy underlined the importance of supporting disabled children to lead full lives.

Cerebral palsy affects around one in 400 children in the UK.

It results from the failure of a part of the brain to develop before birth or in early childhood, or brain damage which permanently affects body movement and muscle coordination.

Most children with cerebral palsy are born with it, although it may not be detected until months or years later.

Previous studies have attempted to look at the quality of life of children with cerebral palsy but they focused on physical effects of the condition or relied on the views of parents.

A team of European researchers, led by the University of Newcastle, asked the children themselves about several aspects of their lives and compared their responses with those from children of the same age in the general population.

The questionnaire covered areas such as physical and psychological wellbeing, moods and emotions, self-perception and relationships with parents, friends and school.

No difference

On most of the areas, children with cerebral palsy had similar scores to the general population.

The only exceptions were schooling for which the results were not clear and physical wellbeing which could not be compared.

However, the researchers did find that pain was associated with lower scores across all aspects of quality of life and recommended it be carefully assessed in children with the condition.

Study leader Professor Allan Colver, professor of community child health at the University of Newcastle, said: "Parents can be upset when their child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but they can now be reassured that most children with cerebral palsy experience similar quality of life to that of other children their age."

He said doctors needed to learn to talk more directly to the child.

"For example, for a lot of children, there’s a lot of effort in helping them to walk.

"But usually if a child goes into a wheelchair they suddenly become much more mobile and from the child’s point of view it can transform their lives even if from an adult’s point of view it seems like a step backwards."

Policies and resources must be in place to make sure children with cerebral palsy are allowed to participate fully in society, he added.

Andy Rickell, an executive director at the cerebral palsy charity Scope, welcomed the study.

But he cautioned: "The action it recommends on social and educational policy must include tackling the specific barriers faced by disabled children, such as not being able to attend a local school near their family or to access vital equipment in order to communicate.

"These findings based on children’s perceptions of their quality of life, whilst instructive, should not detract from the stark reality for hundreds of thousands of disabled children across the UK."

Can you do anything to avoid colds?

Is there anything you can do to help your child avoid a cold? Ella has had a cold for about a week and a half and over the past 2 days has been feeling really sorry for herself. I’ve been to the doctors this morning and low and behold, she has an ear infection – again. She has a problem with her ears called Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (read all about it here!) which although has improved greatly, she is still prone to fluid backing up in her ears. So, when she gets a cold its more likely to back up in the ear and become infected.

I know that there has been a news article recently about echinacea reducing your chances of getting a cold, and I know that you can get children’s echinacea suitable for over 2s. But, it also contains extra vitamins such as C. Ella currently has haliborange multi vits (as she’s not the best eater!) and having checked with the pharmacist, the echinacea on top would be too much vitamin C.

She’s really not happy today. The nurse took her temperature, gave her some calpol and it didn’t come down so shes asked me to monitor her her temp every hour and call her every 2 hours! It has started to come down now, but obviously its not nice seeing her like this.

Does anyone know if there is anything you can do to help prevent against a cold in children?

Breastfeeding discretely

As you know I have been listening to many arguments for and against breastfeeding in public and have been completely dumbfounded but some of the later. A ‘older’ women on radio two just kept saying it was wrong and she didnt want to see it. God I wish I’d been able to get my teeth into her!

My main argument is that you pretty much ‘see’ nothing. You know what is happening, and in the early days sometimes a flash of nipple can be seen as you struggle to learn the new skill or latching a newborn on, but once on all you see is that back of a babys head! I have worn tops in my younger days which reveal far more than I ever did whilst breastfeeding Edward.

Anyway my question is what are your tips on breastfeeding discretely? I hope to put them together for an article for the site and also for the media. Many thanks in advance.

Pregnancy cravings

A bit of light hearted relief.

Did you have any odd cravings whilst pregnant?

I went through a stage of eating a lot of anchovies – and I mean A LOT! Makes sense now as Edward still craves salt and loves salty food which is worrying but not surprising as DP and I are the same.

Then it was tesco value macaroni cheese. It had to be tesco value and I ate at least one a day and sometimes 2 or 3! Couldnt cope without my fix!

I also went off mushrooms, parsnips and red wine. I can eat mushrooms now but still cant eat parsnips or drink red wine without feeling queasy.

Hyperemesis in pregnancy

Do any of you have any experience of Hyperemesis (severe nausea and vomiting) during their pregnancy. The reason I ask is a friend of my mums has just been diagnosed and she’s very poorly. She looks very frail and just cant eat. The doctors have prescribed meds but are considering hospitalisation if it doesnt get better. She is really upset and wants to know what she can do to help and if it will get better. I have no experience but mum thought I could ask you guys.

Any help much appreciated.

Chimp and Zee winners announced

I’d like to thank everyone for the brilliant turnout for the Chimp and Zee Competition. And of course a huge thank you to for providing such fantastic prizes.

So the question was:

What is the name of the town where Chimp and Zee live?

And the answer is:


And the winner of the main prize – A huge bundle of Chimp and Zee goodies is…


The 5 runners up, each receiving a set of Chimp and Zee Finger Puppets are…


Congratulations to you all!

I know lots of you were impressed with the products available. If you wish to purchase anything please visit

I hope you enjoyed the competition. Remember without our competition sponsors like Anholt they wouldn’t be possible.

Look out for the next competition, coming soon…

Thrush and Trying to Conceive

I have thrush and I don’t mean the song bird.  It’s blooming sore and itchy.  I am now into the 2 wk wait, I know you can use the cream and you can’t use the oral tablet but can you use the pessary.  Don’t tell me to see a dr it’s saturday tomorrow and I have had enough of dr’s poking around down there.  Failing that I am resorting to yoghurt tomorrow, have been walking like John Wayne all day.

Is she overweight and what can I do?

Amy has always been a big girl and now at 2 years 10 months she is 104cms tall and 3 stone 5lb.

A few family members(mostly in laws) make comments about her weight as she does have a little podge tummy   but as she has been like this from birth we have never worried about it.

She is due to start Nursery at the end of August and we don’t want her teased about her weight but how do we go about it?

She only gets crisps or sweets twice a week, never eats chip or any form of processed foods. She has cereal for breakfast, either soup or sandwich for lunch and has her main meal at night which is usually chicken, meat or fish with pasta and veg.

she is only allowed to snack on fruit during the day and has 2 yoghurt’s as well. We have always been quite strict with her diet as both my parents and grandparents were diabetics.

she is a very active girl and never halts from the minute she gets up until she goes to bed so what else can we try to help her slim down?

Mid cycle cramping – anyone help?

Does anyone else have cramps in between their periods? Or does anyone know anything about it?

I’m on day 10 of my cycle and have had cramps the last few days. These are the kind of cramps I’d get during my af, and they really hurt! The only relief I’m getting is to use a hot water bottle or wheat cushion.

I’m not a total wuss, it won’t stop me doing things but I’ve not had this sort of cramping before mid cycle.

I’m charting my temperatures to try and get a grip on whats happening with my body, if anyone is familiar with bbt charts, you can view mine HERE  I suspect I may ovulate in the next day or so, so I guess it could be ovulation pain but I thought that was one side, where as this is low and in the middle. Any ideas?

Panel endorses girls’ cancer jab

Schoolgirls cervical cancerPanel endorses girls’ cancer jab

All girls aged between 12 and 13 in the UK should be vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer, a government panel has recommended.

The government said it accepted the advice "in principle", but would have to decide if it was financially viable.

The Scottish Executive however said it hoped to start immunising by late 2008.

It is thought the programme could save hundreds of lives each year, although experts warn it could be 20 years before the first benefits are seen.    

It will also prove expensive, costing around £250 for three doses over six months.

However, campaigners say it represents value for money given how effective it is in combating the strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) which are held responsible for 70% of cervical cancer cases.

The disease kills 274,000 women worldwide every year, including 1,120 in the UK.

Dr David Salisbury, Director of Immunisation at the Department of Health, described the recommendation as "good news".

The vaccine was "a huge step forward in preventing cancer", he said.

There are two vaccine possibilities: Gardasil, made by Merck and Sanofi Pasteur, has already been approved in 76 countries, while Cervarix is expected to be launched in Europe later this year.

Pre-emptive strike

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) examined the evidence surrounding the vaccines before concluding that 12-and 13-year-old girls should all be immunised.    

But it did not, as some had hoped, call for a "catch-up" programme which would include all those up to the age of 16.

The vaccine is most effective when it is administered to girls before they become sexually active and come into contact with the virus.

Some have expressed concerns that providing a jab to protect against a sexually transmitted infection to children at a young age might encourage promiscuity.

But in a Manchester University study of parents’ attitudes, only a minority of those asked expressed concern about the sexual implications. The report concluded that most – if convinced the jab was safe and effective – would support the vaccine.

In any event, parents would have the final say as to whether their child received the injection.

Strings attached

The Tories have accused the government of dragging its feet on the issue, noting that many countries had already approved the vaccine.

Switzerland gave it the green light this week, following on the heels of Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Norway, Luxembourg and Belgium. It has also been approved in Australia and several US states.

Following the announcement from the JCVI, health minister Caroline Flint said she was "delighted to announce that we intend, in principle, to introduce an HPV vaccine into the national immunisation programme".

But there were conditions, a Department of Health statement added. The programme would have to undergo an "independent peer review of the cost-benefit analysis", and funding for it would be "considered in the context of the Comprehensive Spending Review".

The Scottish Executive said it planned to move quickly.

"It is our intention for funding for this to be included in our forthcoming spending review and we will aim to implement by autumn 2008."

The programme will be expensive.

The three doses a girl needs will cost more than all her childhood immunisations put together, said Dr David Elliman, a consultant In Community Child Health at Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children.

"It will be a big, long-term investment," he said. "The main benefits won’t be seen until decades down the line, as these girls become women, but we will, eventually, get our money back."