Whoever said ‘Life wasn't meant to be easy’obviously never had a Bug in a Rug wrap.
website www.babyrug.co.ukemail email@example.com
tel 020 89448674
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24 DECEMBER 2007 CHILDREN’S The best things to do when they are ill and when they are well
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A child’s health is more than a matterof medicines and vitamins; the equip-ment they use and the environment wecreate also play a vital role in theirhealth and safety.
Some cost saving measures can turnout to have been false economies andthe choosing of products such as prams,cots or highchairs for our children is aprime example where safety not econ-omy should be the main factor in ourdecision making.
We all understand the costs can addup when catering for a newborn, mak-ing second-hand options very tempting.
But many buyers are unaware of thepossible defects that could be presentand subsequently cause injury if theybuy cheap tat or products that are oldand clapped out.
Which is why the Baby Products As-sociation (BPA) has started a campaignto promote responsibility amongst ven-dors and buyers of this equipment.
We have created “BPA Retail” to setstandards for retailers in the nurseryproducts sector.
Parents can feel confident whenthey see the “BPA Retail” windowsticker that the shop represents best
practice in the industry.Retailers have to comply with strin-
gent conditions to join and member-ship is growing steadily.
Unfortunately, with the modernphenomenon of internet auction sitesever-more pervasive, the problem ofparents and relatives opting to buyfrom cheap, unreliable sources islikely to get worse.
Not only is buying second-handgambling with your child’s safety andwellbeing but buying new fromunchecked sources or from overseasmarkets can also be dangerous. Canyou be sure these products comply withthe most recent safety legislation?
Responsible retailers recognise theneed for products to comply with thelatest safety standards. They also re-alise that new parents require expertadvice and knowledge when makingthese all-important first purchases.
Choosing the right car seat for yourvehicle and ensuring that it is fittedproperly can be a minefield and thebest nursery retailers are trained to dothe job properly.
The BPA promotes the safe use ofbaby, nursery and childcare productsand is an authoritative voice in thenursery industry supporting a saferfuture for the youngest members ofour society.
The BPA works closely with na-
tional, European and internationalbodies developing standards and leg-islation within the nursery sector,keeping members; manufacturers, im-porters and distributors informed ofcurrent regulations is a key objectiveof the trade association.
Buy from a source you can trust not some shadyinternet auction, says Peter White, chief executive ofthe Baby Products Association.
CONTENTSCommon illnesses 4-5Sight 7The way to a healthychild 8Activities 10Learning abilities 12Stem cells 15
CHILDREN’S HEALTHA TITLE FROM MEDIAPLANET
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New threat to children fromparents’ cyber adventures
“To keepchildren safe keepaway from cheaptat and buy good
quality”PETER WHITE, CEO OF BABY PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION
Invented by a mum of two, PurFlo’sunique aluminium frame is covered bya soft surface that allows air to flowfreely through. Extensive laboratorytesting by Peter Fleming, the UK’s lead-ing Professor of Infant Health and de-velopmental physiology, has shown thatwhen used in conjunction with a sleep-ing bag, PurFlo is better at keeping ababy in ‘thermo-neutral’ conditions.Professor Fleming says: “Babies are less
likely to become too cold and may beless likely to become too warm when
using a sleeping bag with this mattressthan on a conventional mattress.”
Another study by Bureau Veritas –the recognised standards and regula-tions control experts – found that thefoam-free design of the PurFlo pro-
Innovative PurFlo mattressgive babies sweet dreamsShort-listed for the most innovative new product inthis year’s Mother & Baby awards, the groundbreakingfoam-free and washable design of the PurFlo mattresshas revolutionised the way babies sleep.
vided babies with a genuine dust-mitefree environment. When analyzingthe cores of leading mattress brandsover 12 weeks after exposing them tohouse dust mite colonisations, PurFlowas the only mattress to contain ab-solutely no allergens. The harmfulbuild-up of allergens is known to ag-gravate childhood allergies such asasthma and eczema. A study bySporik et al found that in addition togenetic factors, exposure to house-dust mites in early childhood is animportant determinant of the subse-quent development of asthma.
Recent research carried out by Pur-Flo in conjunction with www.baby-world.co.uk has revealed that over athird of parents (36%) simply turn amattress over when their baby is sickor wets itself, leaving the child tosleep in unhygienic conditions. Thedurability of the PurFlo cot mattressmeans that it is also suitable for ma-chine washing and the outer covercan be slipped off and washed at up
to 60º to remove any dirt, bacteria orremaining dust mites on the surface.
PurFlo has recently added to theirrange of cot mattresses and fittedsheets with new SleepSacs. The lin-ing of the SleepSacs is made fromBamboo Dream, a silky soft fabricwhich is particularly good for babieswith sensitive skin. It also containsAmicor Pure, a fibre which is provento combat the build up of bacteria,fungi and allergies.
The PurFlo mattress is availablefrom the Mothercare website fromJanuary 2008 and in over 60 inde-pendent UK. For more informationcall PurFlo on 01788 891 890 orvisit the redesigned website atwww.purflo.com
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Is your home child-proof?Keeping children indoors ought to be the best way toensure their safety but most accidents happen in thehome or its vicinity so the wise parent knows thatprecautions pay.
BY TOM ROWLAND
The kitchenThe kitchen is the room where youspend most time, it is also the placein the home with the most risks andthe most hazardous chemicals.
To make matters worse, parents areoften focused on the actual cooking.So a kitchen can easily become amagical wonderland for youngsterswhere they feel free to make discov-eries. Your task is to make sure thediscoveries don’t hurt.
• Childproof all drawers and cup-boards that contain unsafe equip-ment and chemicals.
• Make sure all detergents and otherhazardous products normally keptunder the sink are placed out of reach.
• Use cooker guards and oven doorguards on the stove. Remember thatpans should always be placed withthe handle facing inwards.
• Secure sockets and plugs by placingadequate covers.
• Don’t drink hot beverages while thechild is in your lap
• Store unsafe equipment securely.
• Keep foods such as nuts, olives etc(things that can easily get stuck in achild’s throat) out of reach.
• Do not leave the child unattended ina high chair. Use a safety harness tostop a child standing or falling over.
The bathroomThe bathroom is a place for playingand splashing, but where there iswater there is also a greater risk ofdanger. You should never leave smallchildren alone in the bathtub, and it isadvisable to also use a slip-resistantbaby mat when bathing them.
Make sure the changing table isstable and never leave a child unat-tended on the changing table, keep inmind that all it takes is a half a sec-ond for an accident to occur.
The bedroomSleeping posture plays a vital part inyour baby's growing years so you needto be careful when putting them to sleep.
Making sure they are in the rightsleeping position is the best thing youcan do for them. That means keepthem on their backs, not on theirfronts.
Never sleep with a child next toyou in bed if you have been drinkingalcohol or have taken strong medi-cines.
When putting your child down,never leave them on a bed or sofa –they might fall down. The safestplace is on a blanket on the floor or intheir crib. Also make sure that nosmall items are lying around that thechild can place in his or her mouth.An older sibling’s Lego pieces, for in-stance.
Stairs, doors and windowsThousands of children up and downthe UK injure themselves daily and avery large percentage of those acci-dents involve doors, stairs and win-dows.
Make sure you always use ap-proved window locks on all windowsand terrace doors, as well as childproofing all doors with stoppers andfinger protectors.
For staircase safety, use stair gatesboth downstairs and upstairs in orderto prevent falling accidents and placeslip resistant lining on the steps to beextra safe.
The carThe laws governing in-car safety arewide and varied for a good reason,road safety should never be takenlightly with children. It is easy to befrustrated and distracted by scream-ing and shouting children in the back
seat, but it is important to always re-main calm (easier to say than to do).But you can at least ensure you takea lot of breaks during longer journies,it eases tensions and distracts thechildren.
Use child seats that are adapted tothe child’s weight and use reversechild seats up to the age of four, if notlonger. Use a seatbelt of course and isalso good to place a child viewingmirror in the car as it will allow bet-ter attentiveness while driving.
Use a HumidifierWe spend up to 90 per cent of ourtime indoors where the air is usuallymuch more polluted and far drierthan you would expect.
Asthma, allergies and respiratoryconditions which are so commonamong children in the UK today areblamed by many on poor indoor airquality.
The Cauldron is an ultrasonic coolmist humidifier which releases a vari-able and controlled amount of freshwater vapour into the atmosphere forup to 8 hours at a stretch.
NScessity is a leading specialist inair treatment products. NScessityproducts are available at John Lewis,JoJoMamanBebe, Mothercare, Toys rUs, and many other leading retailers.
Keep a First Aid kit at home.Medicines and bandages are impor-tant to have at home for when thechild gets injured or falls ill. Plastersand non-alcohol wipes are alwaysneeded when raising children. Alsomake sure that you have antisepticsolutions to wash any wound as wellas other relevant products such as athermometer, suitable pain relief likechild dose ibrufen or paracetamol andsoothing creams.
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Common illnessesCHILDREN’S HEALTH
Somebody to watch over themThere are children’s conditions that traditionally themedics have been slow to pick up on and parents can savetime and suffering by being aware of the signs to look for.
MENINGITIS The disease is most commonly found in babies and children under fiveyears old as their immune systems are a lot weaker.
Despite the symptoms for babies and toddlers being different, one factis true for both; the disease can kill in hours. For those children who dorecover, there is a risk of permanent mental and physical disability. This iswhy time is so crucial. The earlier the disease is diagnosed the better therecovery rate will be.
The Meningitis Research Foundation’s primarily role is to spread awarenessof meningitis and septicaemia, although it also raises significant funds for re-search into the conditions to improve treatment and reduce the fatality rate.The foundation stresses how important it is to spot the signs of meningitisearly, which can only be achieved if people know what to look for.
Meningitis and septicaemia can be hard to recognise at first. Symp-toms can appear in any order, but the first symptoms are usually fever,vomiting, headache and feeling unwell, just like in many mild illnesses.
Meningitis: Fever/vomiting, severe headache, stiff neck (less com-mon in young children), dislike of bright lights (less common in youngchildren), very sleepy/vacant/difficult to wake, confused/delirious,rash anywhere on the body, seizures.
Septicaemia: Fever/vomiting, limb pain, cold hands and feet, paleor mottled skin, breathing fast/breathless, rash, very sleepy/difficult
to wake, confused/delirious.If you are at all concerned that your child may be suf-fering from meningitis or need advice and support, you
can contact the 24 hour hotline on: 080 8800 3344or visit their web site at:
DYSLEXIA The term dyslexia refers to a learning difficulty which is usually associated with reading and spelling. Itis present at birth and is a lifelong condition with differing degrees of severity.
If your child suffers from dyslexia, they may find reading and spelling difficult as well as remember-ing sequences such as numbers and dates.
Organising themselves will be hard and they will have bad time-management. On the other hand, theycould be very creative with excellent lateral thinking skills.
As your child develops, they will have difficulty with more and more tasks. For example, they maybegin to speak later than most children, have difficulty with reading and remembering the alphabet orsimple times tables. They may also have trouble tying shoe laces or distinguishing from left and right.These difficulties will continue into their teenage years which could result in alack of self-esteem.
If you are concerned that your child may be suffering from dyslexia, youshould speak to your child’s school or GP for a referral to a psychologistwho will complete a full assessment.
While some schools have excellent provisions for children withdyslexia many local authorities offer abysmal levels of help and parentswill have to battle hard to get the resources their children need, let alonethe possibility of extra tuition with a specialistdyslexia teacher.
For more information,contact The BritishDyslexia Association or visittheir web site at:www.bdadyslexia.org.uk.
If you are a parent, your child’shealth will be of the utmost im-portance to you and if they are
unwell or in pain you will want to en-sure that they get the best treatmentpossible. But sometimes the systemneeds a push from you.
It can be hard to know what to dofor the best if your child is unwell. Ifyou are at all concerned the obviousfirst step is to take your child to yourGP or contact the NHS direct helplineon 0845 46 47 if it is out of hours.
A little strategic pestering of the GPcan work wonders because some con-ditions are so hard to diagnose in theearly stages.
The experts say the most impor-
tant thing you can do however is tostay calm so that you do not causeany more stress for your child. Seekmedical help and heed the doctor’sadvice.
If you need support during thisstressful time, Action for Sick Chil-dren is a charity dedicated to helpingand providing information to bothparents and children during times ofillness. They offer information on allareas of children’s healthcare. The in-formation on their website has beendeveloped specifically to help parentscope with, and prepare for, differentaspects of children’s healthcare. Formore information visit: www.actionforsickchildren.org
ASTHMA The symptoms might be pretty obvious, not to say devastating and life-threatening in extreme attacks butgetting the correct treatment programme into place can be a trial.
If your child suffers from asthma, you may find that you need help and advice on how to manage at-tacks, the different types of medications and inhalers available, how to control your child’s asthma andadvice for when your child goes into childcare or school.
Asthma UK is a charity offering support to the millions of asthma sufferers living in Britain today. Thecharity works alongside medical professionals, research scientists and sufferers themselves to help spreadawareness of the illness, share expert knowledge and reduce the impact asthma has on people’s lives.
Asthma UK offers support for families and parents of children who suffer from asthma and the website details information on what symptoms to look out for.
The charity dates back to 1927 which is when the Asthma Research Council (ARC) was set up to con-duct research into the condition.
In 1972, the Friends of Asthma Research Council wasfounded with the task of raising much needed funds for ARC.The two groups joined forces in 1989 and called themselvesthe National Asthma Campaign. In 2004, the namewas changed to Asthma UK.
Asthma UK has published a number ofarticles and brochures about children andasthma and also offers a free adviceline which is open during businesshours. Their web site is a good sourceof information and can be foundat: www.asthma.org.uk
BY TOM ROWLAND
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Common illnesses CHILDREN’S HEALTH
ECZEMAEczema is a skin condition which affects people of all ages and ranges from mild forms to very severe. Up toone-fifth of all school children in the UK suffer from it so you child is not alone. Symptoms include dry and itchyskin which can split and bleed.
It is not contagious but does look very painful. The unpleasant appearance and discomfort felt can be sig-nificantly reduced with the correct treatment, although the skin will be ultra-sensitive and prone to flare-ups.
There are many causes of eczema which differ depending on the type of eczema suffered. Atopic eczema islargely regarded as being hereditary and is caused by sensitivity to allergens found all around; while other formsof the condition can be caused by a specific allergy to substances such as detergents, household chemicals andnickel.There is no cure for eczema, but there are many treatments to ease the discomfort felt. These range fromover-the-counter topical creams to prescription steroids. There are also many complimentary therapies whichhave been proven successful. If your child does suffer from eczema, there is evidence that between 60 and 70per cent of children grow out of the condition by the time they reach their teenage years.
For more information on the signs, causes and treatments of eczema visit the National Eczema Society’sweb site at: www.eczema.org.
We all know how children love to get involved in the kitchen and how they gain valuable life skills in the process,but we are equally concerned about their safety at the same time.
The Learning Tower™ brings your child up to the correct and safe working height through its unique self lock-ing and adjustable platform whilst the sides prevent them falling over or reaching places that present a danger.Designed to allow the child to access the platform area themselves, thus reducing the need to lift them in andout, The Learning Tower™ becomes their own special place.
By encouraging your child to participate in a safe environment it also helps to build that important adult/childrapport by adding time in the day when you can interact; promotes healthy eating and stimulates creativity.
Constructed from layered birch, the attractive natural finish is easy to maintain.Suitable for children aged over 18months The Learning Tower™ will enhance the life skills of your child
every day for many years to come.
FREE POSTAGE AND PACKINGWhen ordered direct from www.greatkidstoys.co.uk
quote ref TT/CHS on your order to receive free P & P in the UK Telephone 01422 351 726 for more information
Having been hailed as a success in the USA and Canada for the last 7years, and collecting many prestigious awards, The Learning Tower™ isnow available in the UK and Europe from the exclusive importers GreatKids Toys and other leading outlets.
Great Kids Toys
ALLERGIESAllergies currently affect one in three people in the UK and of thesehalf are children. The number of sufferers continues to rise everyyear, which is why expert knowledge and research is crucial.
The symptoms of allergies are varied and can range from a runnynose, itchy eyes and rash to a potentially life-threatening condi-tion known as anaphylaxis.
An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune systemoverreacts to a substance, known as an allergen, which is notdeemed as being particularly threatening to most people. The im-mune system tries to fight off the intrusion of this substance andas a result, blood cells release certain chemicals which cause an al-lergic reaction.
Virtually any substance can be an allergen although the mostcommon offenders are: pollen, pets, wasps and bees, dust mites,food, household chemicals, latex and medications.
If you think that your child is suffering from an allergy, you shouldcontact your GP who may refer you to an allergy specialist. Ask yourchild to explain how they are feeling and relay this to the doctor. Aller-gies are often hereditary; so if you know that members of your familyalso suffer from allergies be sure to let the specialist know.
While allergies can be very disruptive and of course can havepotentially fatal consequences, there is treatment available. As wellas trying to avoid contact with the harmful allergens, there are anumber of treatments available to ease suffering and prevent al-lergy attacks. These include anti-histamine remedies for aller-gies such as hay fever; topical creams for skin irritationsand adrenaline for more severe attacks such as ana-phylaxis.
It is reassuring to know that there is help and supportout there and that with the correct treatment, your childcan enjoy a healthy life.
Allergy UK is a national medical charity which wasset up in 1991 by primary medical specialists to ‘im-prove awareness, management and treatment ofallergy’. They are dedicated to providing informa-tion for everyone who is affected by allergies. For more information visit: www.allergyuk.org.
ATTENTION-DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)A large percentage of children under five are restless and have trouble concentrating. This does not mean that they allsuffer from ADHD, but you should still be aware of what to look out for.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is actually an American term which is commonly used to describewhat is known in the UK as hyperkinetic disorder and refers to children who are overactive and have severe difficulty in
concentrating. Some signs that your child may be suffering from ADHD include: extreme restlessness, interruptingpeople with constant chatter, being easily distracted and always acting on impulse.
Don’t panic, these actually relate to most children; it is only when this behaviour gets out ofcontrol and begins to have an impact on the child’s education and social life that you should
really worry. It is not known what causes ADHD, although genetics are believed to be a key factor with
more boys affected by the condition than girls. Diagnosis involves a child psychiatrist assess-ing your child and recognising patterns of behaviour commonly found with ADHD sufferers.
If your child is found to be suffering from ADHD, your family will receive help and ad-vice from the educational and medical communities and with enough support, most children
will grow out of ADHD. For more information, visit The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and
Support Service’s web site at: www.addiss.co.uk.
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Sight CHILDREN’S HEALTH
Mum is alwaysright – sight!Children do not know what normal eye sight means.They believe they see the same as everybody else, eventhough they might be short sighted or only have onedeveloped sight nerve.
has been enough attention paid tothe children’s eyes. By this time, allmajor issues should have beensorted, but minor variations canstill be treated. Learning difficulties
FAQsSHOULD CHILDREN READ BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP?It might influence the quality of the sleep itself, but it will hardly harm theeyes. Actually they will read with more ease than their parents and grandpar-ents because of their lower need for light to see.
WHAT ABOUT COMPUTER GAMES? They can stimulate the eye muscle quite a lot, but everything should be inmoderation.
HAS THE OCCURRENCE OF EYE PROBLEMS INCREASED IN GENERAL? No, computers, computer games and television demand a quite attentiveviewer and optimal eye sight.
HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE CHILDREN WITH PRESCRIPTIONS TO WEAR GLASSES?If glasses are needed and correctly adjusted, it is normally not difficult toget the child to wear them. Occasionally they will be reluctant or even re-fuse to wear them. If that is the case, you should team up with the spe-cialist or GP to motivate the child. Often it helps to get someone elsethan the parents to talk to them.
An impaired eye can become permanent due to lack of glasses or eyepatch. Bullying because of glasses is normally not a problem, but it canbe worth the effort to get the teacher to talk about it and help with so-cial acceptance.
Does your child have a lazy eye, turntheir heads often, squint alot and shuttheir eyes, complain about head achesor are reluctant to go to school? Allthese can be signs of poor visionwhich should be referred to your GPor school nurse, who will be able togive a referral to see a specialist.
It is important to discover eyeproblems as early as possible whilstthey can still be treated, says eye doc-tor John Wirsching.
A “lazy eye” or an amblyopic eyemeans that one eye is not used andhence the nerve is not developed. By thetime a child starts at school, it may betoo late for treatment. The treatmentshould commence as early as possible,no later than after four years of age.
Throughout nursery and primaryschool, the parents should pay spe-cial attention to signs of problemswith vision. If in doubt, “mum is al-ways right”. Take the child to a spe-cialist (there are some opticianswhich offer free eye tests for chil-dren) and get a diagnosis as earlyas possible. In general, the healthinstitutions are very good at dis-covering these disabilities.
It becomes obvious whether there
� Window on the world: it is important topick up problems early
related to reading can be a clearsign of something being wrongwith the eyes. It is something thatcan be solved, but it can inflict dis-comfort for the child.
Asthma, allergies and respiratoryconditions which are so commonamongst children in the UK today areon the increase, many people believethat indoor air quality is a major con-tributor to this.
Old fashioned drafts are a thing ofthe past, modern improvements to ourhomes have only compounded theproblem; central heating, fitted car-pets, double glazing and insulation allcontribute to an unhealthy sealed liv-ing environment. Add to this the in-creased use of chemicals fromdetergents, air fresheners and clean-ing agents that linger in our homes –that’s why products that improve airquality are no longer a luxury, theyhave become mainstream and featurein many homes, especially wherethere are babies and children.
Why use an Air CleanerIndoor airborne pollutants includedust mite waste, cleaning agentresidues, bacteria, mould spores …..it’sa very unpleasant list and it’s what
Simple steps to improving your family’s health90% of our time is spent indoors where the air isusually much more polluted and far drier than youwould expect.
you and your child are breathing inevery day, even in a clean home.
The 602 UV Plasma Air Purifier fromNScessity has a seven stage filtrationprocess which utilises several methodsto clean air.
HEPA filtration is proven to remove99.97% of airborne particles larger than0.3 microns in size – that includes petdander, pollen and other dust particles.
The very latest plasma sterilisingand photo catalytic technologies willdestroy 97% of airborne viruses, bac-teria and volatile organic compounds.
Carbon filters will absorb and neu-tralise lingering odours from smok-ing, cooking, cleaning agents or pets.
The in-built ioniser generates andreleases negative ions into the air –freshening the already cleaned air.
NScessity Air Purifiers are pricedbetween £27.99 and £99.99.
Why use a HumidifierDry throats and skin, itchy eyes and in-creased susceptibility to coughs, coldsand respiratory infections are just some
of the results of humidity being too low.Room temperature is known to be im-portant for babies and children’shealth, but not many people realisethat the relative humidity is just asimportant.
For optimum health and comfort, weshould be living with humidity of 45-55%.
At this time of the year when weare living with central heating on, rel-ative humidity can drop to just halfof this and as a result our health can
start to suffer. Humidifiers replacelost moisture and restore natural bal-ance, relieving many of the symptomsassociated with dry air.
The Cauldron is an Ultrasonic CoolMist Humidifier, it releases a variableand controlled amount of fresh watervapour into the atmosphere for up to8 hours at a stretch. Simply fill thetank from the tap and switch on.When the tank is empty, the humidi-fier automatically switches itself off.
The Baby Essentials Ionic Humidi-fier was designed specifically withnurseries and children’s health inmind. The built in ioniser will helpto create a fresh and healthy sleepingenvironment for your child. It is verycompact and also features a built innight light.
Humidifiers are priced between£29.99 and £49.99
NScessity are specialists in airtreatment, their products are availablefrom John Lewis, JoJoMamanBebe,Mothercare, Toys r Us, and manyother leading retailers.
If you want to find a stockist in yourarea, call us on 01483 428 989 oremail firstname.lastname@example.org
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The health wave is rolling overthe Nation. More and morepeople are concerned about
providing the right nutrition for theirchildren. And with good reason; -Children who eat healthily have moreenergy, do better in school and reducethe chance of being overweight, saysnutritionist Cathrine Borchsenius.
Studies show that those who eathealthily as a child, continue to eathealthily as adults, as the foundationsof our eating habits are laid duringour infant years. This in turn meansthat children who eat healthily willhave reduced risk of developing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obe-sity and cardiovascular diseases, as
WHAT ISHEALTHY?• As much berries,
greens and fruits as possible
• As little sugar as possible
• Unsaturated fat, notsaturated versions
• Trimmed fillets, not minced meats
• Lots of fish• Low in fat milk
Sources: Cathrine Borchsenius
grown ups. Those who eat lots offruit, berries and greens, will alsohave less of a risk to develop cancer,she says. The consequences of livingon crisps and soda can be dramatic.
Children are growing and an ex-tremely unhealthy diet might influencethe growth and height of the child.Some children get too little iron; thiscan also add to the negative impact ongrowth and lead to discomfort andtiredness. Too little calcium and vita-min D can lead to Rickets, she warns.
Accustom the kid to new flavors It is not always easy to get a child tolike fish and vegetables. Cathrine ad-vices parents to introduce this kind of
The way to ahealthy childFish and vegetables give your child greater possibilities tosucceed: Children who eat healthily have more energy,better concentration, increased performance at school,healthier teeth, and the reduced the chance of obesity.
SOFT TORTILLAS1 tin sweetcorn1 avocado½ glass black olives1 red pepper1 tin red beans½ cucumber 1 bowl sliced cherry tomatoes1 bowl lettuce2 diced chicken breasts lightlyflavored
Dressing: pre-made garlic dress-ing or sour cream
For the grown ups: jalapenosand salsa.
Around 95% of baby bottles on the marketare made of a plastic called Polycarbonate.This plastic contains a chemical knownas Bisphenol-A (BPA), which mimics ahuman hormone, and has been found tobe extremely toxic.
Lab tests have proven that when babybottles are heated and washed, potentiallydangerous levels of BPA leach intothe liquid.
While industry leaders continue to defendthe use of BPA, it has been linked by scientiststo cancers, impaired immune function,obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity and earlyonset of puberty.
BPA can be found in other plastic food anddrink containers widely used, but childrenare far more susceptible to adverse affectsfrom chemical exposures than adults, evenat very low doses, with children under theage of three being the most vulnerable,because of their body weight.
This has been a hot topic in America forsome time and in December last year SanFrancisco became the first state to ban thesale of baby feeding bottles that containthis controversial chemical. Since then thedebate has escalated as the media uncoveredthe story that baby bottle manufacturershave tried to keep hidden.
So what can I do to protect my child?
Environmentalists are calling for clearerlabeling by manufacturers whose baby
products contain BPA, so that parents canmake an informed decision before purchasingequipment that could pose a potential longterm danger to their child.
Meanwhile, the best advice is, make sureto avoid any clear, shiny baby bottles,or look for manufacturers who use onlysafe Bisphenol-A free plastic for their products,like BornFreeTM.
BornFreeTM produce a complete range ofsafe baby feeding bottles and equipmentthat are free from Bisphenol-A.
For further information about the risks ofBisphenol-A and more about BornFree’ssafe products please call 0208-732-4728or go to www.babybornfree.co.uk
Are Baby Bottles Toxic?
food early. – The sooner the childadapts to the new tastes, the easier it isto get the child to continue to eat dif-ferent things. Children accustomed toeating full grained bread, fish and veg-etables from a young age, are likely tocontinue eating them when they growolder. But every child is different –some are simply very picky about whatthey eat. They may say that they nolonger like food they used to like. Thiswill normally pass over time. If thechild does not like vegetables, then adda small portion on the plate anyway.
After a while, it becomes somethingthat the child will recognise and it ismore likely that they start eating itwhen it is available as opposed to notbeing there at all. “My children’s fa-vorite vegs (they are 3 and 5) are wrapswhich they can compose themselves. Iput bowls with different ingredients onthe table and let them choose” explainsCathrine Borchenius.
Good for kidsGive children as little sugar and sweetdrinks as possible the first years (addgradually as a treat) to avoid encour-aging a sweet tooth. Children who arenot allergic should drink milk as it isrich in nutrition and an importantsource of calcium. However childrenunder the age of one should not drinkmilk as they get full and might miss
BY BRYN JONES
out on other types of important food,which can in turn lead to a lack ofiron. When the child is 6 months old,start introducing new flavours. Mashyou own dinner and feed the child in-stead of always serving pre-madebaby food. Introduce darker bread,not just white, as early as possible.Some children don’t like bread withfull grains, but there is lots of “white”brown bread in the market. Do notgive them sweet spreads. Rememberfive servings of fruit and vegetableevery day (including potatoes, berriesand juice). A child’s portion can behalf an apple, half a banana, a thirdof a carrot, a mandarin or somegrapes. Water is by far the bestdrink. When eating bread you canserve milk with a variation of juiceoccasionally.
AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT FROM MEDIAPLANET ABOUT CHILDREN’S HEALTH, DISTRIBUTED IN THE TIMES10
More than three-quarters ofparents in the UK are con-cerned about the content of
video games, according to a surveycommissioned by Microsoft.
But British parents don’t feel asthough they have any say over whethervideo games are suitable or not, with 60per cent believing they had a “less thanaverage” influence over what kind ofgames their children played.
By comparison, two thirds of the Eu-ropean parents surveyed believed it wastheir responsibility to decide whichcomputer games were most suitable fortheir children, and almost half thoughtthat youngsters should play a maximumof one hour of computer games per day.
The survey comes just a few weeksbefore Dr Tanya Byron releases herGovernment-backed report examiningthe impact video games and the internetis having on children in the UK.
So time to turn over a new leaf thisholidays. There is a huge amount outthere for both children and parents youjust have to go and look.
Icy sparkleIce skating on what is undoubtedlyLondon’s most beautiful skating rinkbetween the colonnades of the OldRoyal Naval College in Greenwich isnow in its fourth year.
They also sell hot chocolate, mulledwines and mince pies for afterwards.
There are other open rinks over theChristmas holidays at Kew Gardens,Hampton Court, Royal Windsor andthe Tower of London as well as at theHyde Park Winter Wonderland, whichalso includes a toboggan slide, a 50
metre high observation wheel withspectacular views over the park, carolconcerts and a giant Christmas tree aswell as a German Christmas market.
Good food for thoughtCookery classes for children havecome a long way since the days ofcustard tarts and now they can trytheir hand at something creative in-cluding mozzerella and pancetta.
The Junior Chef Masterclass stagedby the City Café Westminster aim toteach children about good food in afun-packed class and are targeted atthe 8 to12 age range.
They get to try their hand at disheslike butternut squash, honey and sagesoup or smoked haddock and salmonfishcake, creamed leeks and babyspinach and then they do a compari-son against other fish cakes boughtfrom the high street ugh!!
The bad taste of the latter is washedaway with apple tart with thyme andvanilla ice cream.
At Halloween the celebration menufeatured Mozzerella Mummy, a daringdish of buffalo mosserella bandagedwith pancettta with tomato and agedbalsamic. They also had Black MagicPasta filled with halloween pumpkin, ri-cotta and sage and Dracula’s MidnightRaspberry mess with whipped cream,fresh raspberries and meringue.
The aim is to foster good eating habitsand the idea that cooking can be cre-ative and fun, while providing the per-fect excuse to get their hands dirty, saysexecutive chef Peter Lloyd who runs theJunior Chef Masterclasses.
“I like to show the kids that cook-ing is fun and that healthy ingredi-ents are much tastier than theprocessed foods on the supermarketshelves”, he explains.
The Junior Chef Masterclasses cost£35 per adult and child; to includefull recipes of the day’s dishes and aCity Café apron.
Junior Masterclass Dates:Saturday January 12 2008: An intro-duction to good food.
Saturday February 2 2008: An in-troduction to good food.
To book Call Tanja Petersen on 020 7932 4701 or email: email@example.com.
Drama queens (and kings)Drama classes are a great way to un-lock a child’s imagination, developtheir communication skills and givethem the chance to learn some of theskills and tricks of the actor’s life.
But it can be hard to find a goodclass, the best fill up quickly and there
are enormous waiting lists for many. The well respected youth theatre op-
erated by the Mercury Theatre in Colch-ester, for example, even warns about thelength of the waiting list on its web site.
A good acid test of the quality of adrama school is to ask about its exami-nation successes. Being examined in theperforming arts might sound faintly ab-surd but it is a good way to measureprogress against an internationally ap-plied standard and also to make contactwith expert assessors outside the imme-diate teaching environment.
The most well respected examina-tion regime is run by the LondonAcademy of Music and Dramatic Arts,which dates from 1861, making theAcademy the oldest of its kind inBritain, with a long-established repu-tation for excellence.
“Short dramalessons are bestbecause childrenkeep focused”Tracey O’Donnell
Tracey O’Donnell runs a drama schoolin Essex which offers LAMDA courses.
At the moment she operates classescovering the age range of 4 to 18from local halls around the Marks Teyarea but she has plans to turn aGrade II listed barn into a dramaschool and theatre space shortly.
Typically her students do one hoursessions rather than the full morning orafternoon sessions that many dramaschools opt for. There are advantages toshort lessons she argues; the studentsare more fresh and they do not spendtime hanging around waiting for thenext activity and consequently get amore concentrated experience. Contact. Tracey O’Donnell 07970898628.
For drama classes in other areas:www.all4kidsuk.com www.all4kid-suk.com has a good data base ofdrama classes and clubs nationwide.
Tea dances for under fivesThe idea of a café specially for the underfives might seem odd, after all the cus-tomers do not really have much say butit has caught on because keeping the lit-tle ones entertained inevitably makes fora more relaxing atmosphere for theirelder siblings, parents and carers.
Park cafés aren’t always great. Someare still in the dark ages, offering badtea, stale sausage rolls and tooth-rottingchocolate to innocent children and their
carers. But they are getting better, andmany now recognise the needs andwants of their young clients and theirolder companions.
For the model of how it should bedone, where better than Hampstead. TheBrew House is a cosy café is set on alower floor and part of the terrace of thegreat mansion at Kenwood.
The outside offers spectacular gar-dens, the interior high ceilings and anelegant set of surroundings that her-alds a seriously good café with nour-ishing if naughty cakes aplenty plussome more healthy options.
Garden CaféThe Garden Café in Regents Parkwas renovated in 2005. On sunnydays the big open space leads ontoan open terrace.Inner Circle, Re-gents Park, NW1 4NU (020 79355729/www.thegardencafe.co.uk).Baker Street or Regents Park tube.Open 10am-dusk daily.
� Beauty on thin ice: Greenwich Icerink open at the Old Royal Naval Collegeuntil mid- January.
Greenwich Icebaroque settingTIMES / TICKETSPer session including skate hire:Adult: £9.50; Children (under 16):£7.00; Concessions: £8.00; Familyticket (1 Adult and 3 Children or 2adults and 2 Children): £28.00. Spe-cial Offer - Skate all day - £7.50 on7,8,9,10,11 January 2008 10:00 am- 5:00 pm.
Children under the age of 12 must beaccompanied by an adult.
SESSION BOOKINGGreenwich Tourist Information Cen-tre open from 10am to 5pm
BY PHONE0870 169 0101 (booking fees apply)
TIMED SKATING SESSIONS:10am-11am 4pm-5pm11am-noon 5.15pm-6.15pm12.15pm-1.15pm 6.30pm-7.30pm1.30pm-2.30pm 7.45pm-8.45pm2.45pm-3.45pm 9pm-10pm
OTHER LINKSwww.kewgardensicerink.com www.hamptoncourticerink.com www.royalwindsoricerink.com www.toweroflondonicerink.com www.hydeparkswinterwonderland.com
Get out of doors for a great timeWinter is not a good season to get children out ofthe house and away from computer games - thereare too many good excuses for staying in the warm- but it is worth the effort and pays dividends.
BY TOM ROWLAND
phone: +44 (0) 1978 664362 fax: +44 (0) 1978 661056 email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.hauckuk.com
Sanofi Pasteur MSD’s commitment:
Developing innovative vaccines
Protecting all age groups with an effective, high qualityrange of vaccines
Conveying the unique characteristics of vaccines and their value for health:
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AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT FROM MEDIAPLANET ABOUT CHILDREN’S HEALTH, DISTRIBUTED IN THE TIMES12
Learning abilitiesCHILDREN’S HEALTH
Give yourchild mentalchallengesScientists agree that individual differences inintelligence are determined by both inheritance andenvironment. Thus it is very important to know howbest to stimulate a child mentally. But where shouldone draw the line on what is responsible influence?
The environment, both beforeand after birth, determines thedevelopment of the cognitive
potential that the child has inher-ited. In order for the intelligence todevelop, the child needs stimulationduring the childhood; but to whichdegree? Parents are more and moreconcerned about their child’s abilityto read and write before they startat school and this is boosting salesof so-called pedagogically gamesand books aimed at children innursery. Parents like the enhancedfocus on mathematics and pedagogi-cal games in nursery. They not onlyintroduce numbers and counting, butalso play games with cubes and dicesaimed at increasing the children’s in-terest for numbers and maths. Theaim is to guide the children into theconcepts of mathematics and stimu-late faster development of their num-
bers skills. But is it solely positive topush the child to increase their learn-ing abilities?
Decide which level they’re atWhat is really important is that the par-ents decide or find out at which level thechild is at and that they do not try topush them to accomplish things thatthey do not have the basics of under-standing. It may become counter pro-ductive; they can be put off by notmastering any of the tasks. There arehuge individual variations for childrenwithin the same age group; some chil-dren learn to read by themselves at theage of four – five and there are childrenwho do not have any interest for this atthat stage at all, says professor in psy-chology Lars Smith. He emphasises thatreading, writing and number trainingwhilst a child is still young can be verypositive for the cognitive development,
as long as it happens on the child’s ownpremises and encourages parents to trynew things. There are few or none clin-ical tests on the effect of different typesof early mental stimulation (i.e. readingstories at bed time) in the nursery stagecompared to no stimulation. This ismainly because it would be very diffi-cult to accomplish in a controlled man-ner, says Smith.
“We would have had to control theimpact of other factors such as the so-cioeconomic status, which we know isimportant, and the intellectual abilitiesto the children to begin with, says theprofessor. The children would have tobe divided into two groups, where onegot to determine the type and shape ofthe stimulation and the other could notdecide. Few parents and teacherswould be willing to participate in such
SMART MOTHERSAmerican scientists have discoveredthat women become smarter aftergiving birth. Both memory andlearning capabilities increases con-siderably when they become moth-ers, claims the study. It is theprofessors Craig Kinsley from theRichmond University and KellyLambert from the Randolph-MaconCollege who recently publishedtheir findings in the ScientificAmerican. According to the scien-tists, the ability to use the sensesincreases shortly after the birth. Amother is therefore capable of bet-ter recognising her baby usingsounds and smells.
a test/survey. There is however someresearch that has been looking at thelink between early linguistic learningand understanding and the ability tounderstand and analyse texts later inlife” explains Smith
Promote concept learningChildren, who get optimal opportuni-ties to develop their phonologicalskills, i.e. the awareness of the linguis-tic sound system, and their own lan-guage before starting school, are bestgeared to develop text using skills.
If done in a pedagogically smartway, with awareness of their growingachievement level, one can enhancetheir concept learning, throughgames. Especially children whose par-ents are not the most resourceful willhave huge advantages of efforts done
in the nurseries. Stimulation of lan-guage through games with letters,storytelling etc. is important, but ifthe teaching turns into demands andexpectations, it will not have thesame positive effect.
Even though many parents are con-cerned about their children learningas much as possible, it should notcompromise other elements that areimportant in everyday life of the chil-dren; playing games and having funwith other children.
Infants are very curious individualsand want to explore everything thatis new.
Take that challenge seriously, is theadvice from Smith. When the childreaches a certain development level,there are skills they almost master, thechallenge for the parents at this stageis to understand and predict wherethe potential is for the child and guideand help the child to get there.
Trumpeting the arrival ofthe new Elephant beanbag!Oversized, generously filled and beautifullymade, Elephant beanbags have now launchedin the UK! At the top end of the luxury bean-bag market, Elephants are pro-fessionally designed toincorporate a wide
range of colours and patterns and provide theideal solution for everyday lounging, whetherin family rooms, studio apartments, conser-vatories or teenage hangouts. Water resist-ant, durable and easy to wipe clean, Elephantsare also fully certified in accordance with fireregulations.
There are three types of Elephant in therange: Elephant Jumbo, Elephant Juniorand Elephant Dog Beds in small and large.Each contains hundreds of thousands ofpolystyrene beads, which mould to thebody providing exceptional comfort
and support. To view the full range ofcolours and styles available, visit
www.elephantbeanbags.co.uk orcall 01386 423760.
CLEARLY HERBAL NATURAL BABY WIPESAward winning Clearly Herbal Natural Baby Wipes use a naturallotion with tea tree oil, green tea, aloe vera and de-ionisedwater to heal, soothe and cleanse irritated skin.
Alcohol, perfume, lanolin and SLS free ClearlyHerbal natural wipes are even suitable for ba-bies with sensitive skin including eczemaand psoriasis. They use natural aro-matherapy oils of lavender and chamomile tosoothe baby and the wipes help prevent andtreat nappy rash.
Dee Evans started the business as the result of herown experience; with her son who suffered from eczema. The prob-lems she was having finding a suitable wipe were echoed in nu-merous conversations with other parents. The wipes werelaunched with phenomenal success and Clearly Herbal have moreproducts in the pipeline for 2008 including: 100% Bio-degrad-able Bamboo Cloth Natural Wipes.
For further information and for stockists visit www.clear-lyherbal.com or call 0845 634 3173
AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT FROM MEDIAPLANET ABOUT CHILDREN’S HEALTH, DISTRIBUTED IN THE TIMES 13
Learning abilities CHILDREN’S HEALTH
School boy’s life transformed bybreakthrough bean bag cureAaron Randal, eleven, wasdiagnosed with dyslexia,dyspraxia, Asperger'ssyndrome and attentiondeficit hyperactivitydisorder. His learningdifficulties didn't simplyaffect him academically,but socially too. He wasbullied at school andthings got so bad he saysthat “every day I wantedto die".
Aaron’s teachers described him as an“uncontrollable nuisance” and “lazy”.His condition meant that academi-cally he was years behind the rest ofhis class and was so frustrated that hewould sometimes be aggressive to-wards his mother. In the end he wasso badly bullied his parents had towithdraw him from the school.
His mother, Marie, recalls “hiswriting was like a spider had goneacross the page with a pair of rollerskates. At age ten he was reading likea five year old. He was also extremelydisruptive and was constantly climb-
ing up the walls because he couldn’tdo what other children could do”.
Marie was at her wits end whenshe heard about the Dore Programme,a non drugs based treatment for peo-ple with learning difficulties such asdyslexia and ADHD.
The treatment is completely nonin-vasive and aims to correct cerebellumdevelopmental delay (CDD), whichDore believes is the root cause oflearning difficulties.
The programme uses simple repeti-tive exercises to stimulate the cere-bellum (the tangerine shaped part atthe back of the brain responsible foreye tracking and co-ordination). Theexercises vary from juggling beanbags to balancing on balancingboards and help improve learning,language, emotion and co-ordination.
Seven years since it was set up theDore Programme has already changedthe lives of over 25,000 around theworld including celebrities such asToyah Wilcox and Strictly ComeDancing star Kenny Logan who says“there is no way I would have beenable to learn the moves for Strictly ifI hadn’t done the Dore exercises... itcompletely changed my life”.
Marie says the improvement she wit-nessed in her son was astounding:“After being on the Dore Programme for
twelve months Aaron achieving thehighest grades in his class and emotion-ally he is like a different person – muchmore confident and social. Recently hemade me a cup of coffee, sat down be-side me and told me he loved me. I was
so overwhelmed – there were tears inmy eyes.” Aaron has improved somuch academically that his teachershave been amazed. When he was tenhe was predicted L2s in his SATS… heachieved L5s. He also came top of the
year in a maths test and has now beenmoved up a set.
If you would like to know moreabout Dore please go to
www.dore.co.uk or call 01926514033
Call 08706092602for our Maternity
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From 9 months to 4 years
Axiss revolutioniseshow you place your child in the car.
Installing the car seat in the vehicle:Very easy : Thread the seatbelt through the easy-to-follow guides on the car seat.
Very safe: The car seat is safely attached to the vehicle thanks to its unique self-locking tensioner.
With the seat facing you, you can strap yourbaby in comfortably and adjust the harness veryeasily, for maximum safety.
W h e n g e t t i n g i n a n d o u t W h e n t r a v e l l i n g
Once your baby is safely positioned, you can swivelthe car seat to face forward with one simple movement.The green indicator and the “click” noise confirm that the seat is correctly locked in the travelling position.
AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT FROM MEDIAPLANET ABOUT CHILDREN’S HEALTH, DISTRIBUTED IN THE TIMES 15
Stem cells CHILDREN’S HEALTH
Stem cells are the body’s building blocks used duringgrowth and repair and in the future may offer a way totreat patients suffering from a range of conditions withpersonalised replacement cells and tissue.
The field of stem cell researchmay still be very young andthere is no guarantee that any
particular line will eventually lead toan established treatment but the besttime to harvest stem cells is from thevery young. Stem cells are mostabundant in the umbilical cord.
Which has prompted companies tooffer services to collect, freeze and storeindividual tissue banks for babies.
It should be emphasised that there areno guarantees and having your ownstem cell bank might not in the end benecessary.
A Japanese team made headlinesworld-wide a few days ago when it an-nounced a way to turn adult skin cells,taken from a woman’s face, into stemcells, negating the need to start withembryonic tissues.
The advance prompted stem cell pi-oneer Prof. Ian Wilmut to say hewould adopt the new method ratherthan the one his team used to cloneDolly the sheep.
But having a stem cell bank might be
a great investment that the next gener-ation could be hugely grateful to theirparents for setting up.
Within a few years, scientists hope,these early techniques could be fine-tuned so that a person requiring atransplant could have their ownorgan grown for them or if they wereinjured have their own cartilage andligaments generated in the laboratoryahead of surgery.
The laboratory-grown parts wouldobviously not have the problem ofbeing rejected by the body becausethey are actually a part of their bodyalbeit it from cells that have beenfrozen for the past couple of decades.
The research base looks promising.A new application of stem cells wasreported this month when a group ofscientists transplanted embryonicheart cells into cardiac tissue of micethat had had heart attacks.
Afterwards the mice were nolonger vulnerable to abnormalheart rhythms, a major danger topatients after an attack.
� The storage of cells in multiple lo-cations is seen as a way of cutting risk
Calpol BRINGING PEACE OF MIND TOGENERATIONS OF PARENTS
The makers of Calpol understand whatit’s like to be a parent. That’s why forthe past 41 years, parents like you havetrusted Calpol to help provide pain andfever relief for their children, gettingthem back to their normal selves.
Traditionally, Calpol is known forits gentle effectiveness in treatingpain and fever in babies and children.You may be most familiar, for exam-ple, with Calpol Infant Suspension,which can both help to reduce achild’s temperature and provide gen-tle pain relief. Calprofen, an ibuprofensuspension from the makers of Calpol,has provided parents with an effectivesolution for treating minor injuriessuch as sprains and strains, as well asrelieving pain and fever. Calprofenstarts to work on fever in 15 minutesand lasts for up to eight hours.
In addition, Calpol SixPlus Sus-pension has been specially formu-lated for older children aged sixyears and above.
Always read the labelCalpol Infant Suspension containsparacetamol and can be used fromtwo months (in babies more than 4kgand not premature)
Calprofen contains ibuprofen andcan be used from three months (in ba-bies more than five kg)
Calpol Sixplus suspension con-tains paracetamol and can be usedfrom six years.
BY TOM ROWLAND
As is often the case the direct ap-plication of stem cells was shortlived. This team decided that itwould not be practical to use em-bryonic stem cells on humans.
But their work led to the isolationof a specific protein present in theembryonic heart cells.
As a result they were able to takethe first steps to develop a tech-nique which could eventually see
them take tissue from a patient,modify these cells and then use theresulting mix to repair damage tothe electrical circuitry of the heartto cure incorrect rhythms in thelower chambers.
If it is hard for researchers to pre-dict outcomes, then having a per-sonal store of stem cells might be agood idea.
Cells4Life was founded by doctors tostore their own children’s stem cells.
It claims to be the only UK com-pany to store the whole blood fromthe umbilical cord, not just the stemcells. Whole blood has been shownto be of greater therapeutic value inrecent peer-reviewed publicationsthan extracted stem cells.
The argument is that keepingwhole blood is “future proofing”your child’s blood for many futurescientific developments, the ra-tional for all stem cell banking.
It also says it stores cord mate-rial in 3 to 6 separate vials in twoseparate locations.
Virgin Health Bank offers par-ents-to-be the opportunity of stor-ing their baby’s stem cells in dualprivate and public storage bankafter their baby’s birth.
“I’m absolutely passionate aboutthe possibilities of stem cells which iswhy I’d like to make sure the futurebenefits are open to everyone,” saysSir Richard Branson.
Virgin Health Bank says that be-cause in a child’s early years theirown stem cells are unlikely to helpif they fell ill and they would needhealthy, donated cells their pub-lic/private banking system has bigadvantages.
Stem cell deposits forinsurance tomorrow