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Baby advice goes online; A new website has been created to reassure first-time parents. Health Reporter HELEN RAE finds out more.


PROUD public

CHILDCARE health experts in the North East have welcomed a new interactive website to help parents and carers keep their babies healthy, happy and safe.

NHS Baby LifeCheck is designed to provide information and advice to mums, dads and carers of babies aged five to eight months and it is being rolled out nationally by the Department of Health.

Parenting can be a daunting business and that's why this new web tool has been launched to answer the question on the lips of all new parents: "Am I doing it right?" NHS Baby LifeCheck guides parents through a series of multiple choice questions, then offers advice to help them give their kids the best start in life.

Topics include development, feeding, healthy teeth, safety, sleep routine, immunisations and the challenges of being a parent.

Helen Robinson, lead public health nurse for Northumberland Care Trust, said: "Becoming a parent for the first time can come with the worry of whether you are doing the right thing for your child, and this free service will help parents to find out.

"NHS Baby LifeCheck will be a useful source of information and guidance for parents of babies between five to eight months, at a time when they receive less frequent visits from health professionals.

"NHS North of Tyne is investing more than pounds 1m into services to ensure a safe birth and a healthy start to life for people living in our area."

Lyn Dixon, executive nurse for NHS North of Tyne said: "A safe birth and a healthy start to life are both key areas of focus of our work in the North of Tyne area.

"We are investing a significant amount of money which will go towards funding a Down's Syndrome screening programme, increasing the number of mothers choosing to breastfeed and delivering the requirements of Maternity Matters, which will ensure that by the end of 2009, all women will have choice around the type of care they receive, together with improved access to services and continuity of midwifery care and support."

Created in consultation with parents, NHS Baby LifeCheck recognises that being the mum or dad of a young baby can sometimes be a challenge.

It offers top tips, helpful videos and details of organisations which can support people across a range of issues - from weaning worries to feeling down or lonely.

Health Minister Ann Keen said: "NHS Baby LifeCheck is a reliable source of non-judgemental, online information for parents and carers. It provides reassurance and advice about their baby's health development, happiness and safety.

"It's an easy way for parents to find out if they are doing the best thing for their child, whilst also supporting them to set goals or find further help to make improvements for themselves and their baby."

NHS Baby LifeCheck is one of three online health checks announced as part of the White Paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say, under NHS LifeCheck.

This is an online health service that will help people assess and manage their own health covering babies, adolescents and mid-life.


SUPPORTIVE - Health Minister Ann Keen and Denise Robertson visit the children's Bubble Unit at Newcastle General Hospital last year PROUD - Helen Robinson lead public health nurse CARING - Lyn Dixon, executive nurse for NHS North of Tyne
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Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Article Type:Website overview
Date:Aug 17, 2009
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