On this page you will find advice, tips and Information

We are here to support you, please just ask.

Immunisations

Picture1.jpg

It’s not too late to catch-up on immunisations for your child

 

We all know that the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions have caused some challenges and delays in accessing healthcare services over the past two years. But if there’s anything positive to be taken from these challenging times, it is a reminder of how effective, and absolutely necessary, vaccinations are. We need that reminder, because during the pandemic we have seen a gradual, but marked decline in childhood immunisation rates in Surrey. There’s likely to be many reasons for this, not least the disruption of home life, routines and working patterns that we’ve all experienced. So, now that the Covid-19 vaccination programme has allowed us to return to some semblance of normal life, it is a good time to think about catching up with other immunisations if your child has missed any.


Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. They protect you, your child and other members of your family from many serious and potentially deadly diseases. Vaccination prevents up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year. They also protect other people in your community by helping to stop diseases spreading to other people who cannot have vaccines due to existing medical conditions or those with a weaker immune system.


Since vaccines were introduced in the UK, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely. Other diseases like measles and diphtheria have been reduced by up to 99.9% since their vaccines were introduced. Unfortunately, if people stop having vaccines, it's possible for infectious diseases to quickly take hold in the community again.


The good news is that GP practices across Surrey have worked hard to maintain the delivery of childhood immunisations throughout the pandemic, while following strict Covid-19 infection control measures, so there’s no need to delay booking your child in. You can check your child’s RED BOOK to see whether they are up to date with their routine jabs. To make sure they have the best protection they should ideally be given in line with the UK Vaccination Schedule below:

 

Quick guide to the UK Vaccination Schedule

Picture2.jpg

As we move out of the pandemic we will all, thankfully, be mixing more widely. So, it’s even more important for children to be up to date with their vaccinations to avoid the spread of entirely preventable diseases, like measles, which can lead to life-threatening complications like meningitis or mumps, which can cause hearing loss.


If you think your child has missed any vaccinations, you need to change a vaccination appointment or you’re not sure if your child has had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, contact your GP by:

  • visiting their website

  • using the NHS App

  • calling them

It's best to have vaccines on time, but you can still catch up on most vaccines if you miss them. BE WISE and IMMUNISE your child to ensure optimal protection against all vaccine preventable diseases.

Food safety advice for children age 5 and under

How to reduce the risk of choking

Food preparation:

  • remove any stones and pips from fruit before serving

  • cut small round foods. Grapes, strawberries and cherry tomatoes, should be cut lengthways and into quarters

  • cut large fruits like melon, and hard fruit or vegetables like raw apple and carrot into slices instead of small chunks

  • do not offer raisins as a snack to children under 12 months – although these can be chopped up as part of a meal

  • soften hard fruit and vegetables (such as carrot and apple) and remove the skins when first given to babies from around 6 months

  • sausages should be avoided due to their high salt content, but if offered to children these should be cut into thin strips rather than chunks and remove the skins

  • remove bones from meat or fish

  • do not give whole nuts to children under five years old

  • do not give whole seeds to children under five years old

  • cut cheese into strips rather than chunks

  • do not give popcorn as a snack

  • do not give children marshmallows or jelly cubes from a packet either to eat or as part of messy play activities as they can get stuck in the throat

  • do not give children hard sweets

 

Food and drinks to avoid

Drinks

Provide only fresh tap water and plain milk for children to drink. Fruit juice, smoothies, squash, fizzy drinks and flavoured milk, even when diluted, contain lots of sugar and can cause tooth decay. Diet or reduced-sugar drinks are not recommended for babies and toddlers either. For older children, these drinks can fill children up so they’re not hungry for healthier food.

When offering dairy alternatives to cow’s milk:

  • Unsweetened calcium-fortified, plant-based drinks (such as soya, oat and almond drinks) should be avoided before 12 months, however small amounts can be used in cooking. These drinks can be given from 12 months as part of a healthy balanced diet.

  • Do not give children under 5 rice drinks, because of the level of arsenic they contain.

Foods to avoid before around 6 months of age

Ideally, babies should be introduced to solid foods from around 6 months of age. If parents or carers have decided to introduce solid foods to their child before 6 months of age, you will need to work closely with them to ensure a consistent and safe approach.

It is important to remember that there are some foods which should not be given before 6 months of age:

  • cow’s milk

  • eggs

  • foods containing wheat or gluten, including wheat, barley and rye (for example bread, pasta)

  • nuts, peanuts and peanut products

  • seeds

  • fish and shellfish

  • honey – avoid honey until 12 months old

  • if a baby is less than 6 months old, sterilise water by boiling it first and then letting it cool right down - once a baby is 6 months old, this is no longer necessary

Foods to avoid up to 12 months

  • honey for infants under 1 year, as it occasionally contains bacteria which can make them ill

Foods to avoid up to 5 years

  • Nuts, especially peanuts, can cause severe allergic reactions in some children and all settings should have an allergy plan in place. Whole nuts, peanuts and seeds should not be given to children under 5 years old as they pose a choking risk.

  • Raw eggs, or food containing partially cooked eggs, for example uncooked cake mixture and runny boiled eggs (unless they have the red lion stamp or you see the words “British Lion quality”).

  • Foods high in salt such as: sausages, bacon, crackers, crisps, ready meals and takeaways.

  • Sugar – both in sugary snacks and by not adding sugar to food.

  • Foods high in saturated fat such as biscuits, crisps and cakes.

  • Fresh pate (meat, fish or vegetable-based) to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

  • Unpasteurised milk, milk drinks and cheese, mould-ripened cheeses and soft blue-veined cheese, to reduce the risk of food poisoning. However, these cheeses can be used as part of a cooked recipe as listeria is killed by cooking.

  • Shark, swordfish and marlin as the levels of mercury in these fish can affect a child’s developing nervous system.

  • Raw shellfish to reduce the risk of food poisoning, and make sure any shellfish you use is thoroughly cooked.

  • Raw jelly cubes – these are a choking hazard.

Foods to serve occasionally from 6 months to 4 years

  • Although it is recommended to provide oily fish in early years settings at least once every 3 weeks, do not provide it more than twice a week, as it can contain low levels of pollutants.

Useful resources

Screenshot 2022-05-02 115753.png
Screenshot 2022-05-02 115939.png
Screenshot 2022-05-02 120015.png