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Topic: child health

Putting the spotlight on the first 1000 days, to improve children’s futures #LongRead

The first 1000 days is the name of a global movement that recognises the importance of the period between conception and a child’s 2nd birthday as a unique window of opportunity to shape healthier futures. The right nutrition and care during this 1,000 day window can have a profound effect on a child’s ability to […]

China’s ‘white gold’ infant formula rush comes at a public health cost

Karleen Gribble and Julie Smith write: Alongside this week’s announcement of a free trade deal between China and Australia came reports of Gina Rinehart’s investment in a Queensland dairy operation to supply infant formula to China. Australia’s richest woman built her fortune on iron ore, but Rinehart’s A$500 million investment makes her a major player in […]

Supporting wellbeing in the early years

Dr Gavin Hazel – Program Manager, Child, Youth and Wellbeing Program and Jaelea Skehan – Director, from the Hunter Institute of Mental Health write: There is a convergence of professional opinion, science and policy that the welfare of children should be of paramount concern to everybody. Research into early childhood development has grown rapidly over […]

Marketing of milks for infants and young children: Effective regulation is urgent

Many thanks to Libby Salmon BVSc, MVCS, Visiting Fellow, ACERH ANU, Julie Smith, PhD. B. Econs (Hons)/B.A and Joy Heads OAM, Midwife, MHPEd, IBCLC®, FILCA for this contribution to the discussion on infant nutrition.   Australia may be at the forefront of tobacco control worldwide, but has dropped the ball in relation to global efforts to protect breastfeeding from […]

Place-based approaches to supporting children and families: what are they, and why do they matter?

What are “placed-based” approaches to improving health? What is “social climate change”? And why might these concepts matter for the health and wellbeing of children and families? The Centre for Community Child Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne has just released a policy brief examining these issues. I’m sorry I don’t have time […]

Important for mental health: a fair society and a good start to life

Continuing a Croakey series on mental health reform, this post touches on the importance of policies that support healthy early childhood development and equity. Professor Helen Keleher, president of The Public Health Association of Australia, has argued that mental health would benefit from a much greater focus on intervention in early childhood, particularly among the […]

Diphtheria death prompts call for action to boost vaccination

Correction (May 5): A Croakey reader reports having diagnosed diphtheria in another patient a few years ago (see comments below), so the Brisbane case is not the first for nearly two decades as previously reported. I have asked for the reader to provide more details and confirmation, and will post these when they become available. […]

Are health inequalities unjust? Some varying perspectives…

Professor Angus Deaton, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, has recently published an essay that is well worth a read, titled: What does the empirical evidence tell us about the injustice of health inequalities? He concludes: Health inequalities are a matter of great moral concern. But whether we see them as an […]