Editorial

Is children's healthcare back on the map or just for the summer?

Involving fathers more in the care of their sick children is one issue that seems to be gaining momentum

Involving fathers more in the care of their sick children is one issue that seems to be gaining momentum

Fathers
Picture: iStock

It has been a busy summer for announcements about children’s healthcare and you could be forgiven for thinking that the care of children and young people is finally getting the attention it deserves.

It was announced, for example, that the human papillomavirus vaccine is about to be extended to 12-13-year-old boys in England, Wales and Scotland, with Northern Ireland probably to follow suit. 

Then we were warned that cases of measles on the European mainland being at an all-time high and that vaccination levels must keep up to ensure immunity. 

There was also a warning about meningitis, and the timely reminder that students should receive the combined MenACWY vaccine two weeks before returning to university so that immunity has time to build up before fresher’s week.

Parents of children with asthma have been reminded that use of asthma preventer medication should be resumed at least two weeks before term starts.

This is because use of inhalers by children with asthma tends to lapse during the summer holidays and there has traditionally been a spike in emergency admissions for asthma attacks in the week beginning 17 September.

Airway management

There was a further warning from the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Difficult Airway Society about variations in airway management practices in neonatal and paediatric intensive care units across the UK which are putting babies and children at risk.

We have also had the news that England will follow the lead of Wales by introducing an opt-out system for organ donation, with Scotland and Northern Ireland looking into something similar.

The legislation in England applies to over 18s but children will be able to state whether they would choose to donate their organs.

Supporting fathers

Meanwhile another debate about involving fathers more in the care of their sick children appears to be gaining momentum. 

 

You can read Thomas Laws’s review of the relevant literature here and watch a video outlining the topic above.

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