Councillors to discuss Annual Public Health Report with focus on babies

​Date: 19/01/2016

PR ref: 6154

Senior councillors are to discuss Wakefield's Annual Public Health report – which focuses on a 1,000 day challenge to give new babies in the district the best start in life.

Research shows that many of the biggest killers, including the risk of developing heart disease, lung disease and cancer, are influenced by experiences in the first two years of life.  Having the right help and support at the beginning means that children are more likely to grown up healthy.

Members of Wakefield's Cabinet meeting on January 26 will be discussing the report and how to respond to the 1,000 day challenge.

Cllr Pat Garbutt, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Wakefield Council said: "Everyone wants the best start for their children. This report highlights just how important our earliest experiences in life are in affecting our long term health.

"That's why in Wakefield this challenge encourages individuals, families, communities and organisations to help 10,000 babies who will be born in the district over the next 1,000 days get the best possible start in life."

The 1,000 days include 270 days of pregnancy and the following 730 days which is the equivalent of the next two years. In this period a child's brain develops rapidly, reaching about 75 percent of its adult size by the end of its second year.

The Annual Public Health report provides a detailed break-down of the factors that affect future health including exposure to cigarette smoke, where people live, how they do at school and the sort of job they do.

Unhealthy children are likely to become unhealthy parents, so families can be disadvantaged over many generations.

The report focuses on the help which is available, including support for pregnant women, feeding babies, and helping children to develop emotionally, socially, and language skills.

It also looks into how children's services in Wakefield work to provide support to families  through accessing  the right person, at the right time and in the right place.