Healthy Children and Young People

It is important that we give all children the best start in life and that we do everything we can to support their health and wellbeing, as well as supporting them through young-adulthood. On this page you will find information, guidance and advice to support both the physical health and mental wellbeing of children and young people.

Healthy Learning, Healthy Lives

A child's experience in education can affect their health and wellbeing into adulthood. Ensuring that learning environments support health and wellbeing is crucial. 

The Healthy Learning, Healthy Lives website contains free resources, information and useful contacts for teachers, professionals and families of children aged 2 to 18 years. The programme also includes a free Healthy Learning, Healthy Lives accreditation (formerly Healthy Schools) for local schools, colleges and early years settings.

If you have any questions or comments about the Healthy Learning, Healthy Lives programme, please do not hesitate to contact the Public Health team at healthylearning@doncaster.gov.uk

National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)

Children who are a healthy weight tend to be fitter, healthier, better able to learn, and more self-confident. They're also much less likely to be overweight and have health problems in later life.

Healthy weight children

In Doncaster almost a quarter of children aged 4-5 years and over a third of children aged 10-11 years are overweight or very overweight.

It can be difficult for parents to tell if their child is overweight, this is partly because more children are becoming heavier at an earlier age, so we have been used to seeing bigger children. Because excess weight can lead to range of health problems in childhood and in adulthood it is important that we know how many children are affected and provide the right support for them and their families.

What is NCMP?

Under the programme the weight and height of children in reception class (aged 4 to 5 years) and year 6 (aged 10 to 11 years) are measured. These results are then used to plan better services and learn more about changes in the population. Trained NHS staff measure your child at school, clothed and in private, and the results are confidential. You will receive a letter about the programme before your child is measured and the results will be sent to you by post afterwards

If you have learned that your child is overweight, there are some simple steps you can take and support is available locally. Eating a healthy diet and moving more can help your child achieve a healthy weight. It's also good for you to get healthier as a family, by doing more activities and changing your eating habits together.

For ideas and information about what to do when your child is overweight and a video about the National Child Measurement Programme visit the NHS Choices website.

Useful links

For further information, please contact us:

Safeguarding children and young people 

Child sexual exploitation (known as CSE for short) is a form of child abuse. It happens when a young person is manipulated or forced, to take part in sexual activity. The abuser works hard to groom the young person - it might seem like a normal friendship or relationship to begin with - gaining their trust and then exploiting that trust for their own gain. It can happen online or offline, and without the young person being aware of it. It may also involve more than one abuser and a number of victims.

It is a crime which destroys lives - it happens to children across the country and is not limited to a particular area, gender, race, or social background. 

Signs of sexual exploitation

Children and young people who are victims of sexual exploitation often do not recognise that they are being exploited. However there are number of signs that a child may be groomed for sexual exploitation: have they started to become truant from school? Are they staying out overnight? Have they been coming home with money, clothes, jewellery and mobile phones they can't explain properly? Are they chatting online to people you have not met?

Help your child stay safe

Children and young people spend a lot of time online – it can be a great way for them to socialise, explore and have fun. But children can face risks including cyber bullying and inappropriate content.  Children and young people may find it difficult to recognise that they are being exploited. There are a number of practical steps you can take to protect children such as: 

  • Making sure you understand the risks associated with your child being online and putting measures in place to minimise these risks.
  • Being cautious of older friends your child may have, or relationships with other young people where they appear to have control over your child.
  • Being aware of new, unexplained gifts or possessions and carefully monitoring any instances of staying out late or not returning home.
  • Staying alert to changes in behaviour or any physical signs of abuse such as bruising. 
  • You can read about other behaviours to look out for in our 'spot the signs' section on the left-hand-side. 

The PACE - Parents against child sexual exploitation website gives further information and advice for parents.

For lots more information and advice about relationships and sexual health please visit Respect Yourself Doncaster.

Help us stop CSE

If you have any concerns regarding the safety and wellbeing of children, please call 01302 737777 (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm) or 01302 796000 (outside office hours). Alternatively, you can contact Childline on 0800 11 11 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

In an emergency call 999 if a crime is in progress or a life is at risk. For all other incidents please contact South Yorkshire Police on 101. 

Further information and resources are available on the think you know website .  

Project 3- Young people's health and wellbeing service

Alcohol, tobacco, illicit drug use and sexual risk taking are among the major problems affecting the health and wellbeing of young adults in England.

Alcohol:

Iis recommended that you don’t drink at all if under the age of 15, as this can be harmful to mental and physical wellbeing. The best advice is not to drink alcohol until you’re 18, if you do choose to drink before then, remember to make sure you’re with a responsible adult who will stop you doing anything that could be dangerous.

Drugs:

There are always risks involved taking any kind of drug even taking prescribed drugs from your doctor or bought in shops can have side effects which should be explained to you. Illegal drugs may be mixed with other substances and you never know exactly how they will affect you. If you are unsure or worried about anything, you might feel better to talk to someone about it. Find more information on Doncaster Council's drugs and alcohol page.

Smoking:

If you are thinking of starting smoking, please do not: smoking causes damage to your health and can shorten your life expectancy. If you are currently smoking then the best advice is to quit you can visit the Yorkshire Smoke Free Website. or call 01302 640032

Sexual activity:

Many young people engage in unprotected sex that can result in unintended health outcomes, sexual risk behaviours can place young people at risk of unintended pregnancies, HIV infection, other Sexually Transmitted Diseases such Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis. 

You can visit the Project 3 RDASh webpage, follow Project 3 on Facebook or call 01302 640032 for more information.