FINAL Elsie artwork 280312[1]More than a fifth of smokers admit to lighting up in front of their children in the home or car, is the finding from a new Department of Health survey. And almost 15 per cent believed that their children’s antics in the back of car makes them reach for a cigarette.

The findings come following a raft of tough measures unveiled by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley this spring designed to cut the biggest cause of premature death in England. This includes a new hard-hitting national campaign on secondhand smoke.

The adverts show how children are exposed to smoke in the home even when their parent moves away from them - for example by smoking by an open door or smoking in the car with the window open.

The new findings also suggest that parents think they are protecting their children from the harmful poisons of secondhand smoke by opening a door or car window - without realising that is not enough. Figures show one in four open the car window when children are in the car; and one in five said that they smoke out of a window or door when children are at home.

But up to five million children across the UK are still regularly exposed to secondhand smoke in the home. People don’t realise that they could be breathing in deadly smoke because more than 80 per cent of cigarette smoke is invisible. Opening a car window or smoking out of the house door just isn’t enough to protect children.

Even the school run isn’t a smokefree zone as almost one in ten smokers admit to smoking in the car which exposes children to the harmful cancer causing toxins and poisons of secondhand smoke whilst making the daily journey to school.

Three hundred thousand children visit the GP each year, in the UK, due to secondhand smoke with 9,500 visiting hospital. This costs the NHS a staggering £23.3 million every year.

Children cannot protect themselves from secondhand smoke and are particularly vulnerable to it due their higher breathing rate, less well-developed airways, lungs and immune system.

Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more at risk of respiratory illnesses, asthma, meningitis and even cot death.

They are also 90 per cent more likely to become smokers themselves. In the UK, 23,000 young people each year start smoking by the age of 15 as a result of exposure to smoking in the home

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said:

“It is important that we help parents protect their children from possible harms to their health. We want parents to know that by making their cars and homes smokefree they can protect their children's health.

“Figures show that 9500 children have to go to hospital each year because of the second hand smoke and toxins they breath in. It's hard to quit but worth doing for your children. Get more information by getting a free Smokefree Kit at, or for help quitting get in touch with your local stop smoking service, GP or pharmacist.”

Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation Dame Helena Shovelton said:

“The harm caused by second-hand smoke to children is irreparable. Once the damage has been done, their lungs will never fully recover.


Starch Intake May Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer (Guest Post)

The results of an intensive seven-year-long research study that involved over 2,600 women—the Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Dietary Intervention Trial—were presented at last year's CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium with some surprising findings. The WHEL study participants had all suffered from breast cancer prior to participation and had apparently successfully completed breast cancer treatment. This specific study was designed to assess for any correlations between a healthy lifestyle and a recurrence of breast cancer. Results indicated that a higher consumption of starchy foods such as pasta or potatoes is associated with an increased risk of tumor recurrence. This association was identified specifically for dietary starch intake and not with other carbohydrates.

Positive and Negative Dietary Associations

Breast cancer researchers have long associated certain diets and foods with an increased risk of breast cancer, such as diets high in red meats, refined carbohydrates and alcohol. Conversely, diets high in fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and unrefined foods are generally associated with breast health. As you've probably heard through one media source or another, aim for a naturally colorful diet of blues, reds, dark greens and orange colors. Further, these dietary changes don't necessarily mean that your entire food habits have to change—surprisingly, even a couple of cups of coffee a day can lower your risk of developing the disease.

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Discover How To Boost Your Fertility, And Increase The Chances Of Safely Carrying Your Baby To Term (Guest Post)

I want to become a mum, but… 

Infertility is perhaps the biggest struggle experienced by women who suffer from PCOS. Ninety to 95% of women who attend infertility clinics because of an ovulation suffer from PCOS1.The challenges that PCOS causes in a woman’s reproductive life do not end with just infertility. Those women who are fortunate to conceive despite having PCOS face a legion of complications that can jeopardise their own health and the health of their precious baby. Thirty to 50% of women with PCOS suffer miscarriages in the first trimester (first three months) of their pregnancy2.They may also have a greater risk for complications such as:

* Pregnancy induced hypertension – i.e. abnormally high blood pressure during pregnancy3

* Gestational Diabetes - i.e. diabetes induced by pregnancy3

* Preterm delivery – i.e. delivery before the completion of 37 weeks of pregnancy3

* Birth of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) babies3

2 important reasons women with PCOS have a higher risk of miscarriage

Hormones to blame

PCOS stems from hormonal imbalances4,14. It is no different when it comes to pregnancy complications. Insulin resistance, high levels of the hormone LH, excessive testosterone and other hormonal imbalances can cause pregnancy loss and other pregnancy complications of PCOS5,6.
In fact, abnormal LH levels, and low progesterone levels are two reasons why you have a higher risk of miscarriage.

How you can make simple changes to dramatically increase your chance of giving birth to a happy, bouncing baby.

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Five Reasons to Run Post-Baby (Guest Post)

Many new mothers want to establish a routine running habit to lose excess baby weight, gain more energy and take some time alone for themselves. Postpartum fitness is the perfect way to get the body back into shape after pregnancy. Lack of sleep, a fussy baby and a hectic routine can leave mom feeling exhausted. Running can give postpartum women both short- and long-term benefits, including an efficient workout that will help the day go more smoothly, better sleep habits, a boost in confidence and weight loss. Here are five reasons to strap on some running shoes and get fit.

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What Should I Eat and Drink While I'm Breastfeeding? (Guest Post)

It's common knowledge that breastfeeding your baby is better for its health, but is there anything you can eat and drink to make your milk even more nutritious? And what about your own health while breastfeeding? Two of the most common complaints amongst breastfeeding women are exhaustion and dehydration, both of which are helped by drinking plenty of water, herbal tea and milk (providing you can eat dairy). Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help to maintain your energy levels, and ensure that your baby is getting all the vitamins and minerals he or she needs from your breast milk. 

What is a healthy diet?

You'll need to be eating a variety of vegetables, and lots of them. If you're not a big fan of veggies, try stir-frying them with some garlic or flavoured oil. Stir-frying is the most delicious way to prepare vegetables, and also the healthiest, after steaming & microwaving, as the quick cooking time means you're not destroying so many of the vitamins. (Vitamins are water-soluble, so boiling veg usually means you're boiling away the vitamins, too.)

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Three Top Tips to make New Mum Feel Good (Guest Post)

If you are a new Mum you may be experiencing a roller coaster of emotions as your hormones rebalance after the birth of your little bundle of joy. Some days might be plain sailing with the house immaculate, a contented baby, the washing done and tea on the table domestic-goddess-style whilst others could be car crashes of weeping and wailing – you and the baby – mess everywhere and takeaway pizza for dinner.

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Healthy Eating for Baby and You (Guest Post)

When you are breastfeeding, it is vital that you maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. Not just for your baby, but for you, so that you can maintain the energy levels you need to go about the tiring business of being a new mum!

Eating healthily doesn’t have to be a chore either, and we all know that easy is the way forward when it comes to being a new mum; there’s so much more to worry about than preparing fancy meals! But instead of reaching for the takeaway menu and slipping into bad habits, make sure you have the right foods in to fix yourself healthy and nutritious snacks whenever you need to.

Have nuts, fruit and oat crackers ready to hand for healthy snacking when you’re on the go, so that you’re less tempted by the multipack of crisps in the cupboard.

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It's Not Too Late to Improve Your Diet (Guest Post)

The new year may be in full swing now, but it really isn't too late to do some things to improve your health in 2012.

Starting a healthy eating regime is something you can do at any time of the year. But with spring just around the corner and new beginnings galore around now, it seems as good a time as any.

The key to eating healthily is to still give yourself a treat every now and again. You're bound to despise your regime if it cuts out everything you love in the process. Don't have no chocolate whatsoever, just don't gorge on it when you have it. A little of what you love won't hurt you, it's more when you consume too much of it that it becomes a problem.

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One in Four Parents to Face a First Aid Emergency (Press Release)

– New online training campaign to help improve parents’ first aid skills –

81% of parents in the UK don’t have the knowledge required to administer basic first aid to a baby or a child although one in four will have to deal with an emergency first aid situation.

New research* by Tesco Baby & Toddler Club also reveals that 72% of parents wouldn’t feel confident in administering first aid. 60% would worry they would do something wrong, 54% would panic and 47% fear they would cause more harm.

The survey marks the launch of the fifth Tesco Baby & Toddler Club BabySafe campaign – an initiative to offer free, basic first aid training to parents, grandparents and carers. To reach as many parents as possible, this year’s sessions will be run exclusively online via a series of short videos, Twitter chats and webinar. Experts from the British Red Cross will teach invaluable lifesaving skills to help deal with bumps to the head, falls, meningitis, burns, choking and what to do if a child is unconscious.

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