Children’s health should be a priority says RCPCH

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) calls on politicians to put children’s health at the forefront of their agenda’s…

Following a poll commissioned by the RCPCH, member of the public showed overwhelming support to a number of policies which would considerably improve children’s health.

The poll of 2,118 UK adults revealed that:

  • Two thirds of Britons support the ban on advertising food high in fat, sugar and salt on TV;
  • 90 per cent backed cooking and nutritional lessons in school; and,
  • 82 per cent backed the introduction of compulsory personal, social and health education (PSHE) in primary and secondary schools.

Dr Hilary Cass, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: “We often see policies hitting the headlines that are targeted at the ageing population – increased funding for dementia research, and additional dementia training for NHS workers are among the pledges that have been made in recent weeks. But whilst caring for our ageing population is important, it shouldn’t mean that children’s health falls to the wayside.

“This poll shows that the voting public care as much about child health as they do care for the the elderly.

“Many health issues experiences in later life can be triggered during childhood. We need to better support children from infant to child, through to tee and into adulthood – we’ll only be able to do this by making small yet significant policy changed directly targeted to meet their needs.”

The poll also revealed that 63 per cent of Britons back relocating part of the NHS budget for urgent and emergency care to the prevention of illness (such as promoting active lifestyles and health eating) and provision of community care services.

94 per cent of the public also said children’s healthcare should be an important priority for the NHS (67 per cent very important).

“These are figures that are going to see little improvement if bold policies are not put in place to directly address them,” adds Dr Hilary Cass.

“What’s needed is urgent and increased investment in children’s mental health services and policies like taxation of foods high in salt, sugar and fat, compulsory PSHE lessons in all schools and heightened road safety measures, such as 20mph zones – policies that are backed by the public.”


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