This public health annual report considers the health and wellbeing of children. As children grow up, research has show that early influences on health can have life-long effects. Investing in the health and wellbeing of our children will result in long-term population benefits.
A recent report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health considered the state of children’s health and challenged commissioners and providers of health and care services for children on some of these outcomes, particularly on the inequality in health of children and young people, both within England and compared to other places in Europe. The Children’s Commissioner for England regularly publishes reports on her analysis of children’s health and wellbeing and the services that should be responding to need, particularly for those children and young people who are most vulnerable.
Growing up in a loving, nurturing and safe family environment is part of the child developing into a healthy, happy adult. In some cases, children or young people on the receiving end of harmful adult behaviours (such as substance abuse or domestic and sexual violence and abuse) will themselves replicate those behaviours and the cycle will continue. Those affected will frequently cite a lack of early recognition and support for these problems, and highlights the importance of prevention and early intervention for both children and adults.
This report examines the state of health of children and young people in Devon and makes a number of recommendations to improve the health and wellbeing of the next generation.
Dr Virginia Pearson, Chief Officer for Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity