Thursday, March 23, 2017
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As NHS guidance notes that a high sugar diet can contribute to obesity and lead to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, a new infographic has been released revealing the sugar content in your child’s favourite breakfast foods.

The graphic, from AXA PPP healthcare  reveals that many British children could be consuming nearly 10 sugar cubes each morning.The healthcare provider suggests eating no more than 30g of sugar per day (for those 11 and over) for a healthy, balanced diet, and looking at the wider nutritional value of foods (e.g. fat content) in addition to sugar.

Graphic courtesy of

Get little ones ready for the ski season with Polarn O. Pyret’s top tips

Getting the whole family up and out and well prepared for a long day in cold weather can be as challenging as your very first snow plough. Here are a few tips from Polarn O. Pyret to make life a little bit easier:

·      Before your holiday, talk through cold weather layering systems and explain it to your children. This will make the getting ready chore easier from day one.

·      Get your little ones self–dressing – practice before you go by making a clothes train.

·      Practice taking off and hanging up to dry at the end of the day…it is your holiday too!

·      Use layers and overalls when it is freezing in the UK, it doesn’t have to be snowing to appreciate warm clothing.

·      Invest in outerwear that is easy to put on and take off. Show your children how to roll down their overall and tie the arms around the waist, handy at lunch time.

Recommended layers and outerwear features especially for children:

Layer 1 - Next to the skin

• Polyester thermals are best for active kids because they’ll wick moisture away from the skin when they sweat.

• Merino wool thermals are ideal for colder than -3C, for less active kids and for non-skiers.

• Knitted wool socks are so much warmer than cotton in cold weather. Knee highs are essential for ski-boots.

• Inner Gloves will add an extra layer of warmth if you are expecting temperatures below -3C.

• Merino or fleece balaclava or beanie hat should be thin enough to wear under a ski helmet.

• Neck-warmers or ‘fake polos’ are a warm and safe alternative to scarves.

Cotton is not recommended because it retains moisture without locking in warm air making the wearer feel cold.


Layer 2 – Middle

• Polyester fleece is ideal for all temperatures as it is warm yet breathable. Remove and stash in a backpack when the sun comes out.

• Merino wool can also be worn as a middle layer, this natural insulator will lock the heat in.

Avoid heavy knitted wool sweaters as they are too restrictive and not breathable enough.

Layer 3 – Outerwear

• Waterproof ratings greater than a water-pillar of 10,000 are best for kids as they tend to spend lots of time playing on their knees, seats and backs.

• Snow-tight, look out for elastic ribs at sleeves, snowgaitors, footstraps and adjustable waists.

• Padded outerwear is best for younger children, and also for older skiers when the weather is below freezing.

• Lift pass pockets and chest pockets with large handy zip pulls make life easier.

• Hard wearing fabric that can withstand plenty of ground contact will last for the next child…and the next!

• Lightweight fabrics and pre-shaped arm sleeves and knees will not restrict movement.

• Windproof fabrics should also be breathable to maintain a comfortable body temperature.

• Reflectives front and back enhance safety for apres ski excursions.

• Comfortable and safe features such as chin protectors and detachable hoods are a must for young children, especially around button and chair lifts.

• Easy to clean, an anti-dirt finish with a wipeable surface and machine washable materials make life easier for everyone.


• Helmets for all the family.

• Ski goggles.

• Ski harness for very young children – if they are sturdy enough to ski.

• Skiwear with practical features such as lift pass pocket and adjustable cuffs on salopettes, so they are easy to get on and off with boots on.

• Skiwear with 360-degree reflectors so you can be seen when dusk descends.

• Underlayers that wick away moisture. Wool is especially good. Taking two sets is advisable.

• Face mask/balaclava in case of very cold weather.

• Thinner wool socks that do not wrinkle in boots.

• A good intermediate layer for cold winter weeks. An intermediate layer of fleece or a wool blend will keep children warm all day.

• Ski gloves that you can fasten and unfasten boots easily while wearing.

• A back plate offers good protection if your children are a bit more daring on the slopes.

• Family games for evenings. Yazy, UNO and card games are obvious favourites.

• Sun block – if you are skiing in spring, the sun can be strong reflecting from the white snow.

• Sledges and hot sheet sledges.

• Take raisins, energy bars, biscuits and drinks with you on the slopes for a quick energy boost.

• Action cams – are available that you can fit to a helmet or ski pole. They will produce fantastic footage that you can watch when you get back home again

• Familiarise yourself with the ski system – discuss where you are going to go and which slopes you intend to ski on in advance. Plan and think together.

• Car bag – let your children pack their own bag with things for the car journey. Then it won't be so infinitely loooooooong. Book, pens, iPad with films, earbuds and small toy figures will go a long way. Take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and explore new places on the way to the ski resort.

Fun and games on the slopes

• Follow the leader – suitable for all – and real fun if you are a bigger group.

• Meatballs and spaghetti. A good balancing exercise where you bend your knees on the slope and then stretch up like a stick of spaghetti.

• Build small jumps that you can ski over.

• Build snowmen and create your own little ski resort.

• Hold a build a snowman competition – the one most like Olaf in Frozen wins.

• Take hot sheet sledges and hold a family race – the winner gets 100 hugs.

• Bored on the chairlift? Think of as many words as you can that start with A, B, C etc or count the chairlift pylons as you pass them.

Two thirds of British parents consider watching TV with their children as quality time

However, parents could increase one-on-one time by a huge 70% if they take teens out to practise driving

66% of British parents consider watching TV as spending quality time with their children
Just 3% of the average British parent's entire week is spent on one-on-one time with their child
Young driver insurer ingenie found that parents can increase time spent with 17 – 25 year olds by a massive 70% by helping them practise driving

A new study has revealed that a shocking 66% of British parents think that watching television with their child counts as spending quality time with them. Of those who responded, the report shows that parents in Wolverhampton (78%), Sheffield (77%) and Southampton (77%) top the scale for TV time at over 75%. Only 13% of parents claimed they spent time doing activities with their children that didn't fall into an average daily routine.

The statistics were highlighted as young driver insurer ingenie investigated parents' attitudes to taking part in driving practice with their 17 – 25 year olds; discovering over half (54%) of British parents don't bother taking their children out for extra practice while they are learning to drive. With the average British parent spending just three to five hours – just 3% of their entire week – with their child, ingenie is encouraging parents to increase the time they spend with their teenagers by taking them out for supervised driving practice. The report showed that by boosting hours on the road, parent-child one-on-one time increased by a mammoth 70%.

Despite the government’s advice that additional hours on the road before young drivers pass their driving test has a massive impact on their future road safety, parents across the country are using a variety of excuses to avoid taking their 17 – 25 year olds for extra practice. The top cop-outs are claims of fatigue, closely followed by bad weather and then blaming heavy traffic on the road. Over half of parents in Aberystwyth plea tiredness or illness to bail on the driving time while a third of parents in Belfast blame the weather.

The government recommends a minimum of 22 hours of practice time (on top of 47 hours of driving lessons with an instructor) to prepare young drivers for differing road conditions and handling other cars. With this in mind, ingenie has released a guide to how parents can best help their children practise driving and how to remove the likely tension. Find expert advice here

Richard King, ingenie CEO, says, "At the age of 17, young people are learning key values and lifelong skills that are extremely relevant when learning to drive. How they learn will define their road safety for the next forty years and it's very important that parents contribute. Of course there’s the risk of some squabbling when parent and teenager start driving practice – but approached in the right way, this time can be hugely rewarding. For your child’s future safety, but also as quality time together away from the usual daily routine.”

As well as having an impact on road safety, the findings also showed that practice time in the car strengthened the family bond. Nearly half of parents (48%) who have helped children practise their driving skills stated that they felt closer to them following the one-on-one time spent together, with one third

(33%) saying that they felt they had made a valuable contribution to their learning.

The report marks the fourth of the five gears in ingenie's Parent Manifesto; a series of activities that aims to educate parents on how to get more involved when their child is learning to drive, in order to complement the learning process and promote safer driving among young people. The manifesto is made up of five stages – with each stage aiming to educate parents on another way they can help their child drive safely and save money.

For more information about how to help a young driver get on the road safely – visit:

School staff win first ever pupil-nominated Power for Good award

This Anti-Bullying Week, Caroline Dinenage MP, will present the first ever Power for Good Award to two incredible school workers at a Parliamentary Reception at Speaker’s House on Wednesday evening.  

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years at the Department for Education will give Mr Pittaway from Blue Coat Church of England Academy in Walsall and Mrs Johnson from Orton Wistow Primary School in Peterborough the accolade.  

The award, launched by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) to mark Anti-bullying Week, is designed to recognise teachers and school staff that that go beyond the call of duty to help children with issues such as bullying, relationships, family life and mental health.

Nominations flooded in from children across the country bearing witness to the many teachers that take action against bullying and care deeply for the wider needs of their pupils. One student that nominated Mr Pittaway said:

I want to nominate Mr Pittaway because I feel he has supported me in ways that help me forget about bad things and stop me from getting in trouble.  For example he has removed me from situations such as fights and arguments that could have got me in deep trouble.  He has spent time helping me by explaining the dangers and consequences of my actions. When I am angry or upset Mr Pittaway makes me laugh and helps me forget whatever makes me angry….Mr Pittaway is a great role model who never judges me for who I am and is always there for me in good and bad situations.

Jackie Johnson was nominated by an entire year three class, as well as a number of other pupils in the school, one year six student said  

Mrs Johnson goes above and beyond; she helps with my friendship issues and supports me with everything I do. I know I can trust her; I would not be who or where I am at the moment without her”’

Both the school staff demonstrated many of the attributes that the pupils said were important, these included knowing their names, listening to them, smiling at them, not shouting and showing they still care even if they’re having a bad day themselves. The winners will be joined at the Reception by the school Head Teachers and some of the pupils that made the nominations.  

Caroline Dinenage MP said:
Schools should be safe places for children to develop and learn. Teachers work hard to support pupils with issues such as bullying and the Power for Good award acknowledges their contribution, I am incredibly honoured to present this accolade in its first year. Bullying is a serious issue - one that we have to dedicate time and effort to combat. To support schools and teachers we are investing £4.4million on 10 separate anti-bullying projects across the country.

The theme of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week, coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance is ‘Power for Good’ and throughout the week they are calling on teachers, children and parents to use their power for good to stop bullying. The week is sponsored by SafeToNet and the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, with support from Internet Matters.

Georgie Pursey, Co Founder of SafeToNet said
It is wonderful to see these teachers recognised. We know what a positive influence teachers can have on their students and are thrilled to hear they are teaching that bullying in any form is unacceptable. We are pleased to get behind this year’s Power for Good campaign and recognise we all have our part to play: through the work of SafeToNet we want to empower children and parents to take action against bullying,

Ben Cohen, founder of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation
These awards send such a powerful message that we all need to take bullying seriously and do what we can to take action, we believe everyone has a role to play. We fully support the Power for Good campaign and encourage everyone to stand up against bullying. If you witness any form of bullying – tell someone you trust. It may be frightening, but the bullying will just continue if we ignore it.
Anti-Bullying Week each year shines a spotlight on the issue of bullying, and the winners of the Power for Good Award are examples of how school staff can and do take positive action to stop bullying.  The Anti-Bullying Alliance call on all schools to follow their lead.

Lauren Seager-Smith, National Coordinator of ABA said:
We know there are many schools that despite the challenge of meeting academic targets continue to prioritise the wellbeing of their pupils. We were overwhelmed by how many entries we received, over 100 students or classes got in contact to tell us about an inspirational teacher.  We want there to be an acknowledgment that bullying can happen anywhere, and for all school staff to be trained and supported to work with pupils and parents to tackle the issue.

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