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NEWS IN BRIEF

UNPRECEDENTED RISE IN MEASLES


MMR “vaccination rates still remain stubbornly low” says Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor of the Daily Telegraph. More cases were reported between January and November 2008 than previous years. London has the bulk of the cases but hot spots have been identified in the North West, West Midland and the South East.

Dr Mary Ramsay, immunisation expert at the Health Protection Agency says: “Measles is a very serious infection as it can lead to pneumonia and encephalitis, even in healthy children.” She adds: “It’s never too late to get vaccinated.” There have been outbreaks in nursery, primary and secondary school as well as one incident when a hospital worker caught the infection from a patient.

www.hpa.org.uk

CITY LOSES, CHILDREN WIN!


The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) has seen a 30% surge in inquiries about teacher training programmes in the last year. As graduates and disillusioned or redundant city workers seek more secure career paths in unstable times, The TDA’s CEO sees the City’s loss as teaching’s gain: “There is no doubt that the credit crunch has a huge silver lining.

ADHD v TRAUMA


Traumatised children are often misdiagnosed as suffering ADHD or bipolar disorders. The TES reports about US child trauma expert, Bruce Perry, who notes that often children who have grown up in chaotic or threatening environments receive inappropriate treatment because what might look like ADHD is actually signs of underlying trauma. This is often missed as the understanding of mental health is still in its early stages.

Perry highlights the need for children to have more established support systems; preferably four significant adults to guide a child’s development.

SAFE AND SEEN


In 2007, 3,090 children were killed or seriously injured in road accidents and of those, 1,899 were pedestrians. In total, 121 children died on the roads in 2007. In order to raise awareness, Texaco has brought road safety to life through the character Hector and his spooky friend’s at Oddballl School.

This year’s Hector campaign combines literacy and road safety, linking it into the National Curriculum, along with help for parents, activities and animated safety films on their brilliantly interactive website: www.hectorshome.com

ALL FOR LOVE


The dream of eloping to far off lands nearly came true for two German sweethearts, aged 5 and 6. Whilst their parents slept, the two, along with 7 year old sister as a witness, packed their suitcases with summer clothes, cuddly toys and provisions and set off for the airport, donned in sunglasses, swimming armbands and carrying a pink lilo, destined for Africa. They boarded a tram to Hanover station and were foiled in their attempt to get on an airport express train only when a suspicious station guard raised the alert.