Christmas Ideas for your Family

Take a walk around the town and look at all the Christmas Lights. Watch a Christmas Film together and eat popcorn. Make a hot chocolate drink with marshmallows and sprinkles. Read some stories about the birth of Jesus (Join the Sure Start Library, there are lots of Christmas story books and dvd’s to borrow). Make a Christmas ornament together as a family. If you can spare the cash, buy an extra gift and take to a charity Christmas tree. Go to the Little Hands Surestart Christmas Event on Friday 16th December in Brooke Park. Meet Santa and have a photo taken with him. (Sure Start organise this every year for the families in our community). Visit an elderly relation or neighbour to check they are warm and safe in their home.

Button Batteries

Button batteries and lithium coin batteries are the small, round batteries that are found in lots of toys and everyday objects. They can be extremely dangerous for children if swallowed – especially lithium coin batteries – and can kill within hours. Why are Button batteries Dangerous? Most button batteries pass through the body without a problem. But if a button battery, particularly a lithium coin battery, gets stuck in the throat or gullet, energy from the battery can make the body create caustic soda (the chemical used to unblock drains). This can burn a hole through the throat and lead to serious internal bleeding and death. Lithium coin batteries are the most dangerous as the higher voltage means more energy is released, creating more caustic soda. The reaction can happen in as little as two hours. All button batteries are very dangerous if they get stuck in a child’s ear or nose. Where can you find Button batteries? Button Batteries are used in a wide range of toys, gadgets and other everyday objects you’ll find around the house. Lots of these objects have buttons and surfaces that young children love to explore and play with. Many are brightly coloured or otherwise appealing to children. These include: • Small remote controls • Car key fobs • Calculator • Thermometers • Hearing aids • Digital scales • Musical cards • Novelty toys • Watches • Flameless candles and nightlights Who is at risk? It’s not just babies and toddlers, who put everything in their mouths, who are at risk from button batteries. Older children can be fascinated by them too. In some cases, they may deliberately put a button battery in their mouth or on their tongue to experience the sensation of the electrical charge. Children’s Toys Batteries in children’s toys are covered by safety regulations and should be enclosed by a screw and secure. Toys from markets or temporary ships may not follow safety regulations. Remember that older children may be able to open secure battery compartments. How can I keep Children Safe? • Keep products with batteries well out of reach if the battery compartment isn’t secured with a screw. • Keep all spare batteries out of children’s reach and sight, ideally in a high-up, lockable cupboard. • Avoid toys from markets or temporary shops as they may not conform to safety regulations. • Teach older children that button batteries are dangerous and not to play with them or give them to younger brothers and sisters. • Remember that even used batteries can be dangerous, so recycle them safely. If an accident happens Unfortunately, it may not be obvious that a battery is stuck in a child’s throat. They may be breathing normally, or simply develop cold or flu like symptoms. If you suspect your child has swallowed a button battery, act fast. • Take them straight to the A&E Department of your local hospital or dial 999 for an ambulance. • Tell the Doctor there that you think you child has swallowed a button battery • Do not let your child eat or drink • Do not make them sick • Do not wait to see if symptoms develop Source: Child Accident Prevention Trust

Flu Season Ahead

What is Flu? Influenza or flu, is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu is highly contagious and is usually spread by the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. You can also catch flu by touching an infected person i.e. shaking hands. Adults are contagious 1 to 2 days before showing symptoms and for up to 7 days after becoming ill. This means you can spread the flu virus before you even know you are infected. So, what is a flu epidemic? Put simply, it is a sudden outbreak of the virus spreading rapidly and affecting many people at the same time. Many of these flu epidemic cases can be mild, especially if caught early enough to treat with antivirals, like Tamiflu. Measures can be taken to protect yourself and are outlined below. The Common Cold What’s the difference between a ‘common cold’ and flu? Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. A bad bout of flu can be much worse than a heavy cold and has a sudden onset. As short as a few hours in most cases. Flu Symptoms The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. Healthy individuals usually recover with 2 to 7 days, but for some the disease can lead to hospitalisation or permanent disability, but only in extreme cases. Treatment and Prevention Resting and taking over-the-counter preparations such as paracetamol and consuming plenty of fluids will help. Anyone with flu-like symptoms should stay at home until they feel better, so they do not infect others. You can help reduce the spread of all viruses by encouraging good personal hygiene. Think, frequent handwashing with soap and water, covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and using a tissue when possible. Cleaning hard surfaces, i.e. door handles, frequently using your usual cleaning product is also important. Antibiotics will not be effective against the flu, only against any secondary infection that may develop, and repeated use of antibiotics can also lead to an antibiotic resistance. Stop the spread. Flu can spread quite easily between people. 1. Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. 2. Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others. 3. Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. 4. Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. 5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. 6. Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Reliable information from doctors, midwives and mothers on pain relief and anaesthesia choices for your baby’s birth. This website provides information on Pain relief in Labour Anaesthesia for C-Section, Epidural Information Card, Pain Relief Comparison Card, Headache after Spinal/Epidural, Raised BMI, GA for Unplanned C-Section, RA for Unplanned C-Section, is the free, mobile-friendly public information website of the Obstetric Anaesthetists’ Association (OAA). Created specifically for expectant parents as well as midwives and healthcare professionals. The information on has been written by a multi-disciplinary group, ensuring that patients are offered information which is trustworthy, unbiased and scientifically proven.

Mothers' Voice

Mothers Voice is a group of local women and health professionals working together to develop women centred maternity services in the North West. The group has: Encouraged Altnagelvin Trust to purchase a Birthing Pool for the labour ward. Set up a Breastfeeding Network. Commissioned a research report on local women’s views of maternity care in the North West. You can contact Mothers Voice at, Beibhinn House, 5 Guildhall Street, L’Derry Tel: 02871 267672 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Care in the Sun

A fun, new puppet show, Percy Piglet and the Summer Picnic, is now available online to show children how to take care in the sun. The video, accompanied by a colourful book, is aimed at young children and early years groups and is available at This film is a fun way for parents, nurseries and play groups to help children age 3-6 years to learn how to protect their skin when playing in the sun.

Bounty Pregnancy App

From the best known parenting club, use the award-winning, bump to baby Bounty pregnancy and parenting app to: • Find out what to expect with day-by-day baby development & enjoyable insights tailored to your world of new experiences • Find health information direct from YOUR local hospital provided in partnership with NHS maternity hospitals and leading baby charities. • Claim FREE Bounty sample packs and discount vouchers for fantastic brands in your favourite shops. • Use the baby foot size tracker, plus watch your fetus grow to become your baby – and when your little one arrives, let the handy sleep tracker give you peace of mind. Created with nationally recognised expert advisors, the app follows the most up-to-date, accurate and trustworthy pregnancy advice from the Department of Health and the Royal Colleges and key organisations representing; Midwives, GPs, Paediatricians, Obstetricians, Gynaecologists, Health Visitors, and Dieticians.