Eastbourne, Wealden & Lewes

Category Archives: Parenting Advice

A recent survey of over 1,500 mums highlighted just how integral mum-to-mum support is during every woman’s individual breastfeeding experience. Commissioned by the world leading breastfeeding brand, Medela, the results revealed that:

  • Of the mums that attended a local baby/breastfeeding group, more than two thirds felt that talking to other mums helped to support their breastfeeding experience
  • Not only did 80% of the mums questioned find the support from fellow mums (friend/sister/antenatal buddy) helpful with breastfeeding in the early days, the same amount believe that this advice actually prolonged their feeding journey

With these results in mind during these uncertain and challenging times (and following the news that The Big Breastfeeding Café has now been postponed until later in the year), the brand has looked at how it can continue this community initiative by giving the national campaign a virtual makeover!

Across Medela’s social platforms from today, the brand is encouraging mums to share a photo with a mug of tea or a breastfeeding snap, alongside their top breastfeeding tip. The sole objective of this is to build an army of fellow mothers who will share an abundance helpful hints and breastfeeding tips, for all those currently breastfeeding or any potentially apprehensive new or expectant mothers. The mission is simple – to create a virtual community of support.

Using the hashtag #mybreastfeedingtip, Medela will continue to share the mum-to-mum advice across their 60,000 strong social following, offering some support and reassurance to families who may be missing attending their usual breastfeeding/baby groups during this turbulent time.

Medela’s key focus is to continue to connect breastfeeding families across the country, sharing support, encouragement and giving them all a virtual high five.

Medela’s Marketing Manager, Charlotte Price, commented:

‘At Medela, we really believe in the important role community has to play in each and every individual breastfeeding experience. Receiving encouragement or simply advice from a friend, mother or sister can make all the difference to a new mum who is struggling. We hope the #mybreastfeedingtip hashtag will encourage mums to get talking, sharing their thoughts and ideas to potentially help another who may really need to hear it right now.”

“If this support can help any new mums to combat any uncertainty with breastfeeding, we will be thrilled.’ She added.

A recent survey has exposed that 3 in 5 parents do not have first aid training. In the UK at least one child under the age of five is involved in a fatal accident every week, and with people now being told they can rely on virtual assistants for CPR support, leading experts are concerned.

On a mission to arm parents with practical advice, and to give them peace of mind and confidence to know how to act in an emergency, Kate Ball founded Mini First Aid, to deliver truly engaging first aid courses for new parents and families. The brand now boasts over 65 franchises across the UK and has proudly taught over 200,000 parents life saving skills.

As a mother of six, Kate is committed to ensuring parents have basic first aid skills that they can draw on in an emergency and believes that with our increasing reliance on technology, that it’s more important than ever for parents to have a hands-on approach to first aid.

In this month’s guest blog, Kate explains more…

“I was very concerned to learn of the recent news that virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, are now apparently able to advise on CPR. Although this would be better than nothing, it is in no way a replacement for having the basics skills yourself and parents really shouldn’t rely on technology in these situations. Listening to Alexa’s instructions could be confusing, or in fact a distraction rather than a support and let’s face it – the internet could go down at any point.”

“Being armed with the basics are essential, but it’s also important to be prepared for an emergency. Things like knowing the address of where you’re staying if away from home or writing your address down for a babysitter means you can act faster. Also ensuring everyone who supports you with your baby care, including mum, dad, grand-parent, babysitter, are first aid trained.”




“Here are some top tips that everyone should know…

  1. Have an understanding of people that could help in your local vicinity. For example, know which neighbours are at home during the daytime and who you can call on for help. Also know who takes their phone to bed who you can call on.
  2. Put your phone on loudspeaker when on the phone to 999 so you can continue with first aid.
  3. If your little one is bleeding apply pressure to the wound with something clean and absorbent – you can even use a clean nappy!
  4. Always make sure you have a first aid kit in an accessible location at home and keep another first aid kit under the buggy.
  5. If you are treating a burn, once you have cooled the affected area for 20 minutes under cool running water, cover with clingfilm to keep the burn infection free whilst you seek medical attention (please note cover, not wrap).
  6. In prevention of choking, adults need to demonstrate good eating skills in front of children. Sit Chop Chew should be adopted by everyone – Sit to eat, chop (or break up food into manageable safe pieces) and chew – an exaggerated chew to show young children”


Delivering truly engaging, first aid classes at over 65 regions across the UK, Mini First Aid’s unique and best-selling Baby & Child First Aid class is a 2-hour session available to parents, grandparents and carers, and every class is delivered in a relaxed and comfortable style to ensure attendees receive quality, hands on classes that they get involved with. The multi award winning classes have been attended by high profile celebrities and influencers including author, actress, blogger and mum Giovanna Fletcher.

“Learning CPR and what to do when a child is choking is invaluable, said Giovanna Fletcher. Obviously, I hope I never had to use the things I learned in today’s class, but horrible things happen and knowing these techniques can really make a huge difference. The class was fun and accessible given the seriousness of the topic. I would highly recommend everyone doing it.”

Mini First Aid have cleverly put a fun spin on a notoriously dry topic, with a clear goal to ensure attendees leave with quality content that they are confident to use in a real-life medical emergency. The class covers CPR, Choking, Bumps, Burns, Breaks, Bleeding, Febrile Seizures and Meningitis Awareness.

Mini First Aid Adult classes start from £20, visit www.minifirstaid.co.uk

Research shows that around one in four people will experience a mental health difficulty at some point in their life. Over half of adult mental health problems start before the age of 14; 75% by the age of 18.

​With added pressures at work, home and school, it’s not surprising there has been such a huge shift in the way that we not only approach mental health, but how we openly talk about it in society as well.

With such increasing numbers of people having issues, our latest guest editor is Vicky Ripley from Eastbourne Wellbeing, who offers a range of support, programmes and practical strategies to help your child or teenager to overcome common emotional & mental health difficulties.


“At Eastbourne Wellbeing, we believe that every child and young person has the right to feel happy and carefree; equally, we understand that sometimes this isn’t easy to achieve.

We know that parents and carers can struggle to know where to get help with their child or adolescent’s mental health difficulties, and other common issues which affect their emotional wellbeing.

With many years of experience working with children and young people, and their parents and carers in various therapeutic, educational, community and care settings, all of the therapists on the team offer a calm, friendly and non-judgemental approach. This enables us to work with children and teens to understand their personal obstacles.

We then work together to explore the steps they could take to overcome them, using a personalised wellbeing plan. We can also offer support for shorter periods to help them through a particular tough time, such as during exams.

With such busy lives, we must remember the art of listening. Taking time to hear your children can help to put a structure of support in place for positive change. Our top tips to help would include…

  1. Be open and curious about what their individual goals are
  2. Help them to plan how to get there
  3. Identify positive influences
  4. Discuss negative challenges they might experience
  5. Keep talking!

Our friendly and affordable service covers difficulties such as low mood and depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, phobias, separation anxiety, social anxiety, school avoidance, sleep difficulties, poor eating patterns, anger / impulse control, management of exam-related stress and anxiety, careers guidance, advice about applying to university (UCAS) and the personal statement writing process, and advice for young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

We also offer equine facilitated learning / therapy sessions. Spending time outdoors and forming a connection with a large ‘flight’ animal has been shown to greatly benefit our physical and emotional health and wellbeing.

We understand that children and young people need flexibility and creativity within their treatment. Wellbeing sessions can take place in your home, in a local office, out and about in the local community, or in your child’s school or college by prior agreement.”


Thank you to Vicky Ripley from Eastbourne Wellbeing.

You can find out more at www.eastbournewellbeing.co.uk or call 07709 206382 to arrange an initial, free of charge, 20-minute consultation.

Please note that it is always recommended that you visit your GP initially, to discuss your concerns and to try to access help and advice through the NHS. For concerns about school-based difficulties, please speak to your child’s teacher or SENCo in the first instance, as they will be able to offer advice and guidance

This month our guest blog is written by Petra Boynton, author of Coping With Pregnancy Loss. As Fathers Day approaches, it’s not always a perfect day for everyone.

“Right now you might feel surrounded by messages for Father’s Day – adverts for events and gifts, radio dedications, people sharing family photos on social media. All of which can be wonderful if you want to celebrate, but for bereaved Dad’s this time of year can be especially difficult – and equally hard to talk about.

You may have been bereaved through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirth or infant loss. You may have had children, or struggle with infertility.

During a loss Dads may not be sure what to do, feeling torn between needing to be strong for their wife or girlfriend and coping with their own fears and distress. Dads are often expected to offer care for their partner, convey bad news to relatives, look after any other children they may have, while getting on with work. Friends and relatives may offer support to women who’ve had a loss, but not men partners, perhaps even telling men they should not expect help. And men may be left alone to deal with grief and trauma they have witnessed. Later Dads can also feel alienated, angry, jealous of others who’ve had children, or believe they’ve failed. They may be guilty over the loss of their baby or about fertility worries, or that they could have done something differently to prevent the loss or support their partner.

For many Dads being able to talk about their loss, their hopes and fears, and other feelings would be very useful. Particularly if they are living with grief and trauma. But many things prevent this. Feeling like they have to be a ‘real man’, to not show emotion, to care for their partner and put their needs secondary to hers. Men may also not know what to say, or have no idea where they might ask for help. While services exist for women they may wrongly believe there is nothing for them. Or they might be afraid if they do open up about their experiences they will unravel.

Because of this many men shut off, feel numb, or act as if they are not as bothered about their loss(es) as they are. Their wives or girlfriends may even think they don’t care. Men may feel anxious about making their wives or girlfriends more upset or selfishly demanding their care at a difficult time. However where couples do communicate, share how they feel and let each other know they are grieving (even if they do so in different ways) it can be a huge relief and comfort to each of them.

This Fathers Day it may help you to shut off from social media if reminders make you feel unsettled or sad.  Or you may want to remember your baby by visiting their grave if that’s an option, or creating other memorials. Planting a tree, having a print made in their memory, or talking about them. If you have other children they may want to join in with this. And you can remember you are #stilladad whether your children are with you or not.


After Fathers Day you can get additional help from

The Miscarriage Association https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/your-feelings/partners/

SANDS https://www.sands.org.uk/fathersday

Both of whom have bespoke resources for Dads and Granddads, no matter how long ago losses happened.

These organisations also have support groups on and offline where you can connect with other Dads to talk about how you feel, grieve together, and give each other advice on coping after loss.  SANDS has a growing number of local football teams where Dads play together, alongside suggestions for other communal sporting activities https://findingyourway.org.uk/  If sport isn’t your thing you can use these organisations to connect with other men who’re interested in volunteering, fundraising, cooking, theatre or any other thing that might help you feel less alone.

We all grieve differently, things aren’t perfect but getting better as a time for dads and granddads to talk about grief, loss and lives that didn’t go as planned. Celebrate or ignore Fathers Day as best it suits you, but remember you are not alone.”


Petra Boynton is the author of Coping With Pregnancy Loss (Routledge £11.99) https://copingwithpregnancyloss.com/

Images credit: Sean Longcroft, illustrator.


Are your child’s spots just itchy and sore or a symptom of something more sinister? Jackie Hall, team leader of Health at Hand nurses for AXA PPP healthcare gives you the lowdown on which spots to worry about.

1. Meningitis

This is the scary one every parent dreads. Remember though, a rash is often one of the last signs of meningitis or septicaemia, so do see a doctor if you are concerned about any of these symptoms:

What to look for
“A child with meningitis would normally be very unwell with reddish/purple spots which look a little like tiny fresh bruises on the skin – the key is that these do not blanch in colour when you press on them. The glass test is a very useful way to check,” explains Jackie. “This is if you press the side of a clear glass firmly against the skin and the rash doesn’t fade, it’s a sign of blood poisoning (septicaemia) and you should seek medical attention immediately. The rash may be harder to see on darker skin so check for spots on the paler areas, such as the palms of the hands, soles of the feet or the abdomen.”

How to treat it
If meningitis is suspected, then the child must go immediately to an Accident and Emergency Department.

Is it contagious?
Bacterial meningitis can be contagious and you will be advised by the professionals looking after your child of actions that need to be taken.

2. Slapped cheek syndrome

What to look for
This is caused by parvovirus and causes a bright red rash on the cheeks. It is accompanied by slight fever and the child will feel mild/moderately unwell but get better after a few days.

How to treat it
Slapped cheek syndrome is usually mild and should clear up without specific treatment. If you or your child is feeling unwell, you can try the following to ease the symptoms:

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids – babies should continue their normal feeds. Dehydration poses the greater risk, particularly in the young.
  • For a fever, headaches or joint pain you can take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years old.
  • To reduce itchiness, oral antihistamines can be taken and/or emollients used – some antihistamines are not suitable for young children, so check with your pharmacist first.
  • Those who should contact a GP include: pregnant women exposed to anyone with slapped cheek syndrome or who have symptoms of the infection, those who have a blood disorder, a weakened immune system or those with symptoms of severe anaemia, such as very pale skin, shortness of breath, extreme tiredness or fainting.

Is it contagious?
The virus is spread by inhaling droplets that are sneezed or coughed out by someone infected or by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching your mouth or nose. It’s very difficult to prevent slapped cheek syndrome because people who have the infection are most contagious before they develop any obvious symptoms. However, making sure that everyone in the household washes their hands frequently may help stop the infection from spreading.

Someone with slap cheek syndrome is infectious during the period before the rash develops. Once the rash appears, the condition can no longer be passed on. Unless you or your child is feeling unwell, there’s no need to stay away from school or work once the rash has developed. It is however a good idea to notify your child’s school about the infection, so children who develop early symptoms can be spotted quickly and vulnerable people can be made aware that they may need to get medical advice.

3. Chicken pox

What to look for
At first your child will seem a bit off-colour, they may be off their food and quite lethargic for a few days. Then a few, itchy, red, raised spots on the neck, face, chest or back or other body parts will start to appear. These turn into little fluid-filled blisters, which can be itchy and painful. The child can be infectious for several days before spots appear and for 5 days or more after spots become visible.

How to treat it
Chickenpox is usually mild and can be self-managed from home. Most people feel better within a week or so. But some people can become more seriously ill and need to see a doctor. There’s no cure but the treatment below can help relieve the symptoms while the body fights the infection.

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • For a fever, painkillers can help, such as paracetamol. Ibuprofen shouldn’t be given to children with chickenpox as it can make them very ill and do not give aspirin to children under 16.
  • IMPORTANT: Always read the packet or leaflet that comes with the medicine to check it’s suitable and how much to take. Speak to a pharmacist or your GP if you’re unsure.

You can buy topical preparations to apply directly onto the rash or administer an oral antihistamine to help reduce itching and soothe the skin– some antihistamines are not suitable for young children, so check with your pharmacist first.

An antiviral medicine called Aciclovir may be recommended if there is a risk of severe chickenpox and you already have symptoms. It ideally needs to be started within 24 hours of the rash appearing.

Is it contagious?
Chickenpox is highly contagious and can make some people very ill, so it’s important to try and avoid spreading it to others. If you or your child has chickenpox, stay away from nursery, school or work until all of the blisters have dried up and scabbed over. This usually happens five or six days after the rash first appears. You may continue to have spots on your skin for another week or two, but you’re no longer contagious if the spots are dry and scabby.

Certain people are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they become infected with chickenpox. These include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Newborn babies
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People in these groups should avoid contact with people with chickenpox and consult their GP if there is a risk that they have become infected.
  • Chicken pox can be spread through contact with objects that have been contaminated with the virus, such as toys, bedding or clothing. You can prevent it spreading by cleaning any objects or surfaces with a disinfectant and wash any infected clothing or bedding regularly.

4. Measles

Measles is a highly infectious, unpleasant viral illness that has some characteristic features to distinguish it from other viruses. Furthermore, it has the potential to cause serious complications.

What to look for
A mass of red spots break out around the neck, behind the ears and face but can appear elsewhere too, including the inside of the mouth. Measles can result in serious complications but, thanks to vaccination programmes, the incidence of outbreaks is low.

Initial symptoms of measles can include:

  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
  • A fever
  • Small greyish white spots in the mouth
  • Aches and pains
  • Cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness, irritability and a general lack of energy

How to treat it
You should contact your GP as soon as possible if you suspect that you or your child has measles. Its best to phone before your visit as your GP surgery may need to make some arrangements to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others. There’s no specific treatment for measles, but the condition usually improves within 7 to 10 days. If the symptoms of measles are causing discomfort for you or your child, there are some things you can do to treat these while you wait for your body to fight off the virus.

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Paracetamol or ibuprofen can be used to reduce a fever and relieve any aches or pains if you or your child is uncomfortable. (Aspirin should not be given to children under 16). Speak to your pharmacist if you are not sure which medications are suitable for you child.

Is it contagious?
Stay away from work or school for at least four days from when the measles rash first appears to reduce the risk of spreading the infection. It’s important to avoid contact with people who are more vulnerable to the infection, such as young children and pregnant women.

You can avoid catching measles by having the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Measles is unlikely in people who are fully immunised or who have previously contracted the infection. Vaccination with one dose of the combined measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine should provide about 90% immunity. However, vaccination with two doses of the MMR vaccine, as indicated by the UK Childhood Immunisation Programme, is thought to provide close to 100% lifelong immunity.

Data suggests that the people most likely to present with measles are younger people who have not received the MMR vaccine and who have not been previously exposed to the virus. In the past, there has been measles endemic, but since the introduction of the MMR vaccination, this has become relatively rare. However, in recent years, the infection has become more prevalent due to a failure of uptake of vaccination.

5. German measles (rubella)

What to look for
This is usually a mild illness with small red spots appearing on the face at first and then spreading to other parts of the body. Other symptoms include swollen glands and a cold-like illness. It’s rarely seen nowadays in the UK, thanks to routine vaccination. It is, however, of serious concern if a pregnant woman catches the virus in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy because it can cause birth defects in her baby.

Both measles and rubella are viral, however, the infection with rubella is usually mild by comparison, (symptoms include a rash and swollen lymph glands) but the likelihood of developing complications is rare. The main risk is contracting rubella in pregnancy.

How to treat it
You should always contact your GP if you suspect rubella. It’s best to phone before your visit as your GP surgery may need to make some arrangements to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others. There’s no specific treatment for rubella. The condition is usually mild and improves without treatment within 7 to 10 days. If the symptoms of rubella are causing discomfort for you or your child, there are some things you can do while you wait for the infection to pass.

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Paracetamol or ibuprofen can be used to reduce a fever and relieve any aches or pain. (Aspirin should not be given to children under 16). Speak to your pharmacist if you are not sure which medications are suitable for you child.

Is it contagious?
While you have rubella, it’s important to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others. If you or your child has the condition, you should avoid work or school for four days from when you first develop the rubella rash.

In rare cases, rubella can cause serious problems in an unborn baby, so you should also try to avoid contact with pregnant women for four days from the start of the rash. If your pregnant and develop a rash or have been in contact with someone who has a rash, contact you GP or midwife immediately.

6. Impetigo

What to look for
This often begins as a red patch of skin often around the nose or mouth but can occur anywhere on the body. The red patches then become a crusty/brownish colour after a few days.

It is caused by overgrowth of skin bacteria and can easily be cleared by antibiotics, although spreads easily if left untreated.

Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have symptoms of impetigo. Impetigo isn’t usually serious, but it can sometimes have similar symptoms to more serious conditions such as cellulitis so it’s important to get the correct diagnosis.

How to treat it
Impetigo usually gets better without treatment in a few weeks. However, treatment is often recommended because it can reduce the length of the illness to around 7 to 10 days and can reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others.

Hygiene measures alone even for small, localised lesions are not recommended. The main treatments prescribed are antibiotic creams or oral antibiotics and duration of treatment is usually one week.

Is it contagious?
During treatment it’s important to take precautions to minimise the risk of impetigo spreading to other people or to other areas of the body. Most people are no longer contagious after 48 hours of treatment or once their sores have dried and healed. It’s important to stay away from school or work until then.

To help prevent the risk of infection spreading:

  •  Wash and loosely cover the sores.
  • Avoid touching or scratching the sores.
  • Avoid contact with new born babies, preparing food, playing contact sports, or going to the gym – until the risk of infection has passed.
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Washable toys should be washed – thoroughly wipe non-washable toys.

7. Eczema

What to look for
Dry/inflamed patches of skin typically form on creases of elbows and behind knees, but can occur anywhere on the body.

How to treat it
Treating eczema fundamentally involves breaking the scratch-itch cycle and replenishing the moisture content of the skin. It will normally respond well to the regular use of emollients/moisturisers and topical steroid preparations for flare ups. It is not possible to “overdose” on moisturisers and what may work for one person, may not for another. Steroid preparations are useful in managing flare-ups but should be used as prescribed. There are also specific bath additives/shower gels/soaps that are targeted to help manage eczema.

Is it contagious?
Eczema is not contagious. It is a chronic skin condition, most prevalent in childhood.

8. Molluscum

What to look for
Little crops of raised, fluid-filled blisters can occur anywhere on the body or limbs. These spots are harmless and the child will not be unwell but they are contagious and spread by person to person contact.

How to treat it
It can take up to 18 months for these to clear. Usually no treatment is needed as they clear on their own.

Is it contagious?
Resolution is spontaneous but it is contagious. It can be spread through close direct contact. If you become infected by the virus and spots appear on your skin, the virus can also spread to other areas. It is not known how long someone with molluscum is contagious for, but it is thought the contagious period may last up until the last spot has completely healed.

9. Allergic wheals

What to look for
These are blistery, reddish, raised blotches to the skin which can appear rapidly on different parts of the body. They tend to be itchy and are usually due to exposure to an allergen e.g. animal hair/dander, grasses or foods/additives.

How to treat it
Antihistamines such as Piriton can be helpful in reducing symptoms and progression. Most often the rash settles quickly over 24 hours but if there is associated swelling of the face, lips or any breathing problems, call 999.

Is it contagious?
Allergic wheals are not contagious. This is because allergic reactions are a result of the unique response of each individual’s immune system to certain triggers. Substances that cause a reaction in one person may not cause a reaction in someone else.

10. Neonatal heat spots

What to look for
These small red spots with a tiny white pimple on top appear on the face, neck and upper chest. They are the result of immature sweat glands becoming blocked when the baby gets hot. They are very common and usually of no concern and will disappear after a few months.

Find out more about the child health care options available to your family. You can also discover more information in AXA PPP healthcare’s pregnancy and childcare centre.

By guest blogger, Helen Lami, Director of Academic Summer.

Over the next few weeks, hundreds of thousands of teenagers across the UK will be feeling the pressure as they sit their final GCSE and A-Level exams. It can be an extremely tense period. A recent poll carried out by the National Education Union found more than two thirds of teachers say their school or college is having to provide significantly more support to students due to mental health issue than five years ago, with 81 percent blaming this increase on the pressure of tests and exams.

So, for parents worried about the impact this stress will be having on their own child, what can they do to help relieve the tension? Here are my five tips for bringing harmony to the exam period.

Is your child getting enough sleep?

The temptation for young people fretting over upcoming exams is to stay up late every night revising. This is entirely counter-productive and could be harming your child’s mental health. Simple steps to help your child get enough sleep are cutting out caffeinated drinks in the evening, eating a healthy dinner before 7pm and stopping all revising two hours before going to bed. If possible, studying should also be avoided in your child’s bedroom – a place that should be exclusively for relaxation and sleep.

Don’t forget the fun

As the old saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy so make sure your child gets regular opportunities to switch off and relax. You could even splash out on a spa day mid-way through exams and pay for your child to have a massage as a reward. If that’s out of your price range, then why not just go swimming together for a couple of hours each weekend, one of the best exercises there is for controlling anxiety.

Are you being too pushy?

Most parents want their child to do the very best they can but it’s important that you don’t push them too hard and pile on more pressure at this late stage. Be available and be helpful but, ultimately, revising for exams and getting a good grade is your child’s responsibility. GCSEs and A-Levels are a perfect opportunity for young people to learn the value of self-reliance and hard work. Getting through exams on their own merits will also do wonders for your child’s self-esteem.

Consider mindfulness

Stress is a fact of life but that doesn’t mean we can’t offer our children ways to better control it. Mindfulness meditation is a brilliant way to relieve anxiety and has been proven to be particularly effective during exam times. There are countless resources online to show you the basics of this type of meditation, something which can be picked up almost immediately and takes as little as 15 minutes per day. Best of all, it can be done together so both you and your child share in the relaxation. It will also give your child a valuable tool for self-calming in other stressful situations.

Don’t make exams the be all and end all

Encourage your child to talk openly about the stress their feeling and remind them that, whilst it’s important they do the best they can, exams aren’t the be all and end all. They help us to understand what we’re good at and what we aren’t. If you get a disappointing grade for maths, well, you might not be destined to be a mathematician, and that’s not the end of the world. It’s a process of self-discovery and it helps us to understand both our strengths and our weaknesses. 

  • Do you have a baby aged 3 months?
  • Do you live in the Eastbourne area?
  • Are you interested in supporting medical research?
  • Would you like to earn shopping vouchers for your time?

If you answered yes to all of the above, then read on…

Great Foundations is an initiative being led by the Universities of Brighton and Salford. Over the next five years they will be carrying out research to understand parental views related to children’s’ foot health and investigate what health and industry professionals know and think about children’s feet.

Looking to discover how babies’ feet develop before they learn to walk, to how they change in shape, structure and function during crawling and then independent walking.  The research hopes to provide a major leap forward in the quality of knowledge and understanding of foot health.


Once selected, you will be asked to take part in four visits each time your baby achieves a milestone:

  1. when they find their feet for the first time and pull on them,
  2. when they pull themselves upright to stand balanced against furniture,
  3. when they take their first independent steps,
  4. when they are confidently walking more than 10 steps, whilst chatting and doing other tasks.

Based at the University of Brighton on Darley Road in Eastbourne, the team will see you in their specialist baby space. As a show of their appreciation for your time and travel, all those who participate will receive a Love2Shop voucher.

Speaking about the project, Dr Stewart Morrison from the from Great Foundations team said “It’s such an important time in a children’s development, as almost everything that helps them achieve walking is coordinated around their feet. This is an exciting opportunity to take part in some novel research that will help better inform parents about children’s foot health and improve future clinical practice and services.”

To register your interest, please contact the team at the following email [email protected] or visit their website https://greatfoundations.org.uk/ or Facebook page https://en-gb.facebook.com/greatfoundationsfoothealth/ to learn more.

Don’t forget to share this exciting opportunity with your friends and family, who may also be interested?


Becoming a parent can be challenging, so the NSPCC has put together some advice to help you bond with your baby, cope with tantrums and help them sleep.


Crying is how your baby communicates. It might mean they’re too hot or cold, hungry, windy, have a full nappy or just need some attention.

If you don’t know the cause try and calm them by:
• Singing
• Baby massage
• Going for a walk


This is how toddlers test their boundaries. If you can’t find a reason, such as being hungry or tired, try:
• Distracting them with an activity
• Drawing their attention to something else
• Telling them you know how they feel if they’re angry


By three months babies are responsive to sleep cues so introduce them early with a short routine so your baby knows it’s time to sleep:
• Run a bath
• Read them a story
• Try separating the bedtime feed from your routine
• Put your baby to bed drowsy but not fully asleep – falling asleep on their own means they’re more likely to settle themselves in the night
• Keep daytime naps regular but from nine months avoid them late afternoon

Photography by Tom Hull. The children pictured are volunteers. Registered charity England and Wales 216401 Scotland SC037717

Schools are out for the summer leaving children across the UK overjoyed at the prospect of a summer of fun. But while the kids get to play, lots of us parents are still away working through the hot summer months, so summer holiday clubs can be an ideal way to keep children occupied.

We entrust our precious children to the staff of holiday clubs and often expect a high level of care, professionalism and supervision – similar to what they receive when they are in school – but this may not always be the case.

What can you do if your child is being bullied while attending a summer holiday club?

Can you request a refund if your child falls ill and has to leave early?

And if your child gets injured while under the watchful eye of the staff, what legal action can you take?

Hannah Parsons, a solicitor at DAS Law explains your rights when it comes to summer holiday clubs…

Can I get a refund or partial refund if my child has to leave a summer club early due to sickness?

Whether you can get a refund will generally depend on the terms and conditions of the contract that you signed when you booked your child’s place at the club. It is not unusual that a cancellation by the parents for any reason will not result in a refund, as the club has had to organise staff, premises and activities based on the number of children who are booked in.

My child was injured whilst at a summer holiday club, what action can I take?

One of the biggest concerns for all parents is their child being injured. If this happens to you, the holiday club could be liable if there has been negligence on their part – for example from lack of supervision or a dangerous venue. Any injury could result in a personal injury claim that the parent or guardian could look to pursue through legal proceedings. If the club is regulated by OFSTED / Estyn, you could report the incident to them to investigate. Depending on the circumstances you may also be able to get a refund.

My child is being bullied at a summer holiday club. I have raised this with the staff but they have not helped; what can I do?

If the staff are not being supportive of your/your children’s concerns then the first step is to use the club’s formal grievance procedure and escalate your concerns to someone more senior.

Ultimately if the club fails to deal with any issues that you raise, then you can report any concerns to OFSTED/Estyn if it is regulated. You may also be able to argue that the club is in breach of any contractual promise that they have made to ensure your child’s physical and mental wellbeing and potentially withdraw your child from the club and pursue a legal claim.

The club has overbooked spaces so they have cancelled my child’s place at the last minute and I can’t make any alternative arrangements. What can I do?

If the holiday club is cancelled then generally a full refund should be given as the service you have paid for cannot be supplied. Be aware though that some clubs may have a clause within their terms which exclude refunds for cancellations for reasons beyond the club’s control.

If my child refuses to go to the summer holiday club, what can I do?

If your child decides he or she simply does not like the summer club you’ve paid for or agreed to pay for, you are not automatically entitled to a refund.  You should first check the terms and conditions the club has. However, if you can show there has been negligence or breach of contract, you may be eligible for a refund.

If the holiday club is cancelled then generally a full refund should be given as the service you have paid for cannot be supplied. Be aware though that some clubs may have a clause within their terms which exclude refunds for cancellations for reasons beyond the club’s control.

The summer holiday club hasn’t provided the activities they advertised, can I get a refund?

If a holiday club does not live up to you or your child’s expectations, then getting a refund may be difficult. If however, there were elements not provided or totally different from what was advertised, then you could argue misrepresentation or breach of contract and seek a refund or partial refund. Misrepresentation would occur if a person is told something factual or there is something factual advertised, and that fact induced you to enter into the contract with the holiday club, and it then later turns out to be untrue.  If the club then refuses the refund you could look to pursue legal action through the small claims court if the value is under £10,000.



Swimming is undoubtedly a great activity for babies and children, and can be an exciting and enriching experience for everyone involved.



Here, we’ve listed some of the many benefits of childhood swimming and reasons why you should add swimming lessons to yours and your child’s schedule…



1) Physical

Swimming engages all 5 senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell, and therefore the swimming pool is a fantastic sensory playground for children to enjoy. Swimming provides a gentle all bodywork-out for children and parents alike, and allows babies free movement a long time before they can walk. It also helps to develop children’s core muscles, co-ordination and balance.

boy swimming

2) Emotional

Learning to swim at an early age reduces the chance of a child fearing the water later on in life. Fear of the water usually stems from a negative experience, so well structured lessons will introduce the pool and the idea of swimming gently and allow swimming to become a enjoyable activity. Swimming is also an amazing skin-to-skin bonding activity for parents with babies.

baby swimming

3) Social

Above all – swimming is fun! It will become an activity that both parents and children will enjoy. Children can enjoy playing and learning with others, and well structured lessons will develop children’s trust as well as listening skills. Later in life, children can enjoy attending swimming parties with their friends, and the ability to swim can increase a child’s level of self esteem.

thumbs up

For local swimming schools in the area –

Small Splashes – located in Wilmington
Aquability – Pools in Horam and Isfield (near Uckfield)
The Little Swim School – Pools in Brighton, Hove and Lewes
The Swim Skills School – Located in Eastbourne
Freedom Leisure – Centre in Hailsham