Babies ages one to two years old are mandated to receive the checkups provided by health visitors but this service is not being received by one out of every four babies in the United Kingdom. The commission on social mobility said these babies are missing out on the required health checks when they turn two. The health visitors are supposed to assess the child's health during the early stage of development.
Among the children that failed to receive the appropriate health visits are those from London. The survey found out that only five percent of the parents thought they needed the health advice during their child's first six months while a vast majority admitted they wanted to continue with the health visits.
"Despite the conventional wisdom that parents fear interference from the 'nanny state,' in reality, many say that they welcome advice in the early years of their child's life," the commission said. "Despite this being a crucial period for families, there is still too little support for parents in the earliest stage of their child's life. With the socioeconomic gap in outcomes emerging early, providing support to parents at this point could reap dividends for social mobility later on in life."
The Guardian said the Conservative Party in 2010 pledged in a manifesto to increase the health visitors for children. However, NHS data shows a 1,000 reduction in the number of England health visitors from October of 2015 to August of 2016. The Institute of Health Visiting conducted a survey and found out that 85 percent of the health visitors noted an increase in workload during the past two years from the recommended maximum of 250 children to as many as 1,000 children.
Babies should have regular health reviews to ensure their normal development, according to NHS. The reviews, which are usually conducted by the health visitor, can be done at the baby clinic, children's center or one's home. The review presents an opportunity for the parents to discuss their baby's health concerns with the health visitors.
Net Doctor said the frequency of assessment of the baby's health will depend on the general wellbeing of the baby but it is also the choice of the mother. However, there is an NHS health program that has to be followed and this provides a minimum number of health visits to the child, which normally takes place at specified intervals from the time the child is born.
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