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Sefton parents asked to support their children’s healthy future

Parents and carers across Sefton are being encouraged to let their children take part in the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP).  The programme will ensure NHS Sefton has a good understanding of the changing patterns of children’s weight.

Now in its eighth year the NCMP is an annual programme to measure the height and weight of all children in Reception and Year 6. Currently all 10 and 11 year old children (Year 6) whose parents have consented are being weighed and measured in a bid to improve the health of Sefton’s children. Reception children will take part in the programme in the New Year.

Dr Janet Atherton, Sefton’s Director of Public Health, said: “Promoting healthy weight in children is a high priority, with the NCMP playing an important part in the overall strategy. NHS Sefton is supporting the programme because the more children who take part, the clearer the picture will be to help plan and provide better health services for children in Sefton.”

NHS Sefton is encouraging every child to take part in this national programme as we are able to gain information for Sefton against national trends in underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese children. From this information, we can then look at local planning and how we deliver services.

The NCMP is also a great way to engage with children and families about healthy lifestyles. It’s run by fully trained school health staff. Children are simply asked to remove their shoes and any heavy outdoor coats. They are then weighed and measured in their normal indoor clothes.

Parents and carers are sent their child’s results following the programme. No information about any individual child’s weight or height is given to pupils, school staff or GPs.

Dr Atherton went on to say: “NHS Sefton is trying to tackle obesity across the borough as a quarter of all five year olds are overweight or obese, rising to more than a third by the age of 11. Research shows that if your child is overweight now, they are more likely to grow up to be an overweight adult. This can lead to health problems in later life, so this measurement is an important way of checking how your child is growing and if they are overweight or obese tackling that now.”

If you need to speak to someone locally about the NCMP please call NHS Sefton on 0151 247 7000. Alternatively for more information visit: www.dh.gov.uk/health/tag/ncmp or www.nhs.uk/change4life .

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