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There’s plenty of work to be done to tackle children’s anxieties about their body image.
No matter how hard we may try not to, many of us have negative opinions about our own body image. Should young children be having the same thoughts though? Certainly not but the uncomfortable truth is that many do.
Research recently carried out by PACEY has discovered that 24 per cent of childcare professionals have experienced body confidence issues in children aged three to five years old.
Even scarier is that this increases to 47 per cent when professionals were asked about six to ten year olds. Hearing children say things such as ‘I’m fat’, ‘He/She is fat’ and ‘I’m ugly’ are fast becoming commonplace amongst children in these age ranges.
Body image problems are something we hear a lot about nowadays and in most cases the route of peoples problems can be traced back to early years.
Modern media encourages children’s awareness of body image and society is seeing a concerning increase in lack of body confidence amongst young children today.
Recent research has highlighted where these young children’s anxieties are coming from. Many will see videos and advertisements on the television or their electronic devices that encourage them to think that there is a certain way that they should look.
Indirect comments and discussions also seem to have a significant impact, with children as young as three being able to describe in detail what happens at slimming groups or being able to explain that “if they eat that it will make them fat”.
It could of course be argued that they are too young to truly understand what they’re saying but we can be sure that they repeat these things because they have overheard adults and peers.
Children are also increasingly hearing topics, phrases and innocent chit-chat that it is beginning to impact on their own intrinsic thoughts and self-belief.
Whatever the reason it’s getting worse, body image issues are a reality and we should be learning from any new evidence we discover in order to give our children the best possible start in life.
Possibly the best way to encourage body confidence is to understand that children are like sponges who soak up everything they see and hear. We need to be aware of how they are feeling about themselves, what they think of themselves and to be confident in teaching and supporting positive self-awareness.
Often a simple explanation is the best one, children are very accepting once they understand and can have some reasoning. A simple explanation can combat and diminish negative thoughts.
We need to be aware of how we talk, and what it is we actually say in front of them and we need to praise them for their talents and challenge any negativities that they may have.
All our children are uniquely brilliant and as a society we should be encouraging them to see themselves as such.
Doctors have recently advised that children are being put at risk because of a lack of awareness of the risk of choking.
They have warned that grapes are the third most common cause of choking related deaths in under 5’s and have said that if giving them (and similar foods, such as cherry tomatoes) to children they should be cut in half and ideally even quarters.
Food such as grapes cause a particularly high risk of choking because the smooth soft surface enables it to form a tight seal that can block a child’s airway completely which in turn makes it very difficult to remove.
‘There is general awareness of the need to supervise young children when they are eating and to get small solid objects, and some foods such as nuts, promptly out of their mouths; but knowledge of the dangers posed by grapes and other similar foods is not widespread’, added the doctors.
‘While there are plenty of warnings on the packaging of small toys about the potential choking hazard they represent, no such warnings are available on foods, such as grapes and cherry tomatoes.’
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New research has revealed that many parents and carers would find holding down a job a real struggle if it wasn’t for breakfast clubs.
Families often find themselves facing a horrible choice between going out to work and having their children fed and ready for school in the morning. Breakfast clubs fill this gap with safe and secure childcare that can help children do better in school and which support working families with the help they need.
Catering for over 80 families a day, Leap and Learn offer a fantastic choice for breakfast care, both in school and in our nursery setting. For more information contact us today.
The children from Bar Hill Primary School joined us today for the visit of the Birds of Prey. All the children (and staff) had a wonderful time and we look forward to welcoming The Raptor Foundation back soon.
Here at Leap and Learn we believe that taking care of children is the most valuable thing you can do. It is with that in mind that we have chosen The Rosie Maternity Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as our charity of the year for 2016/17.
Over the next 18 months we will be carrying out a number of fundraising initiatives that will help us towards our target of raising £2500 for this much needed unit that provides such a valuable service to our community.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the only service that can offer specialised surgical and intensive surgical care to the regions babies. It is designed specifically to take care of the sickest babies and it takes referrals from across the country.
All children deserve the best start in life and if we can do something to help the most vulnerable in our midst then we feel we have a duty to do so.