Put a spring in your child’s step this half term

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Families in Sandwell and West Birmingham are being urged to put a spring in their child’s step this half term, but without the fizz.

Throughout February NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is backing ‘Fizz Free February’ encouraging youngsters to give up fizzy drinks for the month.

The latest statistics from Public Health England on the nation’s diet shows that sugar now makes up 13.5% of youngsters aged four to 10 and 14.1% of teenagers’ daily calorie intake respectively. The official recommendation is to limit sugar to no more than 5%. 

In Sandwell and West Birmingham two in five children at year 6 in the Sandwell and West Birmingham area are overweight or obese. This is worse than both West Midlands and England both with an average of one in three.

Dr Nick Harding, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said: “Getting more active and removing fizzy drinks from the diet are two great ways to improve a child’s health both now and in the future. Half term is a great time to kick start activities.”

Families can find lots of advice about sugar and diet, including healthy recipes, plus active ideas at the NHS’ Change for Life website https://www.nhs.uk/change4life

Dr Harding added: “We want parents and children to enjoy half-term and make sure they are not affected by the common illnesses at this time of year such as tummy upsets or colds and flu. Using soap and water to clean hands of any germs will help stop the spread of infection. Having a well-stocked medicine cupboard in case you do become poorly will help relieve symptoms.”

For local activities taking place over half term, Primary Times have a list of lots of fun activities taking place across Birmingham and the Black Country. Visit https://www.primarytimes.co.uk/birmingham/ For more information on how to Stay Well this half term https://www.nhs.uk/staywell/