Posts Tagged ‘government’

Boxes for Scottish newborn babies

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

For over 80 years the government of Finland have given a maternity kit containing around 80 items useful for babies, to expectant Finnish mothers. The gift has been designed so the box itself can be used as a cot for newborns, and the maternity kit has been credited with cutting infant mortality rates and raising life chances.

Inspired by these Scandinavian baby boxes, in October 2016 Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, announced that similar boxes would be gifted to Mums in Scotland. The project started on the 1st of January 2017, and the first mums in the pilot areas of Clackmannanshire and Orkney have received their boxes.

The box contains a play mat, a changing mat, a digital thermometer, a fleece jacket, several babygrows, a hooded bath towel, a reusable nappy and liners, a baby book and an organic sponge. As with the Nordic scheme, the boxes are suitable for a baby to sleep in and contain cot sheets, a mattress and a blanket. A Scots dialect poem entitled “Welcome Wee One” by national poet Jackie Kay is also included. You know what I’m going to say… it’s a great idea, but if they had only thought to add in a Baby Feed Wheel, it would be pretty much perfect!

Scottish Baby Box

 

Mothers with poorly children more likely to look for advice online than see a GP.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

An Article in The Times newspaper yesterday said that Mothers with ill children are more likely to seek advice online than see a GP.

20% of mothers questioned would go to the Doctor first, whereas 29% would ask their mother, and 26% would look online. It’s suggested that the waiting time to see a GP is a big factor.

I suspect most Mums would do everything- try to get a GP’s appointment, and in the meantime ask around for advice and experience? This certainly seems to be the case on Facebook- parents waiting to take their child to the Doctor will often ask for advice on their timeline or in local groups in the meantime.

I think people have always done this -asked family, friends and neighbours, it’s just that now with Social Media it’s possible to ask a lot more people for their opinions, a lot quicker!

Government advice is to make more use of pharmacies to help with diagnosis, but when a child is too poorly to take into town or covered head to toe in a rash this isn’t always practical, and at least by asking around you feel that you’re doing something!

To keep track of baby medicine times, use a Baby Medicine Wheel to set the time when baby is given medicine.

From empty slots to pop-up shops

Friday, June 28th, 2013

No-one can miss the increasing number of empty, shuttered-up shops on our High Streets. Even here in Harrogate- a town previously renowned as being ‘recession proof’ we have the largest number of empty shops around town that I have seen since moving here 12 years ago, with both Independent and household name businesses closing.

Are people spending less on the High Street and more online?

Are business rents and rates too high for the smaller independent shops to afford?

Are parking costs putting people off, driving people to drive to out-of-town shopping malls where parking is free?

Here at Chiggs we practice what we preach, and really try to shop at our local independent retailers- buying meat from the butcher; fruit and veg from an excellent, knowledgeable greengrocers right in the centre of Harrogate; cards and presents from the gorgeous Magpie Greetings  (where Baby Feed Wheels and Get Well Wheels are also available!); and last December we held Holly’s birthday party at Pots 2 Go ceramic cafe in town (also a Chiggs stockist!)

Various initiatives have been started to try to help independent businesses. Mary Portas was appointed by the Government to lead a review into the future of Britain’s high streets (as mentioned previously on the Chiggs blog )- her recommendations generated many column inches in the newspapers- and the annual Independent Retailer Month will again be running throughout the month of July.

Pop-up shops have also started, well, popping up- taking over empty retail units on short term leases. While providing some rent for the landlord and filling an empty shop, albeit temporarily, pop up shops also give entrepreneurs an opportunity to try out their business model without  a huge outlay and tying themselves into the financial commitment of a long lease agreement.

Pop Up Britain (part of Start Up Britain) has recently opened a flagship pop-up shop on London’s famous King’s Road.  The outlet will offer short-term opportunities to start-ups and micro businesses from all over the country over a 12 month period. The fabulous news is that Chiggs stockist Hello Baby Gifts has been selected from over 800 applicants to have a shop, and will be taking their gorgeous baby gifts, hampers and nappy cakes (and of course Baby Feed Wheels!) to Kings’ Road in the first 2 weeks of August.

Baby milk powder ‘rationing’ hits UK supermarkets

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

I heard a report on BBC Radio 2 lunchtime programme yesterday about the shortages of baby milk formula hitting British supermarkets.  Due to an increase in demand in China for foreign made powdered baby milk, some UK shops (Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons) have said the purchase of certain brands would be limited to two units per customer per day.

Danone, who make Aptamil and Cow & Gate baby milk powder, apparently asked for the restrictions, and said most supermarkets were introducing a restriction of two cans per customer in order to prevent some individuals from bulk-buying baby milk for “unofficial exports”. Retailers have put the same limits on sales of SMA milk, despite the makers Nestle saying there were no stock shortages.

So what is going on? Foreign-made baby formula is popular in China- worried about potentially dangerous levels of hormones and chemicals sometimes found in Chinese baby formula, go to great lengths (and are willing to pay a premium price) to buy foreign brands. Their fears are not without foundation- in 2008 a locally-manufactured formula containing the industrial chemical melamine killed six infants and caused illness in another c.300,000.

Due to the higher prices Chinese parents are willing to pay, there are big profits to be made selling foreign formula, and it seems people have been buying in bulk to (unofficially) export to China, or send over to relatives. Since the introduction of restrictions in UK supermarkets, there has also been an increase in sales as Mums have been stocking up on their favourite brand- which in turn has led to shortages on the shelves.  On a local Harrogate Mums Facebook page, ladies are reporting near empty shelves in the local Morrisons and Asda.

It seems some entrepreneurs are hoping to make a quick buck without the hassle of international shipping, and cans of baby milk are selling on eBay for twice the shop price. 

Time for a “Keep Calm and Don’t Panic Buy” government poster?!

Can CANparent scheme kick out bad parenting?

Friday, May 18th, 2012

The Prime Minister David Cameron is in the news today announcing details of a pilot scheme known as CANparent (Classes and Advice Network) for new parents that will run initially in Middlesbrough, High Peak in Derbyshire and Camden in London. Parents with children aged up to 5 years will get a £100 voucher to use towards parenting classes.

The Vouchers will entitle Mums, Dads, Grandparents and other carers up to ten 2 hour sessions available from independent organisations such as the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), which will cover issues such as ‘communicating and staying calm’ ‘parents working together’ and ‘different stages of your child’s development’.

The official Government website for the scheme www.canparent.org suggests that courses will also be available online in interactive sessions, and they are suggesting that parents utilise parenting forums such as Netmums and Mumsnet- some courses I looked at seem to have follow up sessions actually on the forum boards. A quick glance through the different courses available in the trial areas shows that many face-to-face sessions don’t have creche facilities, however, and there is also some controversy about the decision to distribute the vouchers through Boots, the High Street chemist. Time will tell how successful the trial will be- let’s hope the classes recommend essential bits of sanity saving kit for new parents such as the Baby Feed Wheel!