Family News and Events

Family News and Events
Big benefits for baby swimmers

Babies have a real affinity with water, and because they’ve spent nine months floating in the womb, being in warm water feels much more familiar to them than being on dry land. However, this early confidence usually diminishes with time, and can even turn to fear.

What better way to acquaint your child with water than a Water Babies Family Fun day? Kicking off on June 9 from 3-6pm in Malahide Rugby Club in Malahide, Dublin, all the proceeds will go to Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

Water Babies are celebrating 10 years teaching babies how to swim which they say promotes bonding, confidence, strength, physical and mental health and more.

There will also be a BBQ, bouncy castles, games, music and more. Family entry fee is €15 with food costing extra. Tickets can be found at Eventbrite.


Fatty liver disease alert for youth

Experts are warning that high levels of fatty liver disease among young people, caused by being overweight, could signal a potential public health crisis.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is fairly common among older adults, detectable in about a quarter of the population. But a study has found that substantial numbers of 24-year-olds are also affected, putting them at risk of serious later health problems, such as liver cancer, type-2 diabetes and heart attacks.

Researchers from Bristol University tested more than 4,000 young people enrolled in a longitudinal study called the Children of the 90s, set up to follow the lives and health of children born in 1991 and 1992 in Avon, England.

All of them had been given an ultrasound at the age of 18, which revealed that 2.5% had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Five years later, a newer kind of scan called transient elastography or fibroscan detected that over 20% had fatty deposits on the liver, or steatosis, indicating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Half of those were classified as severe. The scans also found that 2.4% had fibrosis – scarring on the liver.


Children up to 3 need to be carefree

A study by the US-based Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found evidence that children under three are the most vulnerable to the effects of adversity – experiences including poverty, family and financial instability, and abuse – based on chemical tags that alter gene expression and may have consequences for future mental health.

The report finds that the timing of adverse experiences has more powerful effects than the number of experiences, or whether they took place recently.

Erin Dunn, one of the researchers involved in producing the report, said that the research sought to answer “one of the major unanswered questions in child psychiatry”, namely ‘how do the stressors children experience in the world make them more vulnerable to mental health problems in the future?’

The findings of the report suggest that the first three years of life may be an especially important period for shaping biological processes that ultimately give rise to mental health conditions.