Starting well - Children and young people
This chapter will present the key factors for children and young people in Hampshire
- Who's the population?
There are just over 322,000 children and young people aged 0 to 19 years living in Hampshire. This makes up nearly a quarter of the County’s total population (23%) which is slightly less than in England as a whole (24%).
- What's the issue?
There are a wide number of factors that influence and determine good health, but there is no single definitive measure to tell us if we or our communities are healthy.
Infant and child mortality are used as indicators of good health in our children. Educational attainment is key for future employment and income. There are clear links between attainment and good health outcomes for children and young people.
Obesity has become one of the major public health challenges for the 21st century. The causes of obesity are complex; with behavioural, genetic, environmental and social components. The health risks associated with being overweight or obese include diabetes, cancer, heart and liver disease. The health risks increase with increasing weight.
Child weight gives a good indicator of future health and development; overweight or obesity in children is often linked to deprivation or poverty. This makes obesity a key health inequality issue.
Mental and emotional health is fundamental to good health and wellbeing. There are strong links between emotional wellbeing of children and young people and their personal and social development and educational performance and it is an important factor in ensuring that they achieve their full potential. Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties are common and affect 30–40% of children and young people at some time in their lives.
- What does this mean for Hampshire?
Overall, Hampshire children and young people have good health and good life chances, with low levels of infant and child mortality and good educational attainment. However, this masks some significant inequalities.
In Hampshire our children are less likely to:
- live in poverty (1 in 10 compared to 1 in 5 nationally)
- be homeless (1 in 1,000 families compared to 1 in 500 families nationally)
- be born with low or very low birth weight (1 in 16 compared to 1 in 13 nationally)
- be born to teenage mothers (1 in 167 12-17 year olds compared to 1 in 110 nationally)
Our children are more likely to:
- attend school regularly (lower persistent absenteeism and lower permanent exclusions: 1 in 3,300 compared to 1 in 1,500 nationally)
- be in education, employment or training. Only 3% of 16-18 years olds in Hampshire are not in education, employment or training (compared to 4.2% nationally)
- to be immunised against infectious diseases (most immunisations achieving 95% coverage)
In Hampshire the level of educational attainment at all stages of development is good, with performance better than national comparators across all educational stages (January 2017). However, for different groups of pupils, variations in performance are evident. This is particularly the case for disadvantaged children and those with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).
Given the right support, children with SEND and vulnerable children, including those with disabilities, can thrive and develop.
- 1 in 10 of our dependent children under 20 years old lives in relative poverty
- 1 in 10 of our children under 16 years old lives in a low income family
- 15% of 15 year olds have a long term illness, disability or medical condition
- One third of looked after children are affected by poor emotional wellbeing
- Increasing numbers of children have complex health and social care needs
- Children in care are less likely to be up-to-date with their immunisations
- It is estimated that in Hampshire between 7,864 and 14,156 children experience some form of disability and that 1 in 3 disabled children lives in poverty
The main causes for concern in Hampshire are:
- Increasing obesity and overweight in 4-5 year olds (22.8% up from 21.1% previous year (2014/15) and more than national figure of 22.1% nationally)
- Emotional wellbeing of our children and young people - there are higher rates of hospital admissions for self harm (10-24 year olds) in Hampshire than nationally (590.9 per 100,000 compared to England’s rate of 430.5 per 100,000,2015/16)
- Educational attainment in disadvantaged groups including SEND
- Small and decreasing proportion of young children achieving the daily physical activity levels
- What's the trend/projection?
The population of Hampshire’s children and young people is changing. Overall Hampshire’s population of children and young people (0-19 years) is predicted to increase by 4.8% over the next 5 years. However, there are differences within different age groups and by district. Population projections predict the largest increase will be in the 10-14 year old cohort with a decrease in the 15-19 year old cohort.
These relate to priorities identified in the chapter.
Emotional wellbeing. This is a cause of concern and work is needed to improve emotional health and wellbeing in children and young people:
- Develop a new emotional health and wellbeing strategy for Hampshire with a focus on positive mental wellbeing
- Develop and implement a specific resilience action plan (which is part of the Public Health Strategy for Hampshire “Towards a Healthier Hampshire”) to improve the emotional agility and resourcefulness of children and young people
Educational attainment. The aim is to improve educational attainment in disadvantaged children and young people including SEND and children in care.
- Review strategic support in educational settings, including a refresh of the Healthier Schools Programme
- Investigate ways of maintaining the progress made by disadvantaged children in primary school and through secondary school
Overweight and obesity. Rates are increasing in primary school aged children. This will have long term impacts on health and life chances of young people. It is a major cause of health inequality.
- Implement Hampshire’s childhood obesity strategy
- Identify and pilot new interventions to prevent and treat obesity, including initiatives to increase physical activity
Further investigation is required on areas where outcomes may have started to deteriorate: deaths in childhood (though numbers are small and subject to fluctuation), admission rates for asthma and epilepsy, and children in poverty.
Increasing physical activity in children and young people in those groups who are not achieving the daily physical activity levels through development and implementation of the Hampshire physical activity strategy.
Given the wide range of factors that impact on the health and wellbeing of children and young people, it is important to reduce the barriers between services that Hampshire’s young residents and their families receive.
- Encourage greater integration of services across the NHS, Children’s Services and Public Health to improve outcomes, the quality of care service users receive and improve the targeting of services when appropriate
- Increase joint working between maternity and health visiting to improve care for new mothers, their babies and partners in areas such as maternal mental health and breastfeeding
- Increase the focus given to transition from childhood to adulthood, particularly for vulnerable young people including SEND and Children in Care
- Ensure that services targeted at adults consider the context of the family so that parents and carers can meet the needs of their dependents
- Look at addressing data sharing to enable better targeting of help for vulnerable children known to multiple services
- Related Needs Assessments
The Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities document summarises the needs of Hampshire children and young people aged 0-25 years who have special educational needs or a disability (SEND):