Nursery Today magazine

Babycup Group APPG addresses House of Lords

Sara Keel, Founder of Babycup and part of APPG quoted by Baroness Benjamin OBE in address to the House of Lords

Babycup Founder Sara Keel is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit & Healthy Childhood and the group’s Co-Chair Baroness Benjamin OBE highlighted the rotten subject of childhood tooth decay in her speech during the debate on the Queen’s Speech in the House of Lords on 19 May.

Baroness Benjamin, well known as Floella Benjamin from the long-running children’s TV shows Play School and Play Away, is a passionate supporter of the APPG and is extremely active in taking the group’s papers to ministers. In her address to the House of Lords, she referenced the APPG’s work and reports, on which Keel is a contributor.

Paragraph four of her speech during the debate on the Queen’s Speech focusses on childhood oral health.

"In all our five APPG reports, we have stressed the importance of supporting individual families, whatever their make-up, in enabling children to grow up in a safe, healthy and stimulating environment. So there is a real need for joining up the dots. That is what the Government must do, and what I hope we will see when the national obesity strategy is unveiled. However, there is already an example of not joining up the dots—the announcement of the eye-catching tax on sugary drinks. This may prove beneficial but it is not a silver bullet; it can be only a single element in the type of co-ordinated strategy that will benefit our children. Sugar in our food and drink is a key factor in obesity and overweight, but its contribution to tooth decay in young children is perhaps not as much in the public eye as it should be. Thousands of children have been admitted to hospital in the last four years to have teeth removed because of advanced decay. Tooth extraction is the number one reason why children aged five to nine are admitted to hospital—more than 8,300 in London alone. But interestingly, Professor Nigel Hunt at the Royal College of Surgeons has reported that 90% of tooth decay is preventable. The Government propose to address this problem by paying dentists to keep children’s teeth healthy, instead of just dealing with problems as they arise. But 40% of children do not go to the dentist to take advantage this proposal. Five year-old children cannot take themselves to the dentist. So what is needed is an holistic approach, rolling out strategies and partnership working to make hard-to-reach families understand the importance of tooth care to halt this unnecessary problem. Policies across all departments should be assessed for their impact on children by someone at Cabinet level to ensure that policy for children is co-ordinated and coherent.”

The APPG’s ‘National Obesity Framework' report is the fifth of a sequence published by the Group over the past 18 months and aims to draw together the thinking of academics, nutritionists and experts from industry, local government and the voluntary sector on how to best combat the UK’s current obesity crisis.
“There are multiple layers that need addressing if we are to improve the chances of a healthy future for today’s children from conception, through pregnancy to infancy, early childhood and beyond" says Keel. "There is a lot of work to be done but with joined up thinking there is no reason why these challenges cannot be overcome. What happens in early life impacts directly on health and social outcomes throughout the life course, so a healthy start really does make a difference.”  

This commitment to childhood health is what drove Keel to create her Babycup brand which has gained enormous respect amongst parents and professionals as a highchair essential that supports babies' and young children’s wellbeing, so working with the APPG comes naturally. "Open cup sipping is one of the important early childhood skills that impacts on health. There is a lot of focus on what a child eats and drinks. How they eat and drink is also important and Babycup is part of helping families make a small decision that will have a big impact for their child."  Babycup First Cups are a popular choice amongst parents and the retailers that sell this British-made brand are not only pleased to be playing a part in improving childhood health, but are also delighted to see these mini open cups have become popular best sellers.

To find out more about how Babycup is making an impact on childhood health or to discuss becoming a stockist for Babycup First Cups, please contact hello@babycup.co.uk   www.babycup.co.uk

 


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