Western Avenue Surgery
Newsletter for August 2022
World Breastfeeding Week (1st to 7th August)
There are many benefits of breastfeeding, for both mother and baby, including reduced
risks of various illnesses and diseases. In some cases, these benefits continue throughout
If you are breastfeeding and finding it challenging, there are plenty of options to find
World Breastfeeding Week 2022 is focused on promoting the warm chain of support for
breastfeeding. Examining various roles, the warm chain demonstrates how each of us can
affect the outcomes for mothers and infants in the first 1000 days of life.
Playday (3rd August)
The theme for this year’s Playday is based around ensuring that all children have
opportunities to play. It emphasises the importance of play for children’s well being and
mental health, and how it helps them to develop skills for later life.
It can be challenging to keep children entertained during the summer holidays,
especially if you’re on a budget. We’ve a host of ideas to keep your children occupied
and learning without breaking the bank.
Cycle to Work Day (4th August)
With huge benefits for the environment, and for your own individual health, it’s worth
considering whether you could commute by bike. Cycling should reduce the amount of
time you spend queueing in traffic, and with changes to the Highway Code introduced
this year, cycling safety is now very clearly a
National Allotments Week (8th to 14th August)
It’s National Allotments Week, and the theme this year is focused on counting bugs.
Bugs, minibeasts or creepy crawlies are really important for a diverse environment.
Spending time spotting a variety of bugs can be a mindful and relaxing
International Youth Day (12th August)
International Youth Day this year promotes the idea of intergenerational solidarity.
Ageism presents in many forms and across the generations we can support each other to
understand the difficulties faced by others of varying
Children’s eye health and safety
From birth to 18 (while in full time education), the NHS provides free eye tests to ensure
that any issues are picked up quickly and treated appropriately.
You should take your child for an eye test if you have any concerns about their eyesight,
for example if you notice squinting, frequent headaches or screwing their eyes up while
Hot weather advice
If you’re outside with children, do you know how to make sure they are well -protected
from the sun? Stay indoors during the middle of the day, ensure a good-quality high
factor sun cream is applied regularly throughout the day, and keep skin covered by loose
fitting clothing where possible.
For many of us, sun protection was only for holidays overseas when we were younger. As
research has improved, so too has our understanding of the impact that sun damage can
have on our long term health. This NHS page provides a wealth of information about
sunscreen and sun safety. Do you know how much suncream you need to apply to make
sure you have the level of protection stated on the bottle? Most people aren’t applying
enough sunscreen to have fully effective protection.
With 2022 having seen record temperatures for most areas of the UK, we need to think
carefully about how to manage in a heatwave. Temperatures as high as we saw in the UK
this year can result in serious problems, even among those who are normally fit and
Stress in children
Children are reporting increased levels of stress and anxiety. The Children’s Society has
an informative page about managing stress with some useful links, including a booklet
on managing stress written by young people to help others feeling under pressure from
Young Minds offers help and support for young people who are struggling with their
mental health, and also offers support tailored to their families.
In the UK over 6000 deaths per year occur within the home. More accidents occur in the
living/sitting room than anywhere else in the house, and falls are the most common
We all like to feel safe at home, but feeling safe can lead to complacency about the
dangers we may be exposed to in our own home. Every once in a while, think about the
risks your home presents to you and others and spend a little time ensuring you’ve done
what you can to minimise the risks.
Healthy eating and getting active
As families we can do a lot to look after the health of ourselves and our loved ones.
Making simple food swaps and exercise choices can make a big difference over a
If you know you could do with losing a few pounds, but find it difficult to do so, there
are a few tips you can use to help you towards your goal. Firstly, moving more, simply
increasing your exercise level, means you’ll burn more calories.
If you’re looking for ways to become more active, you could look at Couch to 5k, or
Active 10: both easy ways to increase your activity levels.
Secondly, you might want to look at your portion sizes. It’s easy to overestimate how
much a portion is for some foods.
If you’re travelling abroad, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance should
the worst happen. Don’t wait until you travel, you should buy insurance at the same time
you book your trip to ensure you are covered.
If you’re travelling in Europe, you’d be wise to organise a GHIC card. The card allows for
lower cost access to some European healthcare. It won’t replace your travel insurance,
but your insurer may expect you to use it before you claim.
Vitamin D supplements
As we learn more about the need to protect our skin from the sun, it becomes more
difficult to ensure we get enough vitamin D. Our bodies produce vitamin D when they
are exposed to sunlight. Protecting our skin from sun damage and reducing the risk of
skin cancer must be prioritised over getting enough sunlight exposure to produce
vitamin D. Therefore, it may be necessary to look for a suitable vitamin D
supplement.Most at risk of vitamin D deficiency are babies and children aged 4 and
under, those who are pregnant and anyone who does not spend much time
Back to work blues
Returning to the office after a summer break often comes with a feeling of “the blues”.
This might be because work is stressful, but also because we’re facing the longest time
until we’re likely to get another break. So, how might we deal with the “back to work
If you’ve had a relaxing summer break, how can you keep that relaxed feeling going for a
bit longer to boost your overall wellbeing? https://www.mind.org.uk/information…-tipson-
Organ donation is a difficult subject, often involving loved ones having to make
decisions at a time when they are upset. While England and Wales now have an opt-out
system, please make the time to discuss your wishes with those you care about. You can
also register a preference. Understanding your wishes can make things easier for your
Asthma and COPD
Asthma often starts in childhood, but can also be diagnosed as an adult. There are
different symptoms and triggers, so if you’re concerned that you or a child may have
asthma, please ask at your doctor’s surgery.
If you suffer from asthma or COPD and are invited to have a review, you might want to
take a look at this information from Asthma + Lung UK about how to manage your
condition and get the most out of your appointment.
If you have children heading off to university for the first time, have they had their full
quota of meningitis vaccinations? If you’re not sure, you can use the NHS app to check,
or you can contact your GP surgery. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/menacwy-