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The following items are from Children & Parliament, Winter 1996–7. Children & Parliamentis an abstracting service based on Hansard and published fortnightly by the National Children’s Bureau while parliament is sitting. It covers all parliamentary business affecting children and is produced in either printed or CD-ROM form. Both are available on subscription from the Library and Information Service, National Children’s Bureau, 8 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7QE (tel: +44(0)171 843 6035). (The Hansard reference is given first followed by the date of Children & Parliament.)

Government replies to questions about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) placed responsibility on local education authorities and professionals. Asked whether pupils suspended from school more than three times would be assessed for ADHD the Under Secretary of State replied that the decision about assessment should be made by the local education authority after appropriate referral. The performance of paediatricians and child psychiatrists in diagnosing ADHD was a matter for the royal colleges and for local audit.

(20, 21, 22 Jan 97, Cols 463-464, 516, 663-664; 4.2.97)

The average annual cost to the NHS of family planning services is £40 per patient.

(13 Jan 97, Col 174; 4.2.97)

In a 1993 survey of 14–25 year olds some 17% said that they had been victims of non-sexual violence in the past year.

(18 Dec 96 Col 714-715; 4.2.97)

The labelling of baby milks is controlled by two regulations, the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 and the Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations 1995. Infant formula labelling must include a statement about the superiority of breast feeding, a recommendation for use only on professional advice, advice about preparing feeds, and a warning about the risks of wrongly preparing them.

(18 Dec 96, Col 647; 4.2.97)

There were 654 confirmed meningococcal infections between 1 July and 22 December 1995 and 585 during the same period in 1996. The Health Education Authority (HEA) has produced a leaflet about meningitis aimed at students and the HEA guide to childhood immunisations includes advice on how to recognise the disease.

(17 Jan 97, Col 410-411; 4.2.97)

In 1995 in England and Wales 364 girls and young women of 18 and under were cautioned or convicted of loitering or soliciting for prostitution; 48 were under 16.

(20 Jan 97, Col, 45-46; 4.2.97)

Just over 2500 people each year are convicted of sexual offences against children under 16 in English and Welsh courts. The number was 2682 in 1991 and 2580 in 1995.

(21 Jan 97, Col 52-56; 4.2.97)

Of people convicted of a sexual offence against a child just over half have a previous conviction for any indictable offence, around 15% for any sexual offence, and around 10% for child sexual abuse.

(22 Jan 97, Col 595-596; 4.2.97)

The number of notified cases of tuberculosis in people aged 19 or under in England and Wales was 730 in 1992, 785 in 1993, 615 in 1994, 631 in 1995, and 429 in the first 39 weeks of 1996.

(17 Jan 97, Col 411; 4.2.97)

About 177 000 legal abortions are performed annually in Great Britain.

(30 Jan 97, Col 333-334; 18.2.97)

The mean number of decayed, missing, or filled teeth in 5 year olds in England in 1987–8 was 1.73 and in 1993–4 it was 1.74. The corresponding figure for 12 year olds was 1.49 in 1988–9 and 1.15 in 1992–3.

(28 Jan 97, Col 161-162; 18.2.97)

The government’s estimate of the proportion of UK gross domestic product spent on health is 4.7% for 1979–80, 5.2% for 1990–1, and 5.8% for 1995–6.

(6 Feb 97, Col 722; 18.2.97)

There were 53 UK deaths from abuse of butane gas lighters and refills in 1990, 37 in 1991, 39 in 1992, 36 in 1993, and 28 in 1994. Most of the deaths were concentrated in the 15–19 age group for which the corresponding figures were 39, 29, 20, 21, and 14.

(5 Feb 97, Col 641; 18.2.97)

The Adoptive Mothers (Maternity Leave) Bill which had its first reading in February seeks to give adoptive mothers the same maternity benefits and employment rights as biological mothers.

(11 Feb 97, Col 143-145; 4.3.97)

Published perinatal mortality rates in European Union countries in 1993 varied from 5.1 per 1000 births in Finland to 9.1 in the UK but the figures are not comparable because the minimum gestation defining stillbirth varies from 22 to 28 weeks in different countries.

(10 Feb 97, Col 13; 4.3.97)

Just under 2000 children in the UK were treated with human pituitary growth hormone between 1959 and 1985. A judge has found the Department of Health to have been negligent ‘in certain aspects’ beginning on 1 July 1977. Appeal against the judge’s decision is possible for those who had treatment before that date.

(24 Feb 97, Col 123-130; 4.3.97)

At the Institute of Child Health, London 20 former patients are known to have died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and two have symptoms of the disease.

(25 Feb 97; Col 183, 234; 4.3.97)

Around 2% of the abortions performed in England and Wales are on girls under 16. The number of girls having an abortion fell from 4075 in 1987 to 3167 in 1992 but rose each year after that to reach 3401 in 1995.

(18 Mar 97, Col 543-544; 1.4.97)

In 1995 about one in three births in England, Wales, and Scotland was to an unmarried mother. In Northern Ireland it was less than one in four.

(20 Mar 97, Col 793-794; 1.4.97)

In January 1996 the proportion of pupils in each local education authority in England who were statemented for special educational needs varied from 1.97 to 4.59%.

(10 Mar 97, Col 2-4; 1.4.97)

The number of tonsil and adenoid removals in children in each health authority in England in 1994-95 varied from 9.4 to 156.8 per 10 000 children under 16. The health authority with a rate of 9.4 was the only one less than 34 per 10 000. The mean rate was 71.6 with 71717 operations performed nationally.

(20 Mar 97, Col 798-800; 1.4.97)

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