Family health

Click on the links below to view resources and information to help you look after yourself and your family.

Planning your pregnancy

Child health 0–5 years

Children’s immunisation schedule

Here’s a checklist of the vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK for free on the NHS, and the age at which you should ideally have them.

When to immunise

Diseases protected against

Vaccine given

Site**

Two months old Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) DTaP/IPV/Hib (Pediacel) Thigh
Pneumococcal disease PCV (Prevenar 13) Thigh
Rotavirus Rotavirus (Rotarix) By mouth
Three months old Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hib DTaP/IPV/Hib (Pediacel) Thigh
Meningococcal group C disease (MenC) Men C (NeisVac-C or Menjugate) Thigh
Rotavirus Rotavirus (Rotarix) By mouth
Four months old Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hib DTaP/IPV/Hib (Pediacel) Thigh
Pneumococcal disease PCV (Prevenar 13) Thigh
Between 12 and 13 months old – within a month of the first birthday Hib/MenC Hib/MenC (Menitorix) Upper arm/thigh
Pneumococcal disease PCV (Prevenar 13) Upper arm/thigh
Measles, mumpsand rubella (German measles) MMR(Priorix or MMR VaxPRO) Upper arm/thigh
Three years four months old or soon after Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio dTaP/IPV (Repevax) or DTaP/IPV(Infanrix-IPV) Upper arm
Measles, mumpsand rubella MMR (Priorix or MMR VaxPRO)(check first dose has been given) Upper arm

Please note, where two or more injections are required at once, these should ideally be given in different limbs. Where this is not possible, injections in the same limb should be given 2.5cm apart. Immunisations for at-risk children 

When to immunise

Diseases protected against

Vaccine given

Site

At birth, 1 month old, 2 months old and 12 months old Hepatitis B Hep B Thigh
At birth Tuberculosis BCG Upper arm (intradermal)

Childhood infectious illnesses

There is a good guide to childhood infectious illnesses on the NHS website with advice on how to diagnose and treat them and if further advice should be sought.

Child health 6–15 years

Routine childhood immunisations

Girls aged 12 to 13 years old Cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 (and genital warts caused by types 6 and 11) HPV (Gardasil) Upper arm
Around 14 years old Tetanus, diphtheria and polio Td/IPV (Revaxis), and check MMR status Upper arm
Meningitis C (Meningitec, Menjugate or NeisVac-C) Upper arm

Head lice

Head lice and nits are very common in young children and their families. They don’t have anything to do with dirty hair and are picked up by head-to-head contact. Find out more including best advice on how to treat them on the NHS website.

Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds aren’t usually a sign of anything serious. They’re common, particularly in children, and most can be easily treated at home. Find out more on the NHS website.

Mental health

Let’s talk mental health – a guide for young people (PDF download)

Let’s talk mental health – a guide for parents/carers (PDF download)

Information on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is available on the NHS website.

Men’s health

According to the NHS website ‘British men are paying the price for neglecting their health: more than 100,000 men a year die prematurely. On average, men go to their GP half as often as women. It’s important to be aware of changes to your health, and to see your GP immediately if you notice something that’s not right.’

Prostate cancer

Each year about 36,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer, making it the most common cancer in men. It mainly affects men aged over 50.

Symptoms:

  • difficulty in starting to pass urine
  • a weak, sometimes intermittent flow of urine
  • dribbling of urine before and after urinating
  • a frequent or urgent need to pass urine
  • rarely, blood in your urine or semen and pain when passing urine

These symptoms aren’t always caused by prostate cancer but if you have them, see your GP.

Find out more about the symptoms, causes and diagnosis of prostate cancer by using the resources below.

Resources

NHS – Prostate cancer

Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer, though the most common cancer in young men, it is still quite rare. With 2,000 new cases being diagnosed each year, this makes it the biggest cause of cancer related death in 15–35-year-old males. It accounts for around 70 deaths a year within the UK alone.

What to look out for

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is swelling or a pea-sized lump in one of the testes (balls). There is no current screening test therefore it is important that you look out for the following signs and symptoms.

  • A dull ache, or sharp pain, in your testicles, or scrotum, which may come and go
  • A feeling of heaviness in your scrotum
  • A dull ache in your lower abdomen
  • A sudden collection of fluid in your scrotum
  • Fatigue, and generally feeling unwell.

Resources

NHS – Testicular cancer

Sexual problems

It’s estimated that one man in 10 has a problem related to having sex, such as premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. Find our more on the NHS website.

NHS website

The NHS website has a wealth of information and resources. You can look up symptoms and conditions, find out how to treat common health issues, get advice on support available, download useful apps and much, much more.

If you are unsure about anything you have read or any other medical matter please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Women’s health

Cervical screening (smear tests)

Cervical screening is a method of preventing cervical cancer by detecting abnormal cells in the cervix (lower part of the womb). Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but it is a test to check the health of the cervix.

Most women’s test results show that everything is normal. But for one in 20 women, the test will show some changes in the cells of the cervix. Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells will go back to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be treated to prevent them becoming a problem later.

NHS website – cervical screening
The why, when and how guide to cervical screening

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. About 46,000 women get breast cancer in the UK each year. Most of them (8 out of 10) are over 50, but younger women, and in rare cases men, can also get breast cancer.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites over 2 million women for screening every year, and detects over 14,000 cancers. Dr Emma Pennery of Breast Cancer Care says: “Breast X-rays, called mammograms, can detect tumours at a very early stage, before you’d feel a lump. The earlier it’s treated, the higher the survival rate.”

Resources

Macmillan Cancer Research

NHS website – breast cancer

HPV vaccination

Since September 2008 there has been a national programme to vaccinate girls aged 12–13 against human papilloma virus (HPV). There is also a three-year catch up campaign that will offer the HPV vaccine (also known as the cervical cancer jab) to 13–18 year old girls.

The programme is delivered largely through secondary schools, and consists of three injections that are given over a six-month period. In the UK, more than 1.4 million doses have been given since the vaccination programme started.

What is human papilloma virus (HPV)?
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name of a family of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes that line your body, such as those in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. These membranes are called the mucosa. There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses, with about 40 types affecting the genital area. These are classed as high risk and low risk.

How you get HPV?
Types of HPV that affect the skin can be passed on by skin contact with an affected person. The types of HPV that affect the mouth and throat can be passed on through kissing. Genital HPV is usually spread through intimate, skin to skin, contact during sex. You can have the genital HPV virus for years and not have any sign of it.

How HPV can cause cervical cancer?
Most HPV infections are harmless or cause genital warts, however some types can cause cervical cancer. Most HPV infections clear up by themselves, but in some people the infection can last a long time. HPV infects the cells of the surface of the cervix where it can stay for many years without you knowing.

The HPV virus can damage these cells leading to changes in their appearance. Over time, these changes can develop into cervical cancer. The purpose of cervical screening (testing) is to detect these changes, which, if picked up early enough, can be treated to prevent cancer happening. If they are left untreated, cancer can develop and may lead to serious illness and death.

Cancer Research UK
HPV Facts and information

NHS – HPV vaccination
Why, how and when is the vaccination given and what are the side effects

NHS website

The NHS website has a wealth of information and resources. You can look up symptoms and conditions, find out how to treat common health issues, get advice on support available, download useful apps and much, much more.

If you are unsure about anything you have read or any other medical matter please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Seniors

Seasonal flu vaccination

Influenza – flu – is a highly infectious and potentially serious illness caused by influenza viruses. Each year the make-up of the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the influenza viruses that the World Health Organization decide are most likely to be circulating in the coming winter.

Regular immunisation (vaccination) is given free of charge to the following at-risk people, to protect them from seasonal flu:

  • people aged 65 or over
  • people with a serious medical condition
  • if you are pregnant
  • people living in a residential or nursing home
  • the main carers for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer becomes ill
  • healthcare or social care professionals directly involved in patient care

For more information on flu immunisation, including background information on the vaccine and how you can get the jab, see the flu vaccine on NHS website.

Eating well and exercising – helping you maintain a healthy body

We’re bombarded with scare stories about weight, from size zero to the obesity ‘epidemic’. But a healthy body is determined by different factors for each of us.

NHS – Eat Well
Information on a healthy diet and ways to make it work for you

NHS – Get fit for free
Even a little bit of exercise will make you feel better about yourself, boost your confidence and cut your risk of developing a serious illness.

NHS website

The NHS website has a wealth of information and resources. You can look up symptoms and conditions, find out how to treat common health issues, get advice on support available, download useful apps and much, much more.

If you are unsure about anything you have read or any other medical matter please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Sexual health

Both men and women need to look after their sexual health and take time to understand the issues that surround contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

For instance there are some STIs, like chlamydia, that you could be carrying without having any symptoms. This infection can affect fertility, so it’s important to make use of the sexual health services available for free on the NHS.

Useful resources

Support for young people – poster listing support and services in the region

15 things you should know about sex – NHS website

Sexual health – sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Sexwise – honest advice about contraception, pregnancy, STIs and pleasure

FPA – The Sexual Health Charity

Contraception

There are so many different types of contraception available that you should be able to find the right method. You may have to try several different things before you choose the one you like most.

Your contraception guide – NHS

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection among under-25s. Often there are no symptoms, but testing and treatment are simple.

Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another during vaginal, oral or anal sex, or by sharing sex toys. It can live inside cells of the cervix, urethra, rectum and sometimes in the throat and eyes.

NHS – chlamydia

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