The average cost of having a child has gone up over the last 12 years - with estimates that parents will have to fork out £230,000 from the time a child is born until the age of 21. David Wood reports.
Children aged between 5 and 7 are being offered a flu vaccination in the form of a nasal spray. 2 to 4 years olds are already offered the vaccine but now a national campaign in schools has begun for pupils in years one and two.
Parents at schools in Surrey, West Sussex and Kent are already being asked to sign their children up for the spray.
Click here for more information on the children's flu campaign
If you have young children, do you read books together? A charity is warning that some parents don't feel confident enough. Book Trust is urging parents to read with their children as often as possible, and not to give up once they've started school.
The charity says it makes a huge difference to a child's development. This term, more than 100,000 children here in the South will be given a reading pack, to encourage more families to read together. Lauren Hall reports.
A former British Airways pilot has been jailed for 12 and a half years for a string of child sex offences. Bartle Frere, 51, of Shipton Gorge, was handed the prison term at Bournemouth Crown Court after being convicted of 16 sex offences.
These included eight charges of sexually assaulting a boy from West Dorset between April 2000 and January 2003; four counts of making indecent images of boys in India in 2009; arranging or facilitating the abuse of teenage boys in India between 2009 and 2013; and one charge of attempting to record a person doing a private act in 2012.
Frere was previously found guilty of six charges of possessing indecent images of children and two charges of arranging or facilitating the abuse of boys in India, following a trial in September 2014.
The court heard that Frere was employed as a pilot by British Airways and regularly travelled to India and in particular the city of Chennai.
Concerns were raised that he was arranging for young boys to visit his hotel room.
On 9 November 2013 a search warrant was executed at Frere’s home and a number of computers and DVDs were seized.
The court heard that officers examined a huge volume of computer data and identified that Frere had been communicating via email with several boys in India. In the emails Frere arranged to meet the boys to engage in sexual acts.
An NHS health visitor in Kent has developed a new app to encourage parents to interact with their children.
Traditional toys and playing games are on the decline with more and more parents leaving their children to either watch television or play with iPads - which is claimed, impacts their development.
ITV Meridian spoke to Health Visitor Julia Haynes.
More than twenty three thousand children in Kent have been given lessons alerting them to the dangers of the internet. The e-safety lessons were funded by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and were delivered in schools, shopping centres and mobile police stations.
Whilst the visits are predominantly in primary schools, they have also taken place at libraries, Scout and Guide groups, shopping centres and mobile police stations.
Since beginning in March 2014, 346 inputs were delivered in the first twelve months, engaging with a total of 23,286 children. In addition, 77 inputs were delivered to parents.
"Our young people do face a whole host of issues and dangers online, and we all have a duty to do what we can to help them find a way to stay safe. But, often parents are not in a position to spell out the dangers if they are not 'tech savvy' - I certainly know my little grandson is for more comfortable with today's technology than I am! So I'm thrilled that such a huge number of children in our county have been on the receiving end of these valuable inputs from the PCSOs, giving them the knowledge and tools they need to enjoy all the huge benefits the internet can bring without putting themselves in harm's way. Such is the importance of this work; I have made sure the funding is in place for this vital work to continue this year."
More than 1,200 potentially lethal hot water bottles have been seized after arriving on a lorry through Dover.Read the full story ›
Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after Christmas lights were stolen from a Poole children’s hospice.
At 8.55pm on Tuesday 9 December 2014, thieves stole Christmas lights from the front garden of Julia’s House Children’s Hospice in Springdale Road in the Broadstone area of the town.
Police Constable Garry Weston said: “We know that a small light-coloured car or delivery van pulled up outside the hospice and a man got out of the passenger seat and walked toward the grounds of Julia’s House.
"The van left the scene and the offender was seen to walk into the grounds of Julia’s house before leaving carrying the lights.
“This was a despicable crime on a hospice which offers day and respite care for children with life limiting illnesses.
“I urge anyone who saw the incident or has any information about those responsible to contact Dorset Police in confidence.”
More children are leaving primary schools with better standards in reading, writing and maths. That's according to official figures released today. The government raised the bar this year in what it expects 11-year-olds to achieve. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.
Christmas, of course, is a time of peace and goodwill, but sadly there are exceptions. The Children's helpline service, Childline, says it's expecting a call from a young person every four minutes around the festive period. That service is run by the NSPCC, and to try to raise funds ahead of the Christmas holiday it's organised a charity event - very appropriately, a bobble hat day. Michael Sibert reports