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Why has there been an increase in children with sleep problems?

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images

There's been a sharp rise in the number of children admitted to hospital with sleep problems, and the North West has some of the worst numbers in the country.

Hospital attendance for sleeping disorders has tripled over last decade and it's claimed there're big gaps in support for parents across the North West.

Our correspondent Mel Barham has this report.

TOP TEN TIPS FROM THE CHILDREN'S SLEEP CHARITY:

  • 1. No screen activities in the hour leading to bedtime that includes phones, tablets and TV
  • 2. Blackout blinds can help in the summer months
  • 3. Keep the bedroom at around 16 to 18 degrees
  • 4. Make sure that your child’s bed is comfortable, lay down on it and have a feel!
  • 5. Bedrooms are best decorated in neutral colours
  • 6. Don’t let your child get into the habit of falling asleep with a condition in place that can’t be maintained all night e.g. A light show that switches off, a television playing, a car journey
  • 7. Avoid squashes in the run up to bedtime, they can aggravate the bladder and make little ones wet more
  • 8. A bath half an hour before bed can help
  • 9. Avoid sugary drinks and snacks
  • 10. Fine motor skill activities are very calming in the run up to bedtime. Things like jigsaws, colouring, play dough, threading all aid relaxation

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'Austerity has hit North West families hard including those in work' - Children's Society

Charity says 'a risk more children will be pushed into poverty' Credit: PA

It's claimed almost one million (934,800) children in the North West live in families facing a four-year freeze to their benefits, research by The Children’s Society reveals.

The Children's Society is warning that from April the freeze will hit almost 500,000 low-income families in the region. It says it risks pushing many more children into poverty over the next four years as living costs rise.

It adds that almost two thirds of those affected in the North West – 605,000 live in working households who receive benefits to top-up low pay.

The freeze forms part of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, which is due to be debated in Parliament today.

'Austerity has hit families hard including working families' Children's Society Credit: PA

Families on low incomes across the North West are facing a barrage of cuts. If ministers are genuinely concerned about child poverty they must reconsider plans to freeze benefits over the next four years. At the very least, the Government needs to guarantee there will be no further cuts when the Chancellor delivers his Budget next month.

“Austerity has hit families hard, including those in work. Further cuts to support would push more children into poverty and undermine incentives for families to move into work or earn more.”

– Rob Jackson, Area Director for The Children’s Society in the North West

Literacy scheme encourages kids to become 'published authors'

Children at a primary school in Bury are being encouraged to become published authors. Pupils at Holcombe Brook can upload their work on a website known as Pobble which can then be ready by children and teachers across the country.

The idea behind it is to improve literacy as it encourages children to produce even better work. The scheme has been backed by high-profile authors including Michael Morpurgo and Anthony Horowitz.

Children have their work published Credit: Granada Reports

Henry Smith is the Co-Founder of Pobble.

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