Maternal, child and young people's health
This section brings together a range of information and resources on child, young people and maternal health in Southampton.
Southampton has a young demographic compared to the England average. There are about 60,000 children aged between 0 and 19 years of age living in Southampton. Ethnic diversity is increasing and about a quarter of children and young people live in poverty.
Although Southampton’s birth rate is projected to remain steady until 2022, a previous increase in birth rate continues to place increasing demands upon a whole range of both universal services, such as schools, GPs and dentists, as well as targeted services and specialist services, such as parenting support, speech and language therapy or specialist social care services.
In Southampton, the intention remains to ensure that every child and young person has the best opportunity to:
- Enjoy good health, and have access to timely help when in poor health
- Be kept safe from harm, abuse and neglect
- Enjoy growing up and achieve well in academic and other activities
- Make a positive contribution to community life and have their views taken into account
- Enter adult life resilient and well placed to achieve economic wellbeing
However, this is currently not the case for all children and young people. We know that too many are not achieving well as they could at school and do not benefit from good health due to obesity, poor diet, poor choices in relation to alcohol and drugs and premature sexualisation. Too many parents are trapped in a cycle of not knowing how to help their children succeed in sustaining high aspirations for their own lives, how to be resilient to protect their mental health and reduce the risk of poor choices around the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
Sadly, the detrimental impact of austerity and welfare reforms is greatest for children. Given the current economic climate, services are working to meet increasing demand with less and less resource. The effective and proportionate use of resources is critical to ensuring that support is available for those who need it throughout childhood and into early adulthood. Further to this, parents, families, communities and services must work more closely together to ensure that children get a good start in life.
An intelligence briefing on the health of children and young people in Southampton can be downloaded from the resources section below, along with a supporting data compendium. In addition, a range of information, data and profiles on children’s health is available to browse via the interactive Public Health England fingertips tool, which can be accessed below.