Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 4th 2015 Contents technique called scheduled waking half an
hour after they have gone to bed."
In another scenario, it would advise parents
of teenagers unable to sleep until really late
at night, and are then too tired for school,
that exercise in the afternoon is as powerful
as any drug for promoting sleep.
"These are not annoying daily tips, it s
tailored advice," he added.
The app has been designed to reduce pres-
sures on the health service rather than make
It is currently available free on iOS. Android
and Windows versions will follow.
"I think there s a lot of people it could
prevent needing to see a GP. Parents can do
a brilliant job," added Prof Gringras.
However, the roughly 200,000 children
with serious sleep disorders such as nar-
colepsy or obstructive sleep apnoea would
see need to see a doctor.
The advice does not apply during the first
The app has also been designed in a dark
and orange palette to minimise the amount
of blue light emitted---which is the wavelength
of light that most disrupts sleep.
Psychologist and child therapist Professor
Tanya Byron commented: "Many children
are affected by sleep problems which can
have a major effect on the whole family.
"Getting a good night s sleep is so impor-
tant for a child s physical and mental devel-
opment, behaviour and concentration---to
name but a few.
"We know parents know their children
better than anyone, and I m confident that
the Kids Sleep Dr app will help parents to
understand and better manage their child s
sleep problems." (BBC)
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, April 4, 2015
A free app to improve children s sleep has been
launched by doctors at the Evelina Children s Hospital
They think it will help the two million parents in
the UK who express concern about their child s sleep
and ease pressure on the NHS.
Kids Sleep Doctor gives parents tailored advice,
such as dealing with night terrors or up-all-night
teens, based on their sleeping patterns.
Experts said good sleep was vital for a child s devel-
opment and behaviour.
Paul Gringras, a professor of children s sleep medicine
at the hospital, said "massive" waiting lists mean
doctors could see "only the tip of the iceberg."
So the hospital developed an app that gives per-
sonalised advice to parents of zero-16 year-olds to
tackle the different sleeping problems that crop up at
Initial advice starts after entering details about bed-
times, where the child falls asleep, how much screen
time they have, and caffeinated drinks consumption.
After five days of recording a child s sleep habits,
such as night-waking and bedtimes, the full person-
alised service kicks in.
"Hopefully they are sleeping in the normal range,
but if they re outside that then it advises parents,"
Prof Gringras told the BBC News website.
"Take a five-year-old who suddenly is waking up
every night screaming, doesn t recognise parents and
pushes them away.
"The app would say it is like a night terror and will
happen in 10 per cent of children in this age range
and they will grow out of it, but they can also try a
Eating food contaminated with bugs leads to more
than half a billion cases of illness a year, the World
Health Organization warns. It says this "global
threat" contributed to 351,000 deaths in 2010.
Unsafe foods, for example undercooked meat, can
cause 200 problems---from diarrhoea to cancer.
But changes in food production mean there are
more opportunities for meals to harbour harmful bugs
or chemicals, experts say.
Unsafe foodstuffs can contain many types of harmful
bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals. Examples
include undercooked meat, fruits and vegetables con-
taminated with faeces and shellfish containing marine
But the WHO says investigating these outbreaks
has become increasingly challenging as single plates
of food often have ingredients from many countries.
In its first WHO report on this issue, its director-
general Dr Margaret Chan warns: "A local food problem
can quickly turn into an international emergency.
"Food production has been industrialised, and its
trade and distribution have been globalised. These
changes introduce multiple opportunities for food to
become contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses,
parasites or chemicals."
The analysis, which pulls together scientific literature
from across the globe, shows:
• Most deaths are caused by pathogens such as sal-
monella, E coli and norovirus
• The majority of lives lost are in Africa and South
• 40 per cent of the deaths are among the under-
fives, the most vulnerable group
Experts say illnesses caused by food also carry
major economic risks. They estimate the E coli out-
break in Germany in 2011 cost about US$1.3 billion
in losses for farmers and industries. WHO leaders
are calling on governments to urgently strengthen
food safety systems.
On April 7, the WHO launches its food safety cam-
paign, From Farm to Plate. It aims to prompt the
public and governments to consider where individual
ingredients in meals come from and question whether
these are properly and safely handled at every stage.
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and advice
Children's hospital builds sleep app
Unsafe food is 'growing
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