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The Murdoch Children's Research Institute blog Featuring stories, opinons and news from our research team, patients and staff.

Imagine being in a class or workshop. You are keen to learn something new. When the teacher starts to talk however, you cannot understand all the words she is using. You look around to see that everyone else seems to be getting their reading books from their bags and forming groups, nodding, and asking questions. You try to join in but you are totally lost and feel like giving-up. For one in five children starting school with language difficulties, this may be what their classroom experience is like.
Choosing to eat healthy food, be physically active, avoid sexually transmitted infections and limit the intake of alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances are decisions that do not come easily to those without knowledge of their own health. It requires people to be empowered to make those decisions, and live in communities that make the healthier choice easy.
The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, already a rich source of evidence on the health and wellbeing of our children, is now gathering new evidence on a “public health emergency in slow motion”: the growing burden of non-communicable diseases, writes Professor Melissa Wake.
Pregnancy can be a time of great joy and excitement for women, but it can also bring upheaval and stress. Physical health problems, worries about childbirth, and the health of their baby, and fears about managing the transition to motherhood all mean that women can be particularly prone to mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and stress. Dr Hannah Woolhouse shares a new study into the potential benefits of mindfulness in pregnancy
Freya Harewood of the Murdoch Children's Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Group explains how one cheap and available vaccine could have significant impact on reducing the burden of illness, and potentially even allergies in children. The vaccine in question is likely known to many Australian parents - the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine – if it is unfamiliar to you understanding the potential added benefits to this vaccine could be paramount to your child’s health. Freya shares the focus of her research:
Doctor Margie Danchin shares three reasons vaccination is important in childhood and encourages parents to "Close the immunization Gap" this World Immunisation Week.
My husband Justin and I, like all new parents, were both anxious and excited about the impending birth of our first child. Ashton was born eight weeks early, after I went into premature labour at 29 weeks pregnant. At five days old a routine brain scan revealed he had rare brain abnormality. Everything changed for us from that day.