Starting well helps all end well

Brothers Max and Ryan Peacock have been reading books since they were infants and often read together at home.
Brothers Max and Ryan Peacock have been reading books since they were infants and often read together at home.

The Life Course is a path that an individual follows from birth to death and support made available by the public health team at East Riding of Yorkshire Council can help encourage a healthy start to life.

The public health team helps protect and improve the health and wellbeing of East Riding residents, and follows the Life Course approach along with many other health organisations, to promote healthy lifestyles from an early age.

There are critical periods throughout a person’s lifetime and it is during those stages that their needs can be targeted in order to make life a healthier transition.

The four stages of the Life Course are as follows:

1. Start Well – (pregnancy and the early years)

2. Develop Well – (childhood through to adolescence)

3. Live and Work Well – (adulthood and working life)

4. Age Well and End of Life – (retirement and later life)

This week’s article will focus on the first stage of the life course, Start Well.

The first five years of a child’s life are crucial to their future development and every child’s early experiences have a significant impact on their learning, development, health and future prospects.

Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for transforming lifestyles at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The first stage of life couldn’t be more important in terms of protecting an unborn child right the way through to their early years.

“Starting Well can have a monumental impact on a child’s life and encouraging that child to live a healthy lifestyle early on will benefit them greatly throughout their future.”

What can be done to help your child Start Well?

l Free routine vaccinations are available to protect expectant mothers and children against viruses. Visit your local pharmacy or doctor for more information.

l Approximately 13.7% of mothers still smoked at the time of delivering their baby in 2013/14. Smoking cessation sessions are taking place throughout the East Riding. Visit to help stop smoking.

l Contact the Healthy Weight Service at your local children’s centre for help and advice on keeping your child healthy, happy and physically active. Visit and search ‘Children’s Centres’.

l Encouraging reading from an early age can help develop vocabulary and general knowledge. Visit your local library

Next week will focus on Stage Two: Developing Well.

Visit for more information.