One in five Herts pre-schoolers has tooth decay

Child at dentist.
Child at dentist.
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One in five five-year-olds has tooth decay in Hertfordshire, and almost one in 12 is obese, according to a new report.

The figures, produced by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), look at levels of obesity, tooth decay, injury and early childhood development for under-fives across England.

However the overall statistics put Hertfordshire as one of the least-deprived areas in England, as the county is tenth out of 150 local authorities in the charity’s Deprivation Extent Rankings.

Across Hertfordshire 1,208 four and five-year-olds - or 7.9 per cent - suffer from obesity.

This is one of the lowest figures in the country, and nearly half the number of obese youngsters in Barking and Dagenham.

Of the 146 that provided figures for five-year-olds with tooth decay, Herts was in the healthiest third.

2,901 children, or 20.5 per cent, were already showing signs of tooth decay. The national average is 25 per cent.

Children aged 0-4 were also less likely than elsewhere to be admitted to hospital due to injury. The Herts figure was 119 per 10,000 children.

And only 15 local authorities had more children achieve a good level of development by the end of reception class.

Jim McManus, director of public health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We want to ensure every child has the best start in life and we have many programmes in place in Hertfordshire to support healthy lifestyles in children.

“We are training staff in children’s’ centres to work with parents and children to get to a healthy weight. We also commission a successful child weight management referral programme, which provides families with help and support.

“We are also working with Herts Community NHS Trust to carry out a dental health survey of 4,499 five-year-olds, which will provide further local insight into dental health and help us to plan local provision of dental care.”