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Sleeping pills and the alternatives

More than 10 million prescriptions for sleeping pills are given each year in England, but medication only offers short-term relief. Non-drug treatments have been under-used, but sleep experts say they offer the best long-term solutions to chronic insomnia. Professor Kevin Morgan of Loughborough University's Sleep Research…

How do I use a condom?

Condoms are the best way to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy. Condoms are a barrier contraceptive made from latex rubber, a synthetic rubber called polyisoprene or a very thin plastic called polyurethane. Condoms are available free from: contraception clinics (sometimes called family…

Diarrhoea and vomiting in children

Diarrhoea and vomiting in babies Most babies' poo (or stool) changes in consistency from week to week, or even day to day. Breastfed babies have runny poo that doesn't smell. Formula-fed babies' poo is firmer, darker brown and smellier. Diarrhoea is when your baby frequently…

Barbecue food safety

Food poisoning cases double over the summer, so remember these simple steps to help keep food safe. Food poisoning is usually mild, and most people get better within a week. But sometimes it can be more severe, even deadly, so it's important to take the risks seriously. Children, older…

Sleep apnoea: 'I fell asleep at work'

Dr Malcolm Stewart knew he had to do something about his sleep problem when he dozed off in front of one of his patients. He had just started a new job as a locum doctor in Blackpool. During the week, he lived near work in a motorhome and…

Have a healthy diet in pregnancy

A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time, but is especially vital if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow. You can read through this article, or go directly to the…

MMR vaccine FAQs

Can my child have the Hib/MenC jab together with the MMR and pneumococcal jabs? My child is allergic to eggs. Can she have the MMR vaccination? Can the MMR vaccination be given as three separate injections? I don't know if my teenage daughter has had…

Beach safety

Every summer, lifeguards respond to thousands of incidents on UK beaches. To stay safe at the seaside, be informed about the dangers and follow these simple tips. In 2014, lifeguards from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) responded to 17,050 incidents, helping more than 19,350 people in difficulty on some…

Bedwetting in under fives

Up to the age of five, wetting the bed is normal. It usually stops happening as your child gets older without the need for any treatment. up to one in five five-year-olds wet the bed 1 in 20 10-year-olds wet the bed about 1 in 50 teenagers wet the bed 1…

How to prepare and cook food safely

Find out how to prepare, cook and store food correctly to minimise the risk of food poisoning, including E. coli.    This page covers: Washing hands Storing and preparing meat Cooking meat Cooking meat on a barbecue Acrylamide in starchy food  Washing fruit and vegetables Washing hands…