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Harm of drinking during pregnancy lasts a lifetime

On 19 January 1725, The London College of Physicians told the House of Commons: "We do think it our duty humbly to represent that we have concern observed... the frequent use of several sorts of distilled Spirituous Liquors... and too often the cause of weak, feeble, distempered children, who must be instead of advantage and strength, a charge to their country."

Child health: the elephant in the corner?

You will know of the three blind men who meet an elephant. One touches the elephant's leg and describes him as being like a tree trunk. A second holds the trunk and argues he is much closer to a hose pipe. And the third, grasping the tail, claims the elephant is like a rope.

Progress in joint working must go on

The decision last week to strip the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) of government funding will inevitably raise concerns that any genuine "development" of the workforce will stall. A plan for how the Department for Education intends to take forward the quango's work is yet to be articulated.

Chance for child health to come of age

Last week's health white paper outlined radical reforms to the NHS. So will it improve children's health and partnership working? There are grounds for anxiety and for hope.

Can good services remain standing?

Like the suffocating drone of vuvuzelas, cuts continue to dominate the atmosphere in the children's services arena and in public services more generally.

Sector must influence the coalition

They say that a week is a long time in politics. Quite. As predicted in these pages for many months, the new Tory Secretary of State Michael Gove has renamed the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) as the Department for Education.

Election result prolongs uncertainty

At the time of writing -- on the historically uncertain afternoon of Friday 7 May -- the Conservatives were about to enter into negotiations with the Liberal Democrats about helping them to form a government.