Everyone has been changed in some way by the coronavirus pandemic, be it in a psychological or physical sense. Close to 200,000 Britons have lost their lives and millions more have been scarred by the mental toll the past two years have taken. While some have recovered and returned to life, others are seeking help as the experience left them with changes to their speech. According to new data, referrals to speech therapists have doubled.

The rise has been driven by children with the lockdowns hampering their ability to speak properly.

Data published by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities shows 20 percent of children are not reaching expected standards by the age of two-and-a-half.

Chief executive of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Kamini Gadhok said they were “very worried” about how many toddlers were struggling to talk.

She added: “Our members tell us growing lists and waiting times for speech and language therapy are dramatically impacting on their ability to provide the support which children need for the best start in life.”

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In response to the data the government said: “We are working hard to improve support for families.”

However, speech and language aren’t the only issues affecting the country’s young.

There are fears the COVID-19 lockdowns could be behind an outbreak in acute hepatitis cases among young people.

So far the outbreak, originating in Scotland, has spread to more than 12 countries and resulted in the deaths of a small number of children.

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In a letter to the government Oliver said: ”At a time when child health has worsened over the pandemic so that now one in four children leave primary school with obesity… you are delaying policies that are both vital for levelling up and popular.”

OIiver adds it “is not too late to reconsider and protect the next generation rom diet-related disease”.

A healthy diet, along with exercise, is crucial to maintaining overall health.

While many adults go on health kicks in the build up to summer, it seems children’s health will come to the fore in a significant way.





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