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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 October, 2003, 00:06 GMT 01:06 UK
Mothers obsessed by child health
Feeding baby
Mothers worry too much about their babies, says the poll
More than half of mothers of young children say they are "obsessed" by the health of their child.

A magazine survey suggests that 57% of mothers of under-fives are constantly worried about their child falling ill.

Their concerns include choking on small objects, coming into contact with hot pans or water, or falling down stairs.

A quarter said they took their child to the doctor at often as every two or three months, suggested the poll of 1,000 women.

One of the biggest fears cited by mothers was so-called "stranger danger" - with 88% saying this was a concern.

More than two-thirds would not let their child walk along the pavement without holding their hand - but 63% said they would let their child talk to a stranger in their presence.

Obese fear

However, the editor the magazine that organised the poll - Prima Baby - said that mothers were in danger of becoming overprotective.

It is hardly surprising that we are becoming a nation of worry-mums when mums are bombarded with conflicting information and advice
Julia Goodwin, Prima Baby
Julia Goodwin said: "It is hardly surprising that we are becoming a nation of worry-mums when mums are bombarded with conflicting information and advice and are made to feel guilty if there is a problem or hiccup in their child's early years.

"We need to try to keep a perspective - stranger danger, for instance, is no more threatening now than it was 50 years ago and, on the whole, children are healthier and stronger too."

Nevertheless, the survey revealed that one in four mothers thought their child did not get enough exercise, and one in five felt they ate too much junk food.

Parents have been urged to take more interest in healthy diets and exercise for their children because statistics show record numbers of six-year-olds are now classed as obese.




SEE ALSO:
Obsessive dads suffer baby worry
05 Sep 03  |  Health
Mothers 'put babies on diets'
14 Jul 03  |  Health


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