Health researchers warn about the ‘frightening deterioration’ in the health of children aged under 5 in the UKreflected in rates of infant mortality, obesity and dental health, in a report published today.

“Every child has a right to a safe and healthy childhood. It’s a shame the UK isn’t doing this,” wrote Helen Minnis, one of the authors of the report published by The Academy of medical sciences, an independent health research center in the UK.

“We are betraying our children,” concludes the Professor of Child Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow.

According to the report, “progress in child health has stagnated” in the UK in recent years. Researchers put forward several indicators that reflect this “deterioration”.

The country ranks 30th out of a total of 49 richest countries in infant mortality, the experts write.

One in 5 children aged 5 is either overweight or obese. Children living in more deprived areas face twice the risk of being obese compared to those living in affluent areas.

“Vaccination rates have fallen below the World Health Organization’s safety thresholds, which threatens to trigger epidemics,” the researchers also warn.

Children’s mental health services are unable to meet increasing demand.

“Issues like the Covid-19 pandemicrising living costs and climate change are exacerbating wide-ranging inequalities,” according to the report.

The public health service NHS is facing “enormous challenges” mainly due to the “aging population”, underlines one of the authors of the report, Andrew Pollard, an expert on vaccinations at the University of Oxford. But this report, which speaks of “an alarming deterioration in the health of our children, makes the prospects for the future even more bleak,” he points out.