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Kids Health Pānui

This e-newsletter has information about child/tamariki health issues for Early Childhood Education Services staff across the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts.  This newsletter is sent once per term.  If you would like to subscribe, fill in your details here.

29 October 2019

Kids Health Panui

This edition covers measles, the taonga mokopuna video learning series, injury prevention, mental health and the preschool public health nursing service.


With the current local measles outbreak, and in other regions of New Zealand, and overseas, it is a timely reminder to check that:

  • Children and staff in your ECE centre are up to date with all immunisations;

  • Your immunisation register is up to date in case you need to contact parents of children who are not immunised.

  • If children from your ECE are travelling overseas remind parents of the importance of being up to date with immunisations. A list of countries with measles outbreaks can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: Measles for Travellers

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunisation provides effective protection against measles. It is usually given at 15 months and again at 4 years of age, but it's never too late to catch up if these free immunisations have been missed.

Measles usually begins with a runny nose, fever and sore eyes. This is followed by a red, blotchy rash that usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles is highly infectious and complications are quite common. These include diarrhoea, ear infections and, more rarely and seriously, pneumonia and brain inflammation.

For further information about the Bay of Plenty and Lakes district measles outbreak see the Toi Te Ora website, for information about the national outbreak see the Ministry of Health website.

Taonga mokopuna video learning series

Taonga Mokopuna is a video learning series developed by Regional Public Health as an innovative way to share public health information on how to reduce the spread of illness in early childcare centres and keep the centre environments healthy. The resource is the result of listening to feedback and ideas from centre staff that an online learning tool would be an effective way to get these messages across.
The series includes six short videos on:

  • Introduction to the series

  • Gastroenteritis Outbreaks

  • Illness Policy

  • Handwashing

  • Hygienic Nappy Changing

  • Healthy Centre Environments

Each video shares small and simple steps that help reduce the spread of illness in a centre. They are easy to follow and implement but are often the steps that get missed in a busy centre environment. When these steps are followed correctly, they will help centres manage the spread of illness and create the best centre environment for tamariki and all staff.

Safe Play: Preventing childhood injuries at home and at your ECE service

Over 60% of all injuries in tamariki under five happen in the home, and 50% of these are linked to structural issues such as inadequate fencing, tap water being too hot, lack of safe storage, and uneven or slippery surfaces.

The four leading causes of child injury requiring hospitalisation are burns, poison, falls/slips and near drowning.

St John are working with schools to support thousands of Kiwi kids to learn to prevent injuries and hospital admissions.  Early childhood education (ECE) services can also support whānau and tamariki to gain skills to identify and respond to hazards.

St John and ACC have developed an interactive online activity to teach tamariki about understanding how to make their home safe.  Encourage your staff and whānau to check out this free online activity to help create safer places for our tamariki.

Check out these other resources to support your ECE and whānau to keep our tamariki safe from injury:

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health is a taonga (treasure). It’s important we look after our mental health so we can lead our best and most fulfilling lives. 

Early experiences shape the developing brain and lay the foundations to be mentally healthy.  When relationships are reliable, responsive and supportive, they can help to buffer the negative effects of stressful circumstances. Read more here

Early childhood education services (ECEs) have a key role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our tamariki.  Building positive and safe environments, teaching skills for wellbeing, and making sure people who are experiencing distress are supported, included, and not judged, all contributes to sound mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week  (MHAW) was held on 23-29 September, and provided some great opportunities to explore Mental Health.  The theme this year was Explore your way to Wellbeing – Whāia te ara Hauora, Whitiora.  It was an opportunity for tamariki, tauira, kaiako and wider staff and whānau to explore what experiences, actions, relationships and surroundings make them feel good.

MHAW is underpinned by Te Whare Tapa Whā, a model that describes health as a wharenui with four walls.  These walls represent taha wairua  (spiritual wellbeing), taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing), taha tinana (physical wellbeing) and taha whānau (family and social wellbeing).  Our connection with the whenua forms the foundation.

Check out some practical ways to explore wellbeing at your ECE:

Preschool public health nursing service

For the Bay of Plenty District

In the Bay of Plenty, ECE services have a Preschool Public Health Nurse (PPHN) available for you to access. We work with children and their families around a wide range of health issues such as behavioural, toileting, developmental and social issues.

We also help children whose needs are not being met by other services, or who need reconnecting with appropriate services.

You can contact your Preschool Public Health Nurse at Community Health 4 Kids on (07) 577 3383 for Tauranga or (07) 306 0944 in Whakatāne. You can also make a referral directly to

For further information on this service in the Bay of Plenty please refer to the blue Preschool Public Health Nurse Service Folder in your preschool centre.

For the Lakes district

A registered nurse is happy to take calls and queries regarding health concerns and point preschool teachers in the right direction if she is unable to assist you herself. The phone number for the Preschool Public Health Nurse in Rotorua is 0800 MYNURSE.

You can also contact the Well Child Nurses at Rotorua and Taupō Plunket, Tipu Ora in Rotorua and Tuwharetoa Health Services in Taupō/Turangi.


The aim of the Kids' Health Pānui e-newsletter is to provide information about child/tamariki health issues to staff of Early Childhood Education Services (ECE Services) across the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts. This health information can then be passed on to parents and whānau via your own ECE Service newsletters.

Kids' Health Pānui is sent to ECE Services once per term and is brought to you by Toi Te Ora Public Health. For more information about our service visit our website, Facebook or Twitter.

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Last modified: 07 Oct 2019
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