How We Develop our Messages
Our core content at Children for Health and something unique to us are the 100 health messages for children to learn and share.
Mobile technology can be used to reach children and their families with these nuggets of distilled information.
These health messages are the product of an involved process that combines our skills in working with children aged 8-13 in the classroom together with our skills in sourcing and distilling health information from high level academic and other sources.
We have identified 10 health topics and for each topic we aim to identify the top 10 things children should know about this topic.
On the one hand feedback has been that this feels like too many messages for children to learn and on the other hand people wish to add many more messages to the list!
We are especially interested in creating messages that link to non-communicable diseases – perhaps our second 100!
Also – we are working with teachers to understand how children memorise the messages, the methods they use and what needs to happen in order for the messages to become completely unforgettable!
Unforgettable messages MUST be accurate and we are committed to ensuring accuracy and suitability for the 10-14 year old age group – sometimes referred to as ‘young adolescents’.
This is the process we have used:
- A topic is selected for focus – e.g. Nutrition.
- An expert adviser for the topic is recruited.
- 20-30 messages in the health topic are developed by our director Clare Hanbury using materials that she knows or has developed herself. Clare is a health education expert, a former classroom teacher for the 8-13 year old age range and an author of numerous child focussed health education publications dating back to the early 1990’s to the present day. Click here to review the list.
- The expert adviser checks Clare’s key health education source materials and other source materials that include: relevant academic publications (such as the Lancet series on maternal and child nutrition); relevant World health Organisation Fact Sheets; Topic specific leading journal articles that are open to the public; and UNICEF’s Facts for Life Global
- The expert adviser revises the list and discusses this list with Clare and distils the initial list of 10 messages. This process takes place over several weeks
- The final list plus any questions we have are then sent as a blog post to members of the CHILD forum within the Health Information for All by 2015 Campaign The 12,000 members of this campaign forum include health and health education specialists from all over the world.
- A discussion on forum about the Children for Health topic messages continues over a 2-3 week period (we have received and average of 22 replies to each post!)
- Someone from this active feedback group is identified as a potential ‘guardian’ for the Children for Health 10 health messages on the topic.
- The feedback is considered and the messages revised as a result.
- The guardian for the messages is approached and agrees to check on the messages for 12 months. These guardians provide additional feedback on the final 10 messages.
The 10 messages are then put onto the Children for Health website and the ‘read more’ sections and the activities, news and more information pages developed.