Wiltshire Council helps highlight symptoms of brain tumours

Wiltshire Council has agreed to distribute HeadSmart symptom cards from The Brain Tumour Charity to every school in the county, ensuring that parents, carers and teachers are all aware of the symptoms of a brain tumour in a child and can get the appropriate medical attention.

HeadSmart was the brainchild of The Brain Tumour Charity, the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre at The University of Nottingham and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

It was born out of the concern that was developing among health professionals and parents about the length of time it was taking to diagnose brain tumours in children and young people, thus delaying treatment.

The campaign has already produced laudable results with average diagnosis times dropping from 2.1 to 1.7 months in the 12 months following the launch in June 2011.

Brain tumours in children can be very difficult to diagnose as the initial symptoms are often non-specific and can occur with other more common and less serious childhood illnesses. For this reason distributing symptoms cards amongst schools and parents is a vital tool for spreading awareness of the campaign. HeadSmart supporter, Danica Marshall from Bradford on Avon, got the ball rolling by contacting her MP, Duncan Hames, for help in distributing HeadSmart symptoms cards throughout schools in Wiltshire.

In January their hard work paid off and The Brain Tumour Charity sent 65,000 symptoms cards to Wiltshire County Council - enough for every child in the county.

Toni Sidwell, HeadSmart campaign co-ordinator at The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We were thrilled to get permission from Wiltshire County Council to send them HeadSmart symptoms cards for every schoolchild in the county.

"We have been working hard to get symptoms cards into the hands of every single parent in the country and we hope that other councils will follow Wiltshire’s fantastic example and help raise awareness of brain tumours in children and young people.”

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