Advice for parents

Nappies

Did you know that the average baby uses about 6,500 nappies in its 'nappy life'? Across Britain this adds up to about 9 million disposable nappies being thrown away every day!

More economical and environmentally sound, washable cotton nappies are available in a variety of sizes and styles, and can be sanitised with a 60C wash in a washing machine. Flushable, biodegradable 'one-way nappy liners' can be used inside a real nappy, allowing waste to be hygienically flushed down the loo. Or why not try a nappy laundering service? These provide clean, re-usable nappies on a weekly basis and collect dirty nappies to wash at a central facility for roughly the same price as the purchase of disposables.

In Surrey, we are working with Go Real, the real nappy information service to encourage more parents to choose real nappies. For free information packs, trial kits or advice email info@goreal.co.uk; visit www.goreal.org.uk/surrey/trial-kits; or telephone 0800 328 8175.

Other Contacts

Clothing and Toys

You can extend the lifetime, and subsequently reduce the environmental impacts caused by the disposal of children's clothes, by offering unwanted clothes to friends or relatives, or placing an advertisement in a local shop or newsletter. Many charity shops will accept donations of clothes, see charity shops in your Yellow Pages or see www.yell.com for contact details of local charities. Or recycle clothes at textile recycling banks throughout the Borough (for more information, contact Woking Borough Council on the details below).

When purchasing new toys, choose ones that are well made and durable. This will ensure that the toy has as long a lifetime as possible. If possible, avoid those that require batteries, as batteries have a major environmental impact. You can reduce environmental impacts further by always purchasing second hand toys, if available.

You can offer unwanted toys to family and friends or perhaps to doctors' or dentists' surgeries, local nurseries or playgroups. Alternatively you could try to sell them on through advertising locally, or holding a sale if you have lots of unwanted items. As with clothing, many charity shops will accept donations of toys in good condition.

Contacts

  • BORN believes that parents should be able to make informed choices about decisions that can have far reaching effects on their relationship with their babies and offers advice, information and a range of products that can help.
    Tel 0845 130 2676
  • The 'Child Accident Prevention Trust' is a national charity in the United Kingdom committed to reducing the number of children and young people killed, disabled and seriously injured as a result of accidents.
    4th Floor, 18-20 Farringdon Lane, London EC1R 3HA
    Tel 020 7608 3828
    email safe@capt.org.uk
    www.capt.org.uk
  • Home Start Woking is a small local charity that provides home support volunteers for families with young children who find themselves in difficult situations.
    Tel 01483 740367
  • Mumsnet is an online network of parents pooling their knowledge on everything from how to get a baby to sleep through the night to the best places to go on holiday with a five-year-old. Parents can ask experts about childcare issues such as health, education and feeding, share information with other parents and access a variety of useful parenting resources.
    email contactus@mumsnet.com
    www.mumsnet.com
  • Surrey Mummy is an online source of news, advice and discussion forums for parents, covering a wider range of parenting issues.
    email penny@surreymummy.com
    www.surreymummy.com
  • The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) offers support in pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood and gives parents the chance to make informed choices. The NCT's services, activities and membership are fully accessible to everyone. For membership enquiries contact:
    Alexandra House, Oldham Terrace, Acton, London, W3 6NH
    Tel 0870 7703236
    http://www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com/home
  • The Natural Family Living Magazine. Read in more than 65 countries, Mothering is the only independently owned, family living magazine in the world. It addresses contemporary health, personal, environmental, medical and lifestyle issues.
    www.mothering.com
  • Netmums is a newly launched website, for parents in Woking. The site aims to provide much needed local information and support for parents in the Woking area and is part of the netmums network - a co-operative grass roots venture set up and written by mums for mums. The site is broken down into useful subjects such as Community (local services, childcare, libraries and voluntary organisations); Places to Go; Well-Being; Education; Employment and General Information. It can bring people together or simply help find something to do with a bored toddler on a wet afternoon.
    http://www.netmums.com/westsurrey
  • Surrey Children's Information Service produces a list of registered childminders and carers and can advise on all aspects of childcare. This service will enable you to make safe childcare arrangements that meet national standards.
    Tel 08456 011 777
    http://www.childcare.co.uk/information/childcare-link
  • To find out where your nearest textile recycling bank is, contact Woking Borough Council's Waste Services
    Tel 01483 755855
    www.woking.gov.uk/environment/wasterecycle

Activities and days out

There are lots of places to visit in and around the Borough of interest to children of all ages, many of which are free. A useful resource for parents is the 'Lets Go with the Children' - web site, which lists numerous suggestions for days out in all parts of the country. The site covers eight separate types of outing from farms and theme parks to historic sites and boat trips.