Children’s health is an important focus for NHMRC. Our work in this area includes developing evidence-based guidelines and advice that support children’s health and development.   

Resources related to Children’s Health and Development  

Parenting and child wellbeing

NHMRC has developed a report on the Evidence: promoting the social and emotional development and wellbeing of infants. The report focuses on the effectiveness of parenting practices and their role in promoting social and emotional health and wellbeing in children and later as adults.

For more information read the Report on the Evidence.

Infant feeding guidelines

The Infant Feeding Guidelines provide health workers with the information on healthy feeding from birth to approximately 2 years of age. This includes advice on breastfeeding, preparing infant formula, and introducing solid foods. Common health related concerns and how to overcome feeding difficulties are included.

For more information visit Infant Feeding Guidelines.

Vitamin K for newborns

Vitamin K helps blood to clot and is essential in preventing serious bleeding in infants. The NHMRC Joint statement on vitamin K recommends that all newborn infants should receive vitamin K soon after birth.

NHMRC is updating the Joint Statement and anticipates completion in late 2023. In the interim, the 2010 Joint Statement is still current, with the Vitamin K Working Committee continues to support its recommendations.

For more information visit Vitamin K for newborns.

Staying healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services

The Staying Healthy Guideline provides simple and effective ways for educators and other staff to help limit the spread of illness and infectious diseases in education and care settings. NHMRC is updating the Guideline. In the interim, the Guideline is still current.

Dietary Guidelines

To ensure we can make healthy food choices, we need dietary advice based on the best scientific evidence. The 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines seek to offer the best advice on dietary patterns that promote optimal health and wellbeing for the generally healthy Australian population.

NHMRC is revising the 2013 Guidelines to ensure they remain a trusted resource by considering the best and most recent scientific evidence. 

For more information visit the Australian Dietary Guidelines page.

For more information about NHMRC’s update visit the Review of the Australian Dietary Guidelines page.

Nutrient reference values

The Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand Including the Recommended Dietary Intakes (NRVs 2006) outline the intake levels of essential nutrients considered adequate to meet the nutritional needs of healthy people for prevention of nutrient deficiencies. The document is intended for use by health professionals to assess the likelihood of inadequate intake in individuals or groups of people.

NHMRC is currently reviewing the evidence and updating the remaining fluoride and sodium NRVs not reviewed in 2016 and 2017, all iodine NRVs and all Adequate Intake NRVs for infants.

For more information visit the Nutrient Reference Value.

Health effects of water fluoridation

NHMRC has released a Public Statement on Water Fluoridation and Human Health in Australia (2017). This contains NHMRC’s recommendation on community water fluoridation and reflects the latest scientific research relevant to Australia on the potential link between water fluoridation and human health.

For more information visit Health Effects of Water Fluoridation.

Australian guidelines to reduce the health risks from drinking alcohol

NHMRC has guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol. The guidelines provide health professionals, policy makers and the Australian community with evidence-based advice on the health effects of drinking alcohol. They also help people make informed decisions about how much alcohol they drink, if any.

For more information visit the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol.