How being born early might affect a child's health and their progress at school
Not all babies are born around their due date. Around 60,000 babies are born every year in the UK before 37 weeks' gestation – this is about 7% of all births. Research aims to continually build on our understanding of the needs of this group of babies throughout their life course.
The TIGAR study aimed to understand how being born early might affect a child's health and their progress at school. We wanted to do this to set the scene for future research, which might go on to identify specific support children who are affected by being born early might need, and build on existing guidelines for monitoring these children developed by NICE.
We know a lot about how preterm babies might do in the early weeks and months after birth, but we know less about what happens to these babies as they grow into young children and adolescents. We have recently carried out new research looking at the longer-term effects of being born early. Our findings, together with other information, provides new understanding on how being born early can affect a child's health and their progress at school. Our findings have been shared with professionals and organisations who provide health and education services for children.
Further information and simple summaries of our findings may be found on our information for parents page.
Links to the full papers may be found on our publications page.
The TIGAR study was funded by the MRC (MR/M01228X/1) and led by Maria Quigley.
The co-investigators were Neora Alterman, Elaine Boyle, Claire Carson, Victoria Coathup, Nirupa Dattani, Xinyang Hua, Samantha Johnson, Jennifer Kurinczuk, Alison Macfarlane, Stavros Petrou, Oliver Rivero-Arias.