FAQs

Got questions about the study? Check out the FAQs below. If you can’t find what you are looking for, contact us. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

Search FAQs

CNC 2021 Web Survey

  • What is the CNC 2021 Web Survey?
    • We are asking study members to complete a short web questionnaire to get your input on how we can make taking part in the study an enjoyable and interesting experience.

      You will also be asked to check and update the contact details we hold for you, to help us keep in touch.

      The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete.

      It is being carried out by Ipsos MORI, an independent social research organisation, on our behalf.

      As a thank you for taking part we will send you a £10 e-voucher.

  • Do I have to take part?
    • No.  Like all of our surveys, it is completely up to you whether or not you choose to take part in this web survey.  This does not affect whether you can continue to take part in CNC.  You can also skip any questions that you prefer not to answer.

  • How do I take part?
    • We will contact you by letter or email to invite you to complete a short web questionnaire. It should only take about 15 minutes.

      In the letter or email, you will be given a website address and a survey access code to get into the survey. You will also be asked to enter your date of birth when you first get in, to check we have the right person.

      If you have any difficulties or queries you can contact Ipsos Mori on Freephone 0800 0461 483 or email cncsurvey@ipsos.com.

  • Why is it important?
    • The questionnaire will give you the opportunity to tell us what we could do to improve your experience of being a CNC study member.

  • How do I claim my gift voucher?
    • You will receive a £10 voucher as a thank you for completing the survey. This will automatically be sent to you a week or so after you have submitted your answers – you don’t have to do anything. You will be sent an email with information about how to redeem your voucher. When you receive your email please visit: https://www.love2shoprewards.co.uk/login.php and enter the 14-digit code in the email.

      You can choose from the following:

      • a Love2Shop gift card or voucher sent to you by post. This can be used in a wide range of high street stores and attractions;
      • a gift card or voucher, for a retailer of your choice, sent to you by post;
      • an e-voucher, for an online retailer of your choice, sent to you by email or text message.

      If you have any difficulties or queries you can contact Ipsos Mori on Freephone 0800 0461 483 or email cncsurvey@ipsos.com.

  • Can I take part in the CNC 2021 Web Survey if I didn’t take part in the last CNC survey?
    • Yes, absolutely. We would love you to take part, regardless of whether you took part in recent CNC surveys.

  • How do I access the questionnaire online?
    • Once you receive an invitation by email or post:

      1. Go to the survey website: cncsurvey.co.uk

      2. Enter the access code included in your letter or email

      You will then be asked to enter your date of birth and then you will be able to start the survey.

  • How do I complete the questionnaire online?
    • You can answer the questions using a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. You can decide which one you would prefer to use.

      We recommend you complete it all in one go. It should take about 15 minutes. However, if that’s not possible, you can leave it and come back, using the same login details.

      As always, answering these questions is voluntary and you can skip over any questions that you cannot or would prefer not to answer.

  • Who should I contact if I have any problems, queries or concerns?
    • If you have any problems, queries or concerns, please contact Ipsos Mori, the organisation who are conducting the survey on our behalf.  You can contact them on Freephone 0800 0461 483 or email cncsurvey@ipsos.com.

  • How can I opt out of the CNC 2021 Web Survey?
    • If you want to opt out of the CNC 2021 Web Survey and not be contacted about it again, you can do this by contacting Ipsos Mori, the organisation who are conducting the survey on our behalf.  You can email them at on Freephone 0800 0461 483 or email cncsurvey@ipsos.com.

      This won’t affect whether you can continue to take part in CNC.

  • How do you keep my information safe?
    • All information collected by and added to CNC is treated with the strictest confidence.

      See our Privacy section for more details about how we keep your data secure.

COVID-19 antibody testing

  • What is a COVID-19 antibody test and why did you ask me to take one?
    • Antibodies are made by the immune system to fight infection. A COVID-19 antibody blood test will identify whether you may have had COVID-19. We will use the result of the test to help us better understand how many Child of the New Century participants and parents may have been infected with the virus which causes COVID-19, whether they realised it at the time or not.

      We don’t know yet if having antibodies gives someone long-lasting protection from the virus. The results of this study may be able to help guide public health policy and the government’s plan for its antibody testing strategy.

      Other research studies in the UK also asked their participants to complete the same antibody test. Analysing the information from Child of the New Century, alongside these other studies, will give us a better understanding of how many people may have been infected with COVID-19 and why some people develop severe disease.

  • Can I still take part?
    • The deadline for signing up to take part in our COVID-19 antibody testing project has now passed. Thank you to everyone who agreed to take part.

  • Who was invited to take the antibody test?
    • We invited those who took part in at least one of our three recent COVID-19 surveys to take an antibody test.

      Other research studies in the UK also asked their participants to complete the same antibody test. Analysing the information from Child of the New Century, alongside these other studies, will give us a better understanding of how many people may have been infected with COVID-19 and why some people develop severe disease.

  • How accurate is the test?
    • The antibody test will be conducted in a research lab, and not an NHS clinical-grade lab and is not 100% accurate or reliable at an individual level. The results show whether or not you have COVID-19 antibodies but cannot give a completely reliable individual diagnosis of whether you have had the virus. It is not known whether having COVID-19 antibodies will prevent re-infection, so regardless of your test result you should continue to follow government guidelines on self-isolation and social distancing. In addition, we encourage all study members to have the COVID-19 vaccine when offered, regardless of your antibody test result.

  • Can I reuse the test kit?
    • No, do not attempt to reuse the test. It is a single-use disposable device which is not intended for multiple uses.

  • When will I get my antibody test results?
    • You should have received your results by now. If you can’t see anything in your spam folder, please email childnc@ucl.ac.uk.

  • My result came back as ‘not clearly detectable’. What does this mean?
    • This means your blood test did not show a clearly detectable level of certain antibodies against COVID-19 infection. This could be because:

      – You have not been exposed to COVID-19.

      – Antibody status (both the level of the antibodies and the type of antibodies) changes over time from the point of infection, and so antibody levels may have declined.

      – You have been exposed to COVID-19 or had a COVID-19 vaccine but have different antibodies that this research test is not designed to pick up.

      Please be aware this antibody test is being carried out for research purposes only and only picks up certain antibodies against COVID-19. You should continue to follow government guidance on social distancing and self-isolation as appropriate. In addition, we encourage all study members to have the COVID-19 vaccine when offered, regardless of your antibody test result.

  • I’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine, but by test has come back as ‘not clearly detectable’, does this mean the vaccine hasn’t worked and I could still get COVID-19?
    • This antibody test is not a measure of vaccine effectiveness. After vaccination it can take some time for antibodies to appear in the blood which can vary from individual to individual, so depending on when you had your vaccination it may be that they have not yet appeared. It is also important to remember that these tests aren’t 100% accurate. At the moment, we do not know if the vaccine will protect everyone from getting or transmitting COVID-19. By taking part in research and telling us about your vaccination, you are helping us to understand more. Whatever your test result, you should continue to follow government guidance on social distancing and self-isolation as appropriate.

  • My result came back as ‘clearly detectable’. What does this mean?
    • Your blood test showed a clearly detectable level of antibodies against the virus responsible for COVID-19. This means that you may have had or been exposed to COVID-19 in the past and your body has created antibodies. Please be aware this antibody test is being carried out for research purposes only and cannot be used to confirm a current or previous case of a COVID-19 infection.

      You may also have clearly detectable antibodies after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. This antibody test is not a measure of vaccine effectiveness. You should continue to follow government guidance on social distancing and self-isolation as appropriate.

      In addition, we encourage all study members to have the COVID-19 vaccine when offered, regardless of your antibody test result.

  • My result came back as ‘clearly detectable’ after having a COVID-19 vaccine, does this mean it’s worked and I’m protected from the virus?
    • A positive test result could indicate that you may have had an immune response to the vaccine and have developed antibodies. However, this antibody test is not a measure of vaccine effectiveness and it’s also important to remember that these tests aren’t 100% accurate. It is also possible that the antibodies detected may be present because your body has mounted an antibody response after previous exposure to COVID-19.  At the moment, we do not know if antibodies present in your blood will protect you from getting or transmitting COVID-19. Therefore, whatever your test result, you should continue to follow current government advice.

  • My antibody test result came back as invalid. What does this mean?
    • This means we do not know whether you have antibodies or not because the test did not work.  This may have been because there was not enough blood in the tube you returned or because of a technical problem at the laboratory. Unfortunately, we are unable to send out additional blood collection kits for further testing. You should continue to follow government guidance on social distancing and self-isolation as appropriate. In addition, we encourage all study members to have the COVID-19 vaccine when offered, regardless of your antibody test result.

  • I previously tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies but this study’s result came back as ‘not clearly detectable’. What does this mean?
    • This difference in results may be because:

      – Different antibody tests can measure different antibody types, which can lead to differing results.

      – This antibody test was performed using finger-prick blood sent via post. This means the quality of the blood sample will be lower than that produced with some of the other antibody test conditions, which may affect the antibody research test result.

      – Antibody status (both the level of the antibodies and the type of antibodies) changes over time from the point of infection, and so antibody levels may have increased or declined compared with other tests done at different times.

      Please be aware that all participants should continue to follow guidelines on self-isolation and social distancing as appropriate, regardless of your antibody test result. In addition, we encourage all study members to have the COVID-19 vaccine when offered, regardless of antibody results.

  • My antibody test results say I do not have clearly detectable antibody levels, but I previously I know that I have had COVID-19. What does this mean?
    • This could be because:

      – Antibody status (both the level of the antibodies and the type of antibodies) changes over time from the point of infection, and so antibody levels may have declined over time.

      – You may have been exposed to COVID-19 but have different antibodies that this research test is not designed to pick up.

      You should continue to follow all guidance on self-isolation and social distancing as appropriate. In addition, we encourage all study members to have the COVID-19 vaccine when offered, regardless of antibody results.

  • My antibody test results say I do not have clearly detectable antibody levels, but I previously had symptoms consistent with a COVID-19 infection. What does this mean?
    • This could be because:

      – The symptoms you experienced were the result of a flu or other bug, and you have not been exposed to COVID-19.

      – Antibody status (both the level of the antibodies and the type of antibodies) changes over time from the point of infection, and so antibody levels may have declined over time.

      – You may have been exposed to COVID-19 but have different antibodies that this research test is not designed to pick up.

      You should continue to follow all guidance on self-isolation and social distancing as appropriate. In addition, we encourage all study members to have the COVID-19 vaccine when offered, regardless of antibody results.

  • Who carried out this research project?
    • This research is funded by the UK Research Institute as part of the National Core Studies, designed to understand and defeat COVID-19. The research is being conducted by the Child of the New Century Study team at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at UCL.

      We worked with a company called Thriva, who are a blood testing company. Your name and address were passed to Thriva so that they could send you a kit. They destroyed this information once your kit was posted. The blood test kit was returned to Thriva for analysis and the result of your test was provided to the Child of the New Century team. Thriva did not link your test result with your contact details.

      You can find out more about Thriva on their website.

      Thriva are contracted by the Department for Health and Social Care to conduct their antibody testing programme.

      We also worked with Kantar Public, the organisation that conducted our COVID-19 Surveys on our behalf. Kantar Public emailed you to invite you to take part in this research and also sent you your test result.

      Thriva and Kantar Public are contractually bound to UCL to keep your data safe and secure, and are accredited to data security standards.

  • What will happen to my test result?
    • The result of your test will be made securely available to researchers along with other information you have provided to the study, to look at the impact of coronavirus on people’s lives. Thriva will retain your test result along with a unique ID for 3 years after completion of the project. They will not retain any other information about you. We are also legally obliged to share the results of the antibody tests with Public Health England. Public Health England may share this information with equivalent bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The results shared with these organisations will not include any information that would allow you to be identified.

  • What will happen to the blood sample I give?
    • When we asked if you would be willing to take part in this project we told you that any blood left over after the antibody test has been conducted may be stored for future research.  We can now confirm that this will NOT happen. Any blood which was left over after the antibody test was conducted was destroyed by the laboratory.

  • How will you keep my information safe?
    • Your personal details, the results of your antibody test and your blood sample will be all be treated in the strictest confidence in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). There is full information about this on our website.

  • Who are the data controllers?
    • University College London is the Data Controller and is committed to protecting the rights of individuals in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

      Your test result and unique ID will be retained by Thriva for three years. No other information will be retained by Thriva. The Department for Health and Social Care are the Data Controller for the data that will be retained by Thriva.

  • What if I change my mind after giving a blood sample?
    • You can contact us at childnc@ucl.ac.uk or 0800 092 1250.

      Please note that when we asked if you would be willing to take part in this project we told you that any blood left over after the antibody test has been conducted may be stored for future research.  We can now confirm that this will NOT happen. Any blood which was left over after the antibody test was conducted was destroyed by the laboratory.  None of your blood will be stored for future use.

COVID-19 Survey

  • What is the COVID-19 Survey?
    • We asked study members to complete a series of short questionnaires about their experiences during the coronavirus outbreak.  The first survey took place in May 2020, the second in October 2020, and the third in February 2021.

      The surveys provided study members with an important opportunity to contribute to our national understanding of how the coronavirus has affected the economy, society, and health. To find out more, please visit our COVID-19 Survey page.

  • What should I do if I am worried about coronavirus and its impact?
    • We hope that you and your loved ones are keeping well and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.

      Please follow the latest government advice: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

      If you think you may have symptoms of coronavirus, please follow the advice and guidance from the NHS: www.111.nhs.uk (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or www.nhs24.scot (Scotland). You can also call NHS by phoning 111 or phone your GP.

      Many people are experiencing difficulties or need some extra support due to the wider impact of the outbreak and restrictions imposed by the government, for example on finances, health and housing. Some of the organisations able to provide support and free confidential advice are listed below.

      Citizens Advice www.citizensadvice.org.uk – general issues including benefits, housing, debt and consumer issues.

      Family Lives www.familylives.org.uk – advice, information and support on a range of family issues including parenting, school and relationships. Call 0808 800 2222 or email askus@familylives.org.uk

      Drinkline is the national alcohol helpline. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).

      Talk to FRANK www.talktofrank.com – advice on drugs and alcohol. You can text them on 82111, phone FRANK for free on 0300 123 6600 or get advice via webchat.

      Samaritans www.samaritans.org – if you have concerns, worries or are struggling to cope phone 116 123 at any time or email jo@samaritans.org

      Refuge www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk – national domestic abuse helpline. Call 0808 2000 247 at any time.   

  • What happens to the information I give?
    • The information you give us will be held securely and treated in strict confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation. Any information that may identify you, such as your name, your contact details and any other details that may identify you, will be kept separate from your answers to the questionnaire. We hold any information which could identify you securely and never make this available to researchers.

      The answers you give in the questionnaire will be made available securely to researchers, along with other information held by the study about you, to look at the impact of coronavirus on people’s lives.

      The surveys have asked you to express in your own words how the Coronavirus outbreak has affected you. Responses to this question will also be made available to researchers and may also be used in communications about the survey and about research using the survey data. As with all the information you share with us, responses to this question will be de-identified before anyone can use them. You may be able to recognise your own response, but other people will not be able to identify you through your response.

      See the ‘Privacy and data protection’ FAQs for more details about how we use your personal information.

  • How do you keep my information safe?
    • All information collected by and added to Child of the New Century is treated with the strictest confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

      See the ‘Privacy and data protection’ FAQs for more details about how we keep your data secure.

COVID-19 Survey – COVID symptom tracker

Why am I so unique?

  • Why are the Children of the New Century so special?
    • Researchers predict that your generation is going to be much different from your parents and grandparents before you.

      The world is changing quickly. Your generation is growing up in a time of big challenges, like climate change and international security. There are also new opportunities like globalisation, increasing cultural diversity and new technology. You’ve never known a time without computers, the internet or smart phones, and you can access information on almost any topic at the touch of a button.  Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter mean that your experiences can be instantly shared and friends can be people you’ve never met. In 1999, the government decided it would be really important to understand as much as they could about this special generation. They asked a group of researchers to set up a new study that would follow the lives of the children of the 21st century. The very next year, Child of the New Century began.

      To learn more about why the study was started, visit the ‘History of the study’ page.

  • Why have I been specially chosen?
    • You are one of 19,000 young people selected from 400 different areas of the UK to represent your generation. Each one of you was chosen because you’re unique, and together you represent the diversity of the children of the new century.

      As you grow and change, so do the things that make you special. It may be where you live, how you’re doing at school, your family or your hobbies. We need to make sure that as many of you as possible keep taking part well into the future so that all the different types of voices of your generation can be heard.

  • Why should I take part?
    • By taking part in Child of the New Century, you’re helping to make life better for young people your age, as well as for future generations.

      Politicians, teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers and others use findings from the study to improve services and policies to help young people.

      It’s your story and only you can tell it. We’ve been following you since you were 9 months old and we really want to keep hearing from you as you grow up.

      You’re unique and the picture isn’t complete without you. If you choose not to take part, we can’t replace you with anyone else.

      It’s important that we understand what life is like for all different kinds of young people – from different parts of the country, different family backgrounds, different ethnicities, etc. That’s why we need as many of you as possible to keep taking part – each and every one of you brings something new to the story.

  • How was my family initially recruited?
    • Your family was recruited because of where you were living and when you were born. Nearly 400 areas were randomly selected for the study from across the whole of the UK. In those areas, we aimed to contact the families of all the babies born between 1st September 2000 and 31st August 2001 in England and Wales, and between 24th November 2000 and 11th January 2002 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

      At that time, virtually all families in the UK received Child Benefit. The government department administering Child Benefit – called the Department for Work and Pensions – had the names and addresses of some 27,000 families with a baby born between those dates and living in those areas. The Department for Work and Pensions wrote to all of these families inviting them to take part and giving them a chance to opt out.

      Around 24,000 of these families were then approached by an interviewer when their baby was around 9 months old, and 18,552 families were successfully interviewed at the first survey.

      Another 692 families, who were missed initially, were added to the study at age 3. They were recruited in the same way and lived in the same areas.

  • Who else takes part?
    • 19,000 young people from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have taken part in the study.

      In many cases, parents, teachers and even brothers and sisters have also taken part.

      In the future, we may also want to talk to the people who may be important to you as an adult, such as your partner or children, if you have them.

  • Do my parents have to take part?
    • We know that parents are an important part of your life, so as you’re growing up, we ask your mum, dad or the person who takes care of you to take part as well. We are only able to interview parents who live with you. You can still take part, even if your parents don’t want to.

      When you’re an adult, we may ask other important people in your life to take part, such as your partner or children (if you have them). But it will be up to them whether or not they want to.

  • Why don’t you interview my parent who doesn’t live with me?
    • When we’ve visited you, we’ve interviewed your parents or guardians living with you. However, a number of study members don’t live with both their parents, for example where parents are divorced or separated. In the vast majority of these cases, study members are living with their mothers but not their fathers.

      Studies like ours have always struggled to keep fathers involved once they’ve left the family home. In the early days of CNC, we attempted to include those fathers who were not living with their children full-time. In advance of the Age 5 Survey, we carried out a pilot study with children who had fathers living elsewhere. We asked these fathers to complete a questionnaire, but unfortunately less than 14 per cent responded. The numbers were too low to be representative of the wider population of non-resident fathers, and would likely result in an unbalanced and even misleading picture of the involvement of these fathers in their children’s lives. For this reason, we decided we would not interview non-resident fathers as part of the study.

      However, we recognise that many non-resident fathers play an important role in their children’s lives. We have tried to gather information as best we can about all fathers not living in the home.  While you were growing up, we asked your mothers a range of questions about your father’s involvement in your upbringing, and we asked you about your relationships with both parents.

  • What has CNC found out?
    • You can read about findings from Child of the New Century in the what we’ve learned section. Here are a few highlights:

      Pregnancy

      Children whose mothers drank heavily while they were pregnant were more likely to have behaviour problems at age 3 than those whose mothers didn’t drink or drank lightly.

      Having only one or two alcoholic drinks a week during pregnancy is not related to children’s behaviour or abilities at later ages.

      Home and family

      – Children who have a regular bedtime tend to do better at school in areas such as reading and maths than those who don’t. The same researchers found that children who go to bed at the same time every night benefit from being in a better mood and generally get on better with others.

      – Watching TV for more than three hours a day could be linked to anti-social behaviour such as stealing or fighting, although the authors emphasise that lots of other factors influence children’s behaviour too.

       

      School

      The month in which children were born could influence which classes or sets they are in. Children born in the summer months were more likely to be placed in lower sets because they were almost a year younger than their classmates born in September.

       

      Happiness and aspirations

      – In the Age 11 Survey more than half of young people said they were ‘completely happy’ at school, while nearly 3 in 4 were ‘completely happy’ at home.

      – Overall, the most popular jobs with children in the Age 7 Survey included teacher, scientist, hairdresser, sports player, firefighter, vet, doctor, artist and builder.

Taking part

  • What if I no longer want to take part?
    • Your unique contribution is incredibly valuable so we really hope that you will continue taking part. However, the study is voluntary so if you no longer wish to take part, either in the next survey or in any future surveys, please let us know.

      If you are unsure whether to continue to take part or not, please do not hesitate to contact us to talk about your concerns. We are always happy to talk to you – without you the study is not possible. If you choose not to take part, we can’t replace you with anyone else.

  • If I miss one of the surveys, can I re-join later?
    • Your unique contribution is incredibly valuable so we do hope that you will take part. We’d like everyone to take part each time we visit. This is because the information you give us at each survey is even more valuable when we are able to link up the surveys up over time.

      But it’s up to you to decide whether or not to take part each time. If you miss a survey, you can still do the next one. Even if you haven’t taken part for a while, you are welcome to re-join the study at any time.

      If you are unsure whether to continue to take part or not, please do not hesitate to contact us to talk about your concerns. We are always happy to talk to you – as you are a really valued participant. If you choose not to take part, we can’t replace you with anyone else.

       

  • How often will you come and see me?
    • We hope to visit you at key points in your life as you grow up. We choose to visit you at different ages, which are interesting and important for particular reasons. This means that the gap between surveys is not always the same. We visit you more often when you’re growing up because you change faster during these years.

      The most recent survey took place when you are age 14, in 2015. We will come back to visit you again when you are 17, in 2018. The study will continue throughout your adult life. It hasn’t been decided yet when all of the future surveys will be. But it is likely they will be every 3-5 years.

      It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part in each survey. We will send you information before each survey to let you know what it will involve. If you move between surveys, it would be very helpful if you could contact us with your new address.

  • Why do you come to see me at certain ages?
    • We’re interested in following your life story. We want to see how your life changes over time, and what your life is like at certain ages. We choose key points in your life to visit you, which are interesting and important for particular reasons.

      Child of the New Century is like a photo album not only of your life, but of all the other participants too. That’s what makes it so interesting, and this is why you are so important, as you cannot be replaced.

      The more information that the study gathers about your life over time, the more valuable it becomes. This is why we so value your unique and continued contribution.

  • What information do you need from me?
    • If you move or if your contact details change, please let us know as soon as you can. This means we can make sure you get information about the study and that we can contact you to invite you to take part in each survey.

      During each survey, we will ask you for information about lots of different aspects of your life. We may also want to talk to your parents, or other people in your life. We’ll write to you before each survey to tell you all about what is involved.

  • How long will the study continue?
    • We hope that the study will continue throughout your life. Other similar studies, which started in 1946, 1970 and 1958, are still going on today. The next survey will be at age 17 (in 2018). After that, they are likely to be every 3-5 years.

  • Should I tell other people I am in the study?
    • It’s fine to tell your family, friends and teachers that you are in the study. We advise study members not to make this public, for example on social media, as this could risk compromising your anonymity.

Keeping in touch

  • What sort of information will you send me?
    • We will write to you regularly with updates about the study, to make sure you know what is coming up, what we’ve learned and how the study has made a difference.

      Before each survey, we’ll write to you to tell you everything you need to know about what is involved. You might want to know when the survey is taking place, or how long it will take. We’ll always try to answer any questions you have. After each survey, we’ll write to thank you for taking part.

      Between surveys, we will send you results from the study telling you what we have found out. It can take a while to put together all of the information you give us, so it is usually a few years after each survey before we can send you the results.

      You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with the study.

  • How do I find out the results from the study?
    • We will write to you regularly with results from the study, telling you what we’ve found out about your generation. It can take a while to put together all of the information you give us, so it is usually a few years after each survey before we can send you the results.

      To find out more about the results so far, visit the ‘What have we learned?’ page.

      The information from the study is being used all the time by researchers around the world, so new findings are always emerging. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with the latest results.

  • Why do you ask me to update my contact details?
    • We want to make sure that we have the right contact details so that we can keep in touch with you. You’re such a valuable part of the study and we really value your input. We want to make sure we can keep you up to date with the study and contact you to invite you to take part in each survey.

      Updating your contact details is simple to do. All you have do is either call us via the Freephone telephone number (0800 092 1250), or email us at childnc@ucl.ac.uk. Your call and/or email will be treated in the strictest confidence.

  • What do I do with the form you’ve sent me?
    • You simply fill out the form that we sent you with any new information such as address changes, new phone and email addresses, or changes to a contact person’s details, and return it to us in the prepaid envelope.  Where there are no changes to your details we would like you to send us back the form anyway to indicate that we have the correct information on your record. If you prefer you can update us with your new details by Freephone (0800 092 1250), or by email (childnc@ucl.ac.uk) and dispose of the form.

      If you cannot find your form, please confirm your contact details by Freephone (0800 092 1250) or by email (childnc@ucl.ac.uk). Your call and/or email will be treated in the strictest confidence.

  • Can I keep in touch with CNC on social media?
    • Child of the New Century is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so it’s easy for you and your parents to stay up to date with the study.

      Facebook

      You can keep up to date with Child of the New Century by liking our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/childofthenewcentury.

      Only your Facebook friends will be able to see that you’ve liked our page, and we’ve disabled the comment function to protect your identity from others.

      Twitter

      Child of the New Century is also on Twitter. You can follow us at @childnewcentury.

      Anyone with a Twitter account can see who is following our account or has liked, retweeted or commented on our tweets. Twitter users will also be able to click through to see your tweets, unless you have chosen to make them private (protected) in your Twitter settings.

      Instagram

      Child of the New Century is now also on Instagram. You can follow us on @childofthenewcentury.

      Our Instagram page is public. This means anyone with an Instagram account will be able to see who has liked our page or posts, or commented on our posts. Instagram users will also be able to view your Instagram and follow you unless you have made your account private.

      Contact us by email, phone or post

      If you have a question or comment about the study, we recommend you contact us by email, phone or post and not through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Find out how to reach us on the contact us page.

      Find out about keeping safe online

  • Why do you want my mobile phone number and email address?
    • We are asking you to give us your mobile phone number and email address so we can keep in contact with you about the study. We will not give your contact details to anybody else, and we will not contact you about anything other than Child of the New Century. You can let us know what your contact details are by using the online form. Please discuss this with your parents before filling in the form yourself.

How we find you

  • How do you find us if we move?
    • We need to keep in touch with as many of you as possible to make sure Child of the New Century continues to represent the diversity of your generation. So, if we find out that you’ve moved, we will try to find out your new address.

      We first try to contact families through the direct links you and your parents have given us, such as phone numbers, email addresses and your postal address.

      If that doesn’t work, then we will try to contact any family members or friends whose details you have given us. If we still haven’t found you, we will check the electoral register and the telephone book, both of which are public records and available electronically. We may also try to find you using internet searches, by looking on social media sites and by using information held by government department and agencies.

      All of this tracing is usually done before the interviewers have gone out to interview families so that we can provide them with your current address. However, if we have not been able to locate you, or if the interviewer finds out your family has moved, then they will also try to find out where you’ve moved to. As well as trying to make contact by phone and in person, the interviewer may also call at your old address to speak to the new residents and call on neighbours. When we are looking for you, we won’t reveal to other people, apart from your family and friends, that you are part of Child of the New Century.

  • Do you use information held by Government to find us?
    • We try to trace study members using information held by government departments and agencies.

      We securely transfer the personal details (name, sex, date of birth, and last known address) of study members to NHS Digital who use these details to identify our study members using the NHS Personal Demographic Service (PDS), a database which holds details of users of health and care services in England.  Once study members are identified on the PDS, NHS Digital periodically send us up-to-date addresses.

      NHS Digital will also inform us if you have died or moved out of the country.

      In Scotland and Northern Ireland we have tried to trace study members via Health Authorities and GPs.

      Child of the New Century has also tried to trace study members using using the National Pupil Database.  The National Pupil Database contains the addresses of all state school pupils in England, which are collected through schools.

      This kind of personal information is not given out routinely by government departments and agencies. Special permissions are needed, and this is only done after a careful review of why this information is needed, ethical issues and data security procedures. For the information coming from the NHS, special approval under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 from the NHS Confidentiality Advisory Group and NHS Digital Data Access Advisory Group is needed.

  • Do you use the internet and social media to find us?
    • Sometimes we try to find study members using the internet and social media. This may involve carrying out internet searches, for example using Google, and searching on Facebook and other social media sites. While you are under 16, we will only look for your parents in this way. We also know that it can be difficult to identify people accurately on the internet and social media. So, whenever we are searching in this way, we will not reveal the name of the study in case the person we contact isn’t one of our study members.

  • What do I do if I move?
    • It would be very helpful (as well as saving us time!) if you could contact us to let us know where you have moved to. This is simple to do. All you have do is either call us via the Freephone telephone number (0800 092 1250), or email us at childnc@ucl.ac.uk. Your call and/or email will be treated in the strictest confidence.

  • What if I leave the country?
    • If you are living outside the UK during our interview period then sadly we will have to leave you out of that particular survey. However, please still let us know your address so that we can keep in touch and send you letters and updates.

      Please let us know by Freephone (0800 092 1250), or by email (childnc@ucl.ac.uk), if you are moving out of the country. Your call and/or email will be treated in the strictest confidence.

      You can however re-join the study and be included in the next round of interviews if and when you return to the UK.

      Very occasionally we attempt to contact Child of the New Century participants who are living abroad to request that they fill out a paper questionnaire instead of a face-to-face interview.

      In the future it is possible that we may be able to include study members living abroad using the web or telephone interviews.

Privacy and data protection

About adding other information

  • Do you add any other information to my data?
    • Government departments and agencies hold information about people which they use for routine administrative purposes. From time to time, we add information from these routine administrative records to the study data. We only do this if we have permission from the people whose data are being linked. Adding this information to the survey data helps to build up an even fuller picture of participants’ lives. This makes Child of the New Century even more valuable as it means researchers can use it to answer even more questions about society.

      At previous surveys, your parents may have given permission to add your school and/or health records, and those of your brothers and sisters, to the survey data. For people under 16, parental permission is needed. They may have also given permission for their own health and/or economic records to be added. At the Age 17 survey, we asked you for the first time, to give your own permission to add other information about you.

      To add other information to your data, if you have given us permission, we securely transfer your personal details (such as  name, sex, date of birth, address, NHS and National Insurance number – if held) to the government department or agency (or to a trusted third party employed by the government department or agency). We don’t send any other information about your, or any of your answers to the surveys. The government bodies or agencies only use these details to identify the person in their systems and then send the information from these records to us or to the data store where we deposit the study data. These departments and agencies are trusted to keep your personal details secure (and are likely to already have your personal details) and have robust systems to manage this.

      When the information from the records is sent to us or to the data store, it is added to the information collected in the study, and made available to researchers under restricted access arrangements. Names, addresses, National Insurance and/or NHS numbers, are never disclosed to data stores or to researchers.

      The permissions for adding other information can be withdrawn at any time, without giving us any reason. This can be done by writing to us at: Child of the New Century, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, or by emailing the CNC team at childnc@ucl.ac.uk.

      We also add mortality data – NHS Digital periodically inform us if study members have died. The files we receive from NHS Digital tell us when study members have died (month and year) and the cause of death.  Receiving this information helps us ensure we do not try to contact people who have died. We also use it for important research. In order to receive this information from the NHS we have to obtain special approval under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 from the NHS Confidentiality Advisory Group and the NHS Digital Data Access Advisory Group.

      We also add information which is not about you individually, but is about, for example, the school you go to or the area you live in. Any information like this provided to researchers is de-identified and cannot be used to find out who is in the study.

  • What other information have you added to my data?
    • Information added from mortality records
      NHS Digital periodically inform us if study members have died. The files we receive from NHS Digital tell us when study members have died (month and year) and the cause of death. Receiving this information helps us to ensure we do not try to contact people who have died. We also use it for important research.

      In order to receive this information from the NHS we have to obtain special approval under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 from the NHS Confidentiality Advisory Group and the NHS Digital Data Access Advisory Group.

      Please note that if you opt out of having your records added to the national GP database, or of any other health database, via the NHS national data opt out then the NHS will not send us this information.

      Information added from administrative records

      At previous surveys, your parents may have given permission to add your school and/or health records to the information we have collected about you as part of the survey. We also collected their consent to add information about some of your siblings, where relevant, and they may have also previously given permission for their own health and/or economic records to be added to the survey data.

      If your parents agreed to this, we have already added some of this information to your survey data. Find out more about the information that we have added below:

      • Information added from routine education records

      At the age 5 survey we asked permission from the parents of those of you in England to add information from your school records called the Foundation Stage Profile. When you were 7, we asked for their permission to collect information about your performance at school up to age 16. This includes Key Stages assessments and GCSEs in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland, and 5-14 levels and Standard Grades in Scotland. Your parents’ permission may have also been sought at the age 3 survey and/or the age 7 survey for accessing information from education records for your siblings (if relevant).

      We have already added some information from these records. For those of you in England, Wales and Scotland, we have added some information from your primary school records. For those of you in England we have also added information from your secondary school records, including your GCSE results. We have not yet collected this information for your brothers or sisters (if relevant).

      These records, combined with the information you’ve given us during the surveys, will allow researchers to better understand your experiences at school and help provide better education and training for your generation and future ones too.

      • Information added from routine health records

      At the 9-months Survey, we asked your mother for her permission to add information about you from her pregnancy and birth hospital records and your birth registration records. If permission was obtained, these records have been accessed and made available to researchers. This information is of great benefit to the study as it gives researchers a more complete picture of your very early life conditions, which we know can have important long-term effects on development.

      At the Age 3 Survey, we asked for your parent or guardian’s permission to add information about hospital admissions and treatments you might have received from birth to age 7 years. This information is held in routine records kept by the National Health Service. This permission was again sought at the Age 5 Survey, to ensure everyone had the opportunity to consent.

      Then at the Age 7 Survey, your parents were asked for their permission to access information about you, and about your brothers and sisters (if relevant), held in routine health records from birth to age 14. These records relate to admissions or attendances at hospital, visits to a family doctor or other health professional, records of specific conditions, and prescriptions given. We also sought their consent for their own health records to be added.

      If you gave us permission, we are now starting to get some information from your health records. For example, for those of you in England, Scotland and Wales, some information from your hospital records has been added. We have not yet collected this information for your siblings (if relevant) and for your parents we have only done this for those of you in Wales.

      These records, combined with information you’ve given us during the surveys, will allow researchers to look in greater detail at what affects the health of children of the new century, and how policy makers might improve things for you and younger generations.

      For those of you in England, NHS Digital hold all hospital admissions and outcomes data from the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) dataset, and we will link this information to the information collected about you as part of the study after the Age 17 Survey. The information provided by NHS Digital may also include civil registration data from the Office for National Statistics. For those of you in Scotland and Wales your medical records are held by the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS National Services Scotland and NHS Wales Informatics Service’s Information Services Division (ISD), which have already sent us your records. We are aiming to make them available to researchers soon.  For those of you in Northern Ireland, it is the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care (HSC) that maintains this information. We have not yet applied to them for your records.

      As part of the UK Longitudinal Linkage Collaboration we are adding information from your NHS health records to support research into COVID-19. This includes your COVID-19 test results, if you had one, and your vaccination status.  We are only doing this if you have given us permission to add information from your health records. If you took part in the COVID-19 web surveys and have used the COVID-19 symptom tracker app, the data collected by the app will be linked to your survey data unless you have opted out of this. See the FAQs, ‘COVID-19 Survey – COVID symptom tracker’.

      • Information added from GP records

      You may have heard in the news about NHS Digital’s plans to create a national central database of GP records. If you have given us permission to access your health records held by NHS, we will be asking NHS Digital to send us your records from this new GP database so we can add them to your survey data. We will not send any of your survey responses to the NHS.

      If you don’t want us to add your data from the GP database or any other NHS records to your survey data, you can contact us to withdraw your permission. You can call us for free on 0800 092 1250 or email us at childnc@ucl.ac.uk.

      Please note that opting out of having your records added to the national GP database, or of any other health database, via the NHS national data opt out, is separate to opting out of us adding your health records to your survey data. If you have previously given CNC permission to add your health records to your survey data, then we will continue to do this. But if you don’t want this to happen, please let us know using the contact details above.

      We would like to assure you that the data will never be used for commercial purposes and will only be used for research. The data will be made available via appropriate conditions of access to researchers via secure mechanisms such as the UK Data Service or similar organisations.

      • Information added from economic records

      At the Age 7 Survey, your parents were asked for permission for their economic records to be added. This includes information about benefits, employment, earnings, tax credits and occupational pensions, and national insurance contributions.  The consent for the linkage of information on benefits and employment was updated at the Age 11 Survey.

      We are now in the process of adding this information from your parents’ economic records, kept by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (and the Northern Ireland Department for Communities, Social Security Agency) and by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This information will give us a better picture of your family economic circumstances without asking additional questions in the interview. It will allow us, for example, to examine in better detail the impact of family economic circumstances on your educational progress.

  • Who will use the information?
    • The information will be made available to researchers under restricted access arrangements via the UK Data Service (UKDS) or similar organisation. Researchers based within the Centre for Longitudinal Studies may be given access to the linked data via the highly secure UCL Data Safe Haven (DSH). Access to the data via the UKDS or the DSH will only be granted in these secure research environments and after a successful application procedure, assessed and approved by the CLS Data Access Committee team and the relevant government department or agency (if required). This is to make sure this information is used responsibly and safely.

      Information provided to researchers will never contain your name, address, date of birth, NHS or NI number.

  • Can I change my permissions?
    • You can withdraw permission at any time for your NHS, DWP, or HMRC records to be added to your study answers without giving us a reason. This applies for any permissions that you (or you partner) may have given in the past. If we have already added some of your information, we will continue to use it for research purposes only, but we will not add any further information from your records.

      To change your permissions, please email the CNC team at childnc@ucl.ac.uk or write to: Child of the New Century, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL Social Research Institute, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL.

      Please note that opting out of having your records added to the national GP database, or of any other health database, via the NHS national data opt out, is separate to opting out of us adding your health records to your survey data. If you have previously given CNC permission to add your health records to your survey data, then we will continue to do this. But if you don’t want this to happen, please let us know using the contact details above.

Making the data available for research

  • Where do researchers go to get the study data?
    • We deposit your de-identified survey responses with the UK Data Service, based at the University of Essex, the UK Longitudinal Linkage Collaboration, based at the University of Bristol, and the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank, based at Swansea University. Making the study data available through these central data stores makes it easier for scientists from different sectors, working in a wide variety of fields, to access and use the information in their research.

  • What is the UK Data Service?
    • The UK Data Service is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to meet the data needs of researchers, students and teachers from all sectors. The UK Data Service collection includes major UK government-sponsored surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, international aggregate data, business data, and qualitative data. We deposit de-identified data from all the studies that we run, including Child of the New Century.

  • What is the UK Longitudinal Linkage Collaboration?
    • The UK Longitudinal Linkage Collaboration (UK LLC) is a UK government-funded initiative that will help researchers investigate the effects of COVID-19 and its implications for public health policy. It is part of the National Core Studies, a major UK government-funded research initiative.

      Across the UK, thousands of people are taking part in longitudinal studies like Child of the New Century, which follow participants over time. At the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), we run four studies – the 1958 National Child Development Study, the 1970 British Cohort Study, Next Steps, and Child of the New Century. There are many other studies in the UK, similar to these. Among others, these include, Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, Generation Scotland, National Survey of Health and Development, Southall and Brent Revisited, Twins UK, UK Biobank and Understanding Society.

      Each study collects vital information which allows researchers to answer key questions about the factors which affect people’s experiences and circumstances throughout their lives. The UK LLC will bring together de-identified data from many of these studies including the four studies we run at CLS, together with linked administrative data, into a single database which will be available to approved researchers for approved research projects. Combining the data from these studies together will make the data even more valuable, creating a resource which will further increase the potential for research. For more details see About adding other information and refer to the UK LLC privacy policy.

  • What is the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank?
    • The Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank provides secure storage and use of anonymised person-based data for research to improve health, wellbeing and services. Its databank of anonymised data about the population of Wales is internationally recognised. Backed and endorsed by the Government, the SAIL Databank receives core funding from the Welsh Government’s Health and Care Research Wales. We deposit Child of the New Century survey responses with the SAIL Databank.

  • How do these data stores keep my information safe?
    • Access to your survey responses by staff at the data stores is limited to those who manage and prepare the data for access and to those who keep the system safe.

      The data are de-identified at all times, and steps are taken to ensure confidentiality and data security. The data services have leading Information Security accreditation (ISO27001) and are regularly audited by IT professionals, the NHS and UK statistics agencies.

      Legitimate researchers are able to apply to access the data under a strict licence agreement and required to use the data for legitimate purposes. Where your routine administrative records have been linked to your survey responses, additional measures are in place, including limiting access to researchers based in the UK and to researchers who need to demonstrate that they will be competent and safe users, that their project is in the public interest, is not run for profit making purposes, and will meet the requirements of CLS and the owners of the administrative data.

About social research

  • What is social research?
    • Social research is research conducted by social scientists, such as anthropologists, economists, psychologists and sociologists. It aims to understand human behaviour, mental processes, and how people interact in society. Researchers apply different statistical methods to data in order to do this. The objective of their research is to understand how and why people fare differently in life, and therefore how policies can be designed to help improve the lives of some.

  • What is a birth cohort study?
    • A birth cohort study is one that follows a group of people that were  born at a similar date or period of time – be it a day, month, year or decade, for instance. It follows these people throughout their lives, and collects data from them at particular ages. By following the same people over time, these studies are able to show how and why people change as they get older. Child of the New Century is a birth cohort study following people born at the turn of the new millennium.

  • What is survey research?
    • Survey research involves collecting information from a sample of individuals through their answers to questions. Surveys are used in lots of parts of our society, for example by retail companies to understand shoppers’ preferences, in polls to reveal people’s voting intentions, and in studies such as CNC! They are carried out in different ways – including face-to-face, over the telephone, or on the internet.

About the saliva sample in the age 14 survey

  • Why did you ask for a saliva sample?
    • We asked you to give a saliva sample to extract a sample of DNA for genetic research.

  • How are saliva samples useful to the study, and to society as a whole?
    • Researchers can use DNA samples to look at whether parents and their children have certain types of genes. Studying the relative importance of genes and other factors helps researchers to understand differences in young people’s development, health, behaviour, growth and learning. For instance, recent research has identified genes associated with common allergies including pollen, dust-mite and cat allergies. It is believed that allergies are very often passed from one generation to the next. Understanding the genetic factors underlying allergies may be key to understanding who might be most likely to suffer from allergies and how this very common condition might best be treated.

  • What is a gene/DNA?
    • DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material in every cell of the body including blood, saliva, skin and hair. Everyone has DNA. We inherit our DNA from our parents. A gene is a section of DNA that contains the information our bodies need to make chemicals called proteins. In this way, they tell your cells how to function and what characteristics to express, and thus influence what we look like on the outside and how we work on the inside. For example, one gene contains the code to make a protein called insulin, which plays an important role in helping your body control the amount of sugar in your blood.

  • Why are you studying DNA?
    • We are studying DNA in order to look at the way genes (nature) and lifestyle (nurture) are related to feelings, behaviour, health, and development. It will help us to understand how nature and nurture work together. Although we all have very similar genes, there are many small variations. These different versions of our genes can make us more or less likely to develop many common diseases, such as allergies (asthma, for example), diabetes or heart disease. These differences can also affect our personality and behaviour.

  • Where and how are the DNA samples kept?
    • Samples will be stored in a laboratory at the University of Bristol which is licensed by the Human Tissue Authority. Access to laboratory and sample areas is restricted to authorised personnel. Samples are stored in freezers covered by a 24 hour alarm system in case of freezer breakdown. Names and addresses are not attached to samples.

  • Why did you collect DNA from both biological parents?
    • We want to learn more about the influence of parents’ DNA on their children. An important aim of Child of the New Century is to look at children’s genes and their environment to see how they interact to affect health and development. Each child’s genes come from both their mother and father, so the value of the genetic information is increased greatly if we are able to look at both parents (if both are living in the household). Genes can have different effects depending on whether they come from the mother or father. DNA from parents will let us explore these differences. This is why – when looking at complex conditions such as asthma, obesity or diabetes – we need to look at DNA from parents as well as children.

  • How is a biological/natural parent defined?
    • Biological parents are those who have conceived with their own egg (mother) or sperm (father), and therefore whose genes have been transmitted to the child.

  • Will we get any results from the DNA samples?
    • No, we will not provide you with routine feedback of the results of genetic testing. Tests done on your DNA are not the same as clinical genetic tests and cannot be used for diagnosis. If, however, throughout the course of the research we find something that we think could indicate a preventable medical issue, we would contact you and advise you to consult with a medical professional.

  • How will my DNA be used?
    • Your DNA will be used for research purposes only. It could be used by researchers who work in the commercial sector (e.g. a private company). Organisations which want to use the DNA samples to look at particular genes will have to apply for permission to an independent committee which oversees access to the samples. Researchers only get permission to use the samples if they put forward a strong scientific case and explain the potential impact of the research and its wider value to society.

  • Can my DNA be used by lawyers or insurance companies?
    • No. Your DNA will be used for research purposes only.

  • Can you share the DNA with someone like my doctor?
    • No, that is not possible. We use a research laboratory and not a clinical or medical laboratory. Your DNA will only be used for research relating to Child of the New Century.

  • Will this DNA be used for paternity testing?
    • Child of the New Century will not use your DNA for paternity testing. Whilst it would be possible during quality checking to compare genes within a family and in this way confirm paternity, this comparison will not be carried out by laboratory researchers.

  • Could this DNA be used for cloning humans?
    • Child of the New Century will not use your DNA for cloning humans. The use of human tissue, DNA and cell lines is strictly controlled. The charities and government organisations which fund this research, the UCL Social Research Institute, and the Child of the New Century Ethics Committee, do not allow human cloning.

  • Will the information be kept confidentially?
    • All of the information in the Child of the New Century study is kept separate from participant names so no one can link it back to individuals. This personal information is completely confidential.

  • What if I change my mind?
    • When you turn 16 (or earlier if you can demonstrate that you are old enough to understand), you can withdraw permission for storage and use of your DNA. Upon withdrawal of consent, CLS will instruct the laboratory to destroy all stocks of the samples.

      Parents have the right to withdraw consent for the storage and use of their own DNA, without giving any reason. Parents can also withdraw consent on behalf of their child until they are aged 16.

      You can withdraw your permission by writing to us at Child of the New Century, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL Social Research Institute, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL.

About the 'Every Tooth Tells a Story' Project

  • What is the ‘Every tooth tells a story’ project?
    • Around the age 7 sweep (2008), you were asked to participate in an ‘Every tooth tells a story’ project to look at levels of lead in the environment. The study was being carried out by the Institute of Child Health, part of University College London.

  • How many teeth did you receive as part of the ‘Every tooth tells a story’ study, and where are they now?
    • Over 3,000 of you sent your teeth for the study. Many of you sent more than one tooth and the study has now received over 4,000 teeth from you. This makes it an exceptionally successful collection of shed milk teeth in the UK and provides an amazing resource for research.

      The teeth are being stored at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. They are stored securely and in serial number order in plastic zip wallets. They have been removed of any personal information so they cannot be linked to you.

  • Why did you want to collect my milk teeth at age 7?
    • Lead is a hazardous chemical in the environment which can affect children’s learning, development and behaviour. The government reduced the amount of lead in the environment by removing lead from petrol in the 1980s and taking steps to reduce lead in water in the 1990s. This means that environmental lead levels have fallen.

      However, little remains known about lead exposure in young children. Lead is incorporated and stored in calcifying tissues such as bone and teeth. Recent scientific advances make it possible to assess lead levels from milk teeth.

      By testing the teeth of children living in different parts of the country, we will find out if there are differences in the amount of tooth lead across the country, and also whether children are exposed to lead before and after birth. This information will tell us how well children are being protected through different government measures to control lead. It will also allow us to look at whether tooth lead levels affect children’s later development.

      To find out more about lead and its health effects, visit the Health Protection website.

  • At what stage is the research on ‘Every tooth tells a story?’
    • Researchers at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, have recently arranged for the first tests on a small number of your milk teeth to take place in a specialist laboratory in Australia. This will give us some important information about the amount of lead that today’s children are exposed to before and after birth. As these tests are relatively new, only a small number of teeth are being tested at first but more testing is planned if this is successful.

      We will tell you more about what the study finds as the research develops.

  • When will we know the findings from the ‘Every tooth tells a story’ research?
    • Findings from the ‘Every tooth tells a story’ project should be out soon.