Healthy and safe upbringing

Children in the Netherlands are fortunate in having quite a safe upbringing, yet some things could be improved. Like the higher incidence nowadays of overweight, behavioural problems and uncertainty among parents about raising children. Symone Detmar, head of the Youth knowledge programme: “There’s a lot to be gained from prevention, especially long term. It’s something we are working on with partners.”

The earliest possible prevention

Health issues that appear later in life may already be present in the womb, so it is essential during pregnancy to consciously adopt healthy behaviour. Together with partners, TNO has developed a new model to give guidance to pregnant women in groups where there is a lot of interaction and women are encouraged to consider healthy choices. For example, they are inclined to stop smoking more readily. However, prevention can start even earlier: we also target women that want to become pregnant.

Youth healthcare

TNO works closely with youth healthcare; we host postdoctoral training for paediatricians as well as develop guidelines for consultation bodies to enable the best knowledge to get into practice. We encourage good dental hygiene among youngsters. And we work on innovations like customised care: using the data that is available can help determine which children need to make consultation visits more and less frequently.

Behavioural shift

Many children do not eat enough vegetables and fruit while these are vital ingredients for healthy growth. A healthy diet prevents obesity, for example. We know how you can help parents and children achieve a shift in behaviour. Information is not enough; we study what motivates people at an individual level and use this knowledge to get children and young people more socially resilient.


TNO is a partner for professionals and policymakers in youth care. We provide well-founded knowledge for practical issues, with all kinds of disciplines in house: from doctors and pedagogues to health promoter and statisticians. Symone Detmar: “It is so very important to invest in children because they are the future of our society.” If you want to find out more about what we do in the field of healthy and safe upbringing, continue reading below or contact us.


Better care for pregnancy and childbirth in Suriname

09 December 2016
The nationwide implementation of new interventions in pregnancy and childbirth in Suriname is essential, and an appeal for such was made during the final symposium of Perinatal Interventions Suriname (Perisur).... Read more

Prevention, Work & Health

Dr. Symone Detmar

  • child health
  • youth health
  • quality of life

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