* Children living in hard water areas are more likely to develop eczema, say researchers, who monitored groups of primary school children in Nottinghamshire. They believe that calcium in the water, and not magnesium, was the likely cause. No similar link was made among older children (Lancet, 1998; 352: 527-31).
* Cot death, or sudden infant death syndrome, remains a seasonal worry despite the success of the "Back to Sleep" campaign. The seasonality of the problem now appears more acute in babies aged over five months (Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 1998; 79: 269-70).