The story so far

"You have a world-class resource here [...] and the benefits are becoming only too apparent now." -Prof Sir Al Aynsley-Green, former Children's Commissioner for England, public lecture, 27 March 2014

Timeline - Children of the 90s

1991

The Story Begins

More than 14,000 pregnant women enrol their babies in a new research project - Children of the 90s

1992

Back to sleep

The project contributes to research that shows that laying babies to sleep on their backs has no harmful effects and can reduce the risk of cot death. Parents are informed through the Back to Sleep campaign, and cot death rates fall rapidly from around 1,200 to 300 a year in the UK.

1993

Boys and Girls

We discover that boys are more prone to almost every minor illness than girls

1994

Smoking is bad news

Mothers who smoke take longer to get pregnant in the first place, they are more likely to miscarry, and their babies are more likely to wheeze.

1996

Questions, questions

Up to now mums and dads have filled out the questionnaires. But now the children, aged 5, start filling out their own.

1997

Grime is good!

We discover that children who wash too much are more likely to get asthma and allergies

1998

In Focus

All the children are invited to come to Focus sessions every year for various health tests and assessments.

2000

Better Vision

If a mother eats oily fish like salmon and sardines when she is pregnant, her child may have better eye-sight.

2002

Caesarian danger

Women who give birth by caesarian section may find it difficult to conceive another child later.

2003

New Labs

State of the art laboratories are opened to immortalise cell lines form the blood samples families give us. This puts children of the 90s in the forefront of genetic research.

2004

Not so fresh

Using too many air fresheners and aerosols like deodorants and hairspray can make mothers and babies ill. Babies get more vomiting and earache, and mothers have more headaches and depression.

2005

Let's Party!

Thousands of Children of the 90s and their families gather at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta for the biggest party we've ever had.

2006

A new leader

Professor Jean Golding, who founded Children of the 90s, retires from leadership of the project, in order to concentrate on her research. Professor George Davey Smith takes over as scientific director.

Funding for the future

The vital importance of Children of the 90s is recognised. It was awarded £9 million to fund the project well into the future.

Teens take control

Twenty children of the 90s form a Teenage Advisory Panel to help guide the project into the future.

2007

Weighty Issues

Children of the 90s contributes to the discovery of a gene associated with a tendency to gain weight. But obesity is not inevitable. A separate study shows that just 5 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise a day can be enough to stop you becoming overweight.

2008

New home

Children of the 90s moved to a spacious new building in Oakfield Grove, Clifton. Opening the new Focus Centre, Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said that Children of the 90s "is now world-famous... it's the name on everyone's lips." He praised all the young people and families involved, and said they were making "a major contribution to health research".

2009

Focus on mothers

A pioneering new study began into women's health, including heart disease osteoporosis and breast cancer. All the mothers involved in Children of the 90s are being invited to come to their own focus session, and they get useful feedback to help them safeguard their future health, including a valuable DXA bone scan.

2010

Out on the road

We spent the summer of 2010 taking Children of the 90s out on the road, it was great to meet so many of you at the festivals and events in and around Bristol and Weston. Keep an eye out for the Children of the 90s bike in 2011.

2011

Playing your part

Thousands of participants consent to let us access data from their official records.

2012

Coming of age

Children of the 90s marks its 21st birthday with a year-long programme of events & activities.
The Children of the Children of the 90s (COCO90s) project begins, recruiting a new generation.

2013

Into the future

Brothers and sisters start taking part in Children of the 90s.
The project secures £7.75 million to continue its work for a further five years.

2014

A major milestone

Children of the 90s publishes its 1000th discovery.
Grandparents are invited to take part.

Twenty-one Years: Our Journey

In 2012, to thank all the participants who have given their time and dedication over the last 21 years, we produced a book entitled Twenty One Years: Our Journey which can be read online.

Story of Children of the 90s

This is a quick overview of Children of the 90s in the form of an image that you can share online. This link takes you away from our web site.

Children of the 90s Beach Party on ITV West

In August 2007, ITV weather broadcast from the Children of the 90s Hawaiian beach party on Uphill beach, Weston-Super-Mare. Participants, dressed in Hawaiian outfits enjoyed games including limbo, sumo wrestling and gladiator jousting. One of the founders of Children of the 90s, Jennie Cross, explains in the video that the party is a way of thanking the participants and their families for taking part in the research so far, and is a great chance to see all of the teenagers together.