Information for Kids

What does premature mean?

Child in Study

What does premature mean?

Most babies grow for 40 weeks in their mother’s womb and are born at what we call full term. Some babies are born earlier than 40 weeks. These babies are called premature babies.

We are studying babies who were born more than 8 weeks early. These babies need help and support after birth and are looked after in a ‘neonatal’ or newborn baby unit.

What are we trying to find out?

We are a group of researchers who are interested in finding out how premature babies grow and develop when they are little and how they get on at school when they get older. To find out how premature babies are doing at school, we also need to find out how children who were born at full term do at school too. It is very important for us to know how premature babies grow up and develop so that we can do more to help children who were born premature in the future.

Why are the PRISM studies being done?

The PRISM study stands for Premature Infants’ Skills in Mathematics. We are doing the PRISM studies to find out about the maths skills of children who were born premature. We are most interested in finding out about memory and problem solving skills and how these children are getting on with maths. In the first PRISM Study we found out about premature children’s maths skills in primary school. Now we are carrying out the PRISM-2 Study to find out about their maths skills in secondary school.

What will I do if I take part in the PRISM-2 Study?

One of our team will come and visit you at school for a day and ask you to do some activities. These will be quick puzzles and will include some number games, some word games and some memory games. These should be fun and interesting to do! If it’s ok with you we will video record you doing some of the tasks, this will allow us to check that we do exactly the same tasks with all the children in the study. We will also test one of your classmates, who was born at full term; they may or may not be one of your friends. We and the teachers will select the classmate we want to test.

How long will the visit take?

The visit will take all day during one of your school days. You will be able to go out for your lunch time and all your breaks to see your friends as usual, just like a normal school day.

What will happen after the visit?

If you have any questions about the activities you can ask the researcher when they come to visit you at school. They will be very happy to explain things to you and answer all your questions. We will also send your parents a letter to tell them how you did in the activities. What happens at the end of the study? When we have finished seeing all the children who want to take part we will look at our results to find out how the children who were born premature are doing in maths. We will write a report about the results of the study. We hope this will be good enough to be looked at by other researchers and be published in a scientific book called a journal.

I would like to take part in the PRISM-2 study, what do I do?

You will be able to take part in the PRISM-2 Study if your parents have been sent a letter telling them about the study and an information sheet for you. Read the information sheet and talk to your parents about what you have read. They will be able to contact us to arrange for you to take part in the study. Your parents may want to use the contact details provided on this web-site.

If you have taken part in the study, what did you think?

You can contact us using these details!