Winter pressures are beginning to bite as hospitals report too many patients are on wards and ambulances face delays at A&E.
Parents are advised to massage their child's gums or use a teething ring before trying the gels.
Only one in 10 meals was classed as healthy which is a cause for concern, say researchers.
It is hoped the measure can boost the low proportion of donors from black and Asian backgrounds.
Northumbria Healthcare bosses say they want to stop norovirus rates reaching "critical numbers".