Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...

Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...

Colic

Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...

Strap-in-the-Future

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

First Aid at Home

first_aidIllness and accidents are a part of everyday life. It can be a nerve-wracking, frightening and very stressful experience, especially the first time round. You want to help your child, ease their discomfort and pain, but you are not sure if you can do it yourself or if you need to rush off to the closest Dr or Casualty. First Aid is about using your common sense, and being prepared, to help your infant or toddler.

Dealing with common illnesses:

Fever:
The body is reacting to some kind of foreign organism, usually viral. A fever is not dangerous as long as it doesn't go over 40 degrees (higher than this could lead to a febrile convulsion). Your main aim is to cool your child down with tepid sponging, a cool bath and anti-pyretic medication like Paracetamol and then to keep the temperature down.
Seek medical attention if your child is
  • younger than 3 months
  • listless and miserable after the fever has come down
  • breathing is shallow and laboured
  • ashen or blue in colour
  • complaining of a stiff neck or turning away from bright light
  • losing consciousness.

Vomiting and Diarrhoea:
This can be due to an emotional upset, a result of a fever or due to a bug. If it's a bug then the body is trying to eliminate it and it usually passes within 24hours. Try keep your child hydrated with sips of clear fluids and their stomach settled with nibbles of dry toast or crackers. If it persists for more than 24hours seek medical attention.

Bleeding:
Small cuts and grazes can be cleaned with an anti-septic lotion and then covered with a plaster.
Deeper cuts in the veins produce slow seeping dark blood. Cover with a clean cloth and apply gentle pressure. The cut may also need medical attention, it may need to either be glued or stitched together.
An arterial cut causes a rapid pulsing bleed that needs immediate medical attention. Do not attempt to clean the wound, cover it with a clean cloth and apply pressure until medical attention is received. If the cloth gets seeped with blood apply another one on top of the first.
Nose bleeds: These occur when the small blood vessels in mucous membranes of the nose burst. Apply pressure to the bridge of the nose, hold a cloth to the nostrils and get the child to breathe through their mouth until the bleeding stops.

Burns and scalds:
 Get cold, running water onto the affected part as quickly as possible and keep it there for a few minutes. Apply a burn gel like Burnshield and give an age appropriate dose of Paracetamol. If a blister forms do not pop it, rather get advice from a nurse or GP on how to treat it. A severe burn will need medical attention as soon as possible.

Foreign Bodies: Some toddlers have an uncontrollable desire to stick things into ears and up noses. If you can see it and reach it, remove it gently with tweezers. Sometimes they can be well hidden and your only sign is a very smelly ear or a bloody nasal discharge. A Dr would have to help remove the object.
If there is something small in the eye it can be washed out with salty water. A larger object must be removed by a Dr. Toddlers often scratch or poke their eyes by accident, a pharmacist would be able to recommend appropriate eye drops to soothe and heal.

Head Injury: This can be due to a fall or a direct hit. Monitor and observe your child for 24hours. Worrisome symptoms would be vomiting, confusion, lethargy, dizziness, high pitched crying, loss of appetite. These would indicate the need for medical attention. Do not give any medication as this could mask the concerning symptoms. Loss of consciousness would require immediate medical attention.

Swallowing the wrong stuff: Seek medical attention. Some liquids are safe to vomit up again, other need to be neutralized first. Keep all dangerous liquids out of reach and locked away.

Trapped fingers and toes: Apply ice and give some Paracetamol or a homeopathic remedy like Arnica and Rescue. See a Dr if there is a deep cut, severe pain, difficulty in moving the finger or toe, blood under the nail and obvious deformity.