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

Hospitalization

hospitalizationMy son was recently hospitalized, twice in one month. This is the first time that children has been in this situation and it made me very aware of the enormous impact it has on the whole family.

There have been previous episodes of hospitalization - my parents, my siblings, and my friends, even myself. As a nurse, I am normally on the other side of the fence. This time was very different. All my protective instincts engaged and I hated seeing him in such a vulnerable position.

The first episode was the result of an accident whilst playing with friends. We knew from the very beginning what the problem was, a broken leg, how it would be treated, how long it would take to recover. Everyone's role, including the family's, in looking after my son was very clear.

The second episode, 10 days later, was far more difficult to deal with. This time we had no idea what was wrong- and neither did the Doctors. To see your child in excruciating pain and not know the cause is extremely upsetting. The eventual diagnosis was a kidney stone.

I would like to share some tips for dealing with hospitalization;

Your support, presence and involvement are very important to your child's sense of comfort and security while in the hospital. Most hospitals encourage your presence and provide an environment conducive to you being with your child.

Try and be present when the Dr comes to see your child, this will keep you updated on your child progress and treatment plans. It also gives you an opportunity to clarify any concerns. The Dr and nursing staff will also be able to help you, help your child understand what is happening.

By being aware of the treatment plan, you will know when medicines are due, investigations that need to be done etc. This will help reassure your child and prevent any delays in treatments.

Establish good communication with the nursing staff; treat them with the respect they deserve. Offering to help with little things like changing bed linen or fetching a bed pan can go a long way in getting good service in return. If you need to leave your child unattended for a period of time, let them know when you or someone else will be coming back to be with your child.

Make your environment comfortable. Bring in a pillow from home, have a favourite toy for your child to snuggle with. Wear comfortable clothes and don't forget a toothbrush.

Monitor your child's behaviour and personality during hospitalisation. Young children may regress in behaviour, become clingy or demanding. They need lots of love and support. 3 to 6 year olds will need simple, age-appropriate conversations, even role play to help them understand the situation better. Older children usually are worried about painful procedures and changes to their body. Providing information is key at this age. Don't mislead your child by saying something won't hurt if it will. Instead, talk with your child about how to cope with possible pain and confusion.

The family at home will also need organising and support. Try and keep home routine as undisturbed as possible. Rope in family and friends to help.

Be aware of the financial implications of being in hospital, especially when it is an unexpected admission. If you are on a medical aid keep in touch with them and check that certain procedures or examinations are paid for by them. Sometimes motivation is needed from the Dr before they pay. Ask the Drs about their fees, especially if more than one Dr is involved in looking after your child. Most charge about 15% more than medical aid rates, however specialists can and do charge a lot more. Keep a track of all the accounts, some service providers get paid directly by the medical aid, others have to be paid by you as the medical aid re-imburses you.