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

Holiday Safety Essentials

first_aidAccidents do happen; whether it is a minor cut or bruise, a burn or something more serious. It is best to be prepared by having a first aid kit handy and knowing what to do in case of an illness or emergency. Although not all injuries require emergency medical treatment, it is important to have basic supplies so that you can help your loved ones when they are hurt.

FIRST AID

No matter how long or short the journey, a good first aid kit is essential when traveling. Even if you have not taken a first aid course, by having basic first aid supplies, you will be able to stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.

Two pairs of latex or other sterile gloves
Thermometer
Baby paracetamol
Oral rehydration powder, such as Rehidrat
Insect repellent
Calamine lotion
Medicated talc
Plasters and bandages
Non-stick sterile pads are ideal for promoting wound healing. These soft, super-absorbent pads are recommended for bleeding and draining wounds, burns and infections.
Antiseptic and disinfectant wipes to prevent infection
Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
Anti-histamine cream
Zinc and castor oil cream
Calendula cream- This cream is particularly soothing and can be used to treat a number of ailments including nappy rash.
Suncream- Spray or roll-on varieties are often easier to apply, when it comes to babies and toddlers.
Ice pack
Eye wash solution to flush out the eyes or to use as a general decontaminant
Homeopathic remedies- Some of the most useful homeopathic remedies to have on hand; include arnica for any accident, shock and bruising; aconite for shock and trauma; cantharis to treat burns; and chamomile drops to ease the pain and discomfort associated with teething.
Lavender oil- Can effectively be used to provide relief from stings, scratches and burns.

Be sure to pack all prescription medications that are taken on a daily basis, such as insulin, heart medication and asthma inhalers. This includes prescribed medical supplies, such as a nebulizer, glucose or blood pressure monitoring equipment.

COMMON CONDITIONS

Holidays can pose a safety risk to young people, not only due to holiday-specific injuries but also for more general, everyday-type accidents. Studies have shown that children under the age of 5 are more likely to sustain injuries than any other age group. The hand, face, head and finger were the most commonly injured body parts; while cuts, bruises, abrasions, sprains and strains were the most commonly diagnosed injuries. Most holiday injuries were linked to sport and leisure, with injuries related to home structures and furnishings also being common.

Tum2mom has provided ideas about what to do during the holiday season and would now like to expand on how to do it safely or prevent accidents and illness from happening, how to alleviate travel specific conditions, and what to do in the case of an emergency.

MOTION SICKNESS

Motion sickness is characterized by feelings of nausea, dizziness and possibly headache; whenever you travel by car, ship, plane, or train. If the motion continues, these feelings may intensify, resulting in sweating, rapid, shallow breathing, paleness and vomiting. Motion sickness occurs when your brain receives conflicting messages from the balance organs inside the ears and from the eyes. Some people are more susceptible to travel sickness than others, children are generally more prone to the condition than adults and anxiety appears to contribute to the problem.

How to ease or prevent motion sickness:

Eat a small snack, consisting of bland food before you travel. Avoid alcohol or fizzy drinks before and during travel.

Choose a position with the least motion. For example, sit in the front of a car, in the middle of a ship and stay on deck if possible, or sit by a window in a train, facing the direction of travel.

Make sure you have access to fresh air. Avoid strong odours and cigarette smoke.

Avoid reading, writing or looking down while travelling - rather focus on the horizon or something in the distance, in the direction of travel.

Ginger has been shown to alleviate nausea and travel sickness. Eat fresh ginger, stir powdered ginger into fruit juice, or offer your child a ginger biscuit.

Travelling at night may reduce sickness as it offers the opportunity to sleep.

Place an acupressure band around your child's wrist. These bands are thought to reduce nausea by stimulating pressure points on the wrist.

Place your child in a booster seat so that they can see out the window. Distract them with music, a story tape or games that involve looking for things ahead.

If your child suffers from severe motion sickness and you have a long journey ahead, your doctor may prescribe travel sickness pills that help to control symptoms. Allow enough time for the pills to take effect before you travel. These pills can have a sedative effect.

POOL SAFETY

It is not only swimming pools that pose a drowning risk but beaches, lakes and rivers too. A child can literally drown in seconds. It is therefore essential to make swimming lessons a top priority. Irrespective of your child's swimming abilities, no child should be in the vicinity of water without adult supervision. If your child is still learning to swim, kit them out with arm bands or an inflatable vest.

Tips on how to keep your children safe in water:

Never leave your child alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.
Children should always be supervised by an adult, who is familiar with CPR.
If your child is younger than 5 years old, practice touch supervision. This means that an adult is within an arms length of the child at all times.

Most young children drown because they wander out of the house and fall into the pool. To prevent any accidents or fatalities, install a fence at least 4 feet high around all 4 sides of the pool. The fence should completely separate the house and the play area of the garden from the pool. Use gates that self-close and self-latch, where the latches are higher than child level.
Remove all toys from the pool after use, so that children are not tempted to reach for them.
Use a pool safety cover, in addition to, not instead of a fence.
Keep rescue equipment and a telephone near the pool, in case of emergencies.

HEAT RASH & SUNBURN

Skin cancer is the number one cancer in South Africa and the importance of regularly applying sunscreen cannot be emphasized enough. This applies to all skin types. If your child is getting wet, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. Avoid going in the sun between 11am and 3 pm, when the sun is at its strongest. Choose a hat that protects your child's face and neck. Keep your baby out of the sun completely. Either use a sunshade or sit them in the shade.

Mild sunburn produces red, sore skin, which may begin to itch and peel after a few days. More severe sunburn can produce blistering and pain. Although you are most likely to burn on hot summer days, do not be complacent with sun care when heading outdoors. It is possible for your child to sustain burns on overcast days, in water and at high altitudes. Babies, children, people with fair skin, blue eyes and red hair, are most susceptible to sunburn and skin damage.

If your child has had too much sun, do the following to make them more comfortable:
ffer them plenty of liquids, to replace lost body fluids. Water, juice or sports drinks are ideal choices.
Bathe your child in lukewarm water and add 4tbsp of bicarbonate of soda, to soothe and calm their sore skin. Alternatively, apply cold compresses to the affected areas.
Apply an over the counter moisturizing lotion to their skin as directed. Creams with calamine or aloe vera are particularly soothing.
For pain, give your child paediatric pain medication, such as Ponstan, Panado or Tylenol.
Dress your sunburnt child in cool, lightweight clothing and keep them indoors until they have recovered.
Encourage your child not to pick peeling skin or burst blisters, if they have them.
Contact your doctor immediately if:
Your child is under 1 year of age and is severely sunburnt.
The burn has blisters, or the skin appears white or feels numb. This is indicative of more serious sunburn.
Call an ambulance if:
Your child is not responding appropriately.
Your child is experiencing neurological symptoms, such as a seizure or visual changes. These symptoms may be indicative of a more serious heat illness.
Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, produces a red, itchy, pimply rash that commonly develops around the neck, on the chest and back, under the armpits and in the groin. Heat rash occurs in humid weather, particularly during exercise. Babies who are dressed too warmly, or have a fever, are more susceptible to heat rash.
If your child has an attack of heat rash, reduce their discomfort by:
Cool them down by, loosening or removing their clothing. Allow them to relax in a cool or air-conditioned room. Alternatively, use a fan. Keep them calm and discourage any activities that may make them sweat.
Offer your child plenty of cool fluids.
Apply a cool compress to affected areas as often as required. Soak a sponge or face cloth in cold water, wring it out, and apply to skin.
Soothe dry, itchy skin by frequently placing your child in a lukewarm, oatmeal bath. Add oatmeal bath oils to the bath, but take care when getting in and out of the water; or use an oatmeal lotion as an alternative to soap when washing.
Avoid using creams, perfumes or antiperspirants, while you have a heat rash, they may block your pores and further irritate your skin.
Practical techniques for treating heat rash in babies:
Take immediate steps to cool your baby down. Take off their clothes and nappy, so that the air can circulate around their skin. Leave your baby to kick freely, on a cotton sheet or towel, until they cool down.
Avoid using any creams, lotions or powders because these may block their pores and aggravate the rash.
Offer your baby extra fluids, especially if they have a fever and take further steps to reduce it (see our medical A-Z section for fever reduction techniques).
To prevent heat rash, avoid dressing your baby too warmly or using too many blankets. Loose, lightweight clothing, made from natural fibres, such as cotton, help keep the skin cool. Feel the back of your baby's neck, to determine their body temperature- it should be warm but not sweaty. Keep your baby in a cool, shady area on warm days and ensure that they get sufficient fluids.

DEHYDRATION
Ensuring that your child is sufficiently hydrated on hot summer days, is essential for fun in the sun, especially if they are active and sweating. Offer them plenty of fluids, in the form of water, milk and fruit juice. Caffeinated drinks are dehydrating, so avoid fizzy cold drinks that contain this ingredient. Early signs of dehydration and over-heating include; dizziness, nausea and feeling light-headed. In young children, mild to moderate dehydration can happen very easily. Call your doctor immediately if your child:
Is not eating or drinking enough
Looks tired
Has yellow looking urine or decreased urination
Has a dry mouth and eyes
Is irritable
Vomits more than once
Is under the age of 1
Call an ambulance or take your child to the nearest emergency room if they:
Have an extremely dry mouth or have no tears
They appear weak and lethargic, and are too dizzy to stand
Pass out
Are not alert or are unable to think clearly
Do not urinate for 12 or more hours (in older children)
Fluid replacement in infants younger than 1:
Breast fed infants should be nursed more frequently
Give bottle fed infants the usual amount of fluid, unless they are vomiting. If this is the case, give them smaller amounts of fluid more frequently. Call your doctor if vomiting persists
If you baby is eating solids, offer food such as cereal, strained bananas and mashed potato. These foods also provide fluids.
Ask your doctor about which oral rehydration solution is appropriate for your child and what quantity to use. These solutions effectively help in the replacement of salts, sugars and other nutrients, that are lost through vomiting and diarrhoea.
For mild dehydration in children age 1-11:
Offer your child small, frequent sips of fluids, especially if they are vomiting
Chose clear liquids, such as chicken broth, clear soda or oral rehydration solution.
Your child may find it easier to take in extra fluids by sucking on ice chips or popsicles.
Continue with your child's regular diet
Encourage them to rest for 24 hours and even if their symptoms improve, continue with fluid replacement for 1 1/2 days.
If you feel your child is not improving or is getting worse, contact your doctor.
Severe dehydration requires hospitalization and IV fluids.
Conclusion:
We generally tend to associate holidays with relaxation and having a good time, but accidents do happen. It is therefore best to be prepared for any eventuality and ensure that our families are safe while having fun. This applies to the "small" things, such as ensuring our child's shoe laces are tied before getting on an escalator; to the "bigger things", such as child proofing our homes and pools, or using car seats correctly; and the more "practical" things such as encouraging them to wear a helmet when riding a bike or applying sunscreen diligently.

 

Dr. Peters, M (British Medical Association). (2009). Home Doctor: Self-help treatments for 150 common conditions. Dorling Kindersley: London.

http://www.pestworldfrokids.org/

http://kidshealth.org

http:///www.cdc.gov/

http://www. nrpa.org/

http://pediatricsnow.com/

http://firstaid.webmd.com

http://pediatric.about.com