What to do about discipline?

Child discipline

By nine months of age your baby has started to explore its world. There are so many exciting new experiences all around and at the same time some dangers. It is at this point, when baby begins crawling and later walking, that parents find themselves repeatedly saying “no!” or running to prevent some kind of injury or catastrophe.  Discipline now …

RS Virus arrived with the winter chill!

Winter arrived suddenly in Johannesburg and so did the RS virus. In the last two weeks I have seen a sudden rise in the number of small babies presenting with bronchiolitis. The cause…RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus). In most cases these little ones feel awful for between four and eight days but for others it may take as long as three …

Establishing early gut integrity

  Our modern society has led us down a path of distrusting the natural process of childbirth and towards an often clinical, scheduled event. I must add that in no way do I want to add to the guilt that many mothers feel when they are unable to deliver naturally or when they struggle to breastfeed.   In my own …

Conquering Constipation Part 2

  Dealing with constipation in older children     Constipation in older children is different to that in babies for a number of reasons. Older children have developed certain eating habits, may be experiencing different levels of stress and anxiety and have sometimes developed negative associations with passing a stool. These factors play a significant role in the diagnosis and …

Conquering Constipation Part 1

  Part 1: Dealing with constipation in babies       Constipation is very often the topic of conversation in a paediatric consultation. It is a cause of concern for parents of children from the earliest of days and often persists into adulthood if not addressed correctly. While no one likes to discuss or describe their poop this is very …

Diabetes-What every parent should know

Diabetes is a disease which currently affects over 350 million people worldwide. It is estimated that 70 000 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in children under the age of fifteen every year. Statistics like this cannot be ignored since diabetes causes serious damage to the body. Nerve and blood vessel damage affects vital organs such as the kidneys, heart and …

Breastfeeding and breast cancer, know the benefits for mum

    October is breast cancer awareness month so I thought it apt to talk about breastfeeding and its benefit to the mother as well as the child. The paediatric unit at the Chris Hani Baragwaneth hospital, where I did my training was aptly known as the “Mother and Child unit”. It goes without saying that for there to be …

Teeth and gums, a vital part of your child’s well-being

Healthy teeth and gums are vital to the overall health of your baby from birth. The importance of good oral hygiene continues throughout ones life. While the appearance of your baby’s first tooth is an exciting moment and presents many cute photo opportunities, it comes with added responsibility.  Oral hygiene is one of the cornerstones to the well being of …

Teething troubles for babies and how parents can help

  Teething, when mentioned to any adult it is likely to be met with a negative response centered on a miserable baby. They don’t even need to be parents but they certainly have heard of the sleepless nights and the crying associated with a little one cutting teeth. In my own house teething was certainly not a happy time. Interrupted …

Malaria-as a parent what should I know?

School holidays are upon us and South Africans generally head north to the warmer areas and in particular to our game parks. As an avid bush and wildlife lover I fully understand the drive to sit and watch the sunset over the Letaba River. As a paediatrician I am also acutely aware of the risk of malaria, particularly during the …

“Coughing, when should I worry?”

Paediatrics certainly presents some very difficult moments but on the upside I am dealing with children. They never fail to provide me with something to smile about each and every day. One such moment happened during a very busy winter spell. My rooms were bursting at the seams with patients, some emergencies, others that had been referred by their GP’s …