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 …

Measles: Everything you need to know

I was recently asked to do a workshop for expectant parents and parents of young babies on the topic “To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question?”. I was grateful for the opportunity, as I feel that the only way to form opinions on matters such as this is to have open, honest discussions. My approach for the …

The value of exercise

As a paediatrician, I am disturbed by the new terms being used in reference to young children. These include such things as digital dementia, tech fatigue and blue light damage. While I fully understand that digital media is here to stay and is a necessary part of a modern child’s life, I cannot ignore the negative impact it is having …

All you need to know about head injuries

Head injuries are common in children and studies have shown that roughly 500 000 children land up in the ER due to some kind of head injury annually. Accidents do unfortunately happen, especially when babies start walking or children take part in physical activities.   I am an avid supporter of physical activity for children. It is a vital part …

How you hold your child can be harmful to them

Safety is one of the first things parents are concerned about when a baby is on its way. Ensuring you have completed a CPR course, have a good car seat, have secured the pool, locked up the medicines, gated the stairs and so on are all really important. But there is one thing you probably aren’t aware of when dealing …

Intimacy: You, me & us

Intimacy is not something parents usually visit the paediatrician about. Having said this, we deal with the “product” of intimacy and have a very keen interest in ensuring that the family unit stays strong if we are to have happy, well-adjusted children under our care.   My first encounter with a couple following discharge from the maternity ward is usually …

Out with the old, in with the new

Father with newborn baby

A new baby ushers in the new in every sense of the word. New routine, new responsibilities, new roles, and a whole new way of thinking. When we talk about new, what is more exciting and more daunting than being handed a little, wriggling bundle and being told: “it’s all yours”?   I often watch the expression on parents’ faces …

Too soon: Prematurity and early arrivals

Premature babies are those born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. The earlier a baby is born, the greater chance there is of developing complications associated with prematurity. In my experience, it is not only the baby that is premature. Mom and Dad become parents prematurely as well.   The experience is very difficult for all concerned. While modern medicine has …

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 …