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 …

What to do about the flu vaccine?

With winter fast approaching many parents are asking “What should we do about the flu vaccine?” The flu vaccine has been around since the 1950’s and for as long as it has been around there have been questions and differing opinions on its value. From my perspective, as a paediatrician, I think it is best to consider current literature and …

Child safety inside and outside the home

Understanding safety issues at home: Research shows that the majority of visits to emergency centres are as a result of an injury or accident at home. Those children most at risk are under the age of five years with accidental poisoning, choking and drowning being the major risk factors. As parents we aspire to protect our children but these curious …

First Aid Kits

What would childhood be if it didn’t come with bumps, cuts and bruises? These are all part and parcel of exploring the world, learning to ride a bicycle, trying out skate-boards and climbing rocks and trees. We have all been there ourselves and will be there again with our own children so the question is “What should I have in …

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 …

Baby’s 6 to 8 week checkup- What to expect

On the day of discharge, I often observe the mixed emotions that flash across new parent’s faces when they realize they are leaving the nursing home and the tiny bundle is all theirs to care for. Having spent some time in hospital surrounded by professionals and other parents makes the first couple of days fairly secure, so the announcement that …

Spinner craze

Children playing with fidget spinners

As a paediatrician, I am often asked about toys that appear on the market intended to aid children with development and learning. Things change so fast and there are a number of wonderful educational aids on the market. Recently I was introduced to “spinners”. The child that brought the toy into my consulting room was playing with it while I …

Measles Booster Vaccine Campaign 2017

Should my child receive the measles booster?   The simple answer is YES! Over the last three weeks my practice has been inundated with calls from parents inquiring about the measles booster vaccine.   Why are we doing a booster?   At the beginning of May, Gauteng had 17 confirmed cases of measles. All these cases had occurred in a …

Role of the paediatrician in the first days of life

What is the role of the paediatrician? Following delivery of your baby and for the duration of your stay in hospital a paediatrician will attend to your baby’s wellbeing. However, I really enjoy a quick visit from an expectant couple prior to the delivery. Very often parents have read or heard about what is important in the first hours of …