Summer lovin’

Summer lovin

December is usually a special time of the year. As South Africans, we generally take a well-earned break and head off for some quality family time. The sunshine, outdoor activities and break from routine are better for our health than any doctor’s prescription. That is, provided the kids are healthy or that we have what we need by way of …

Goodbye hay fever! How to treat your kids’ seasonal allergies

Hay fever

Spring has arrived in Johannesburg. The gardens are bursting with colour and the lawns are turning green after the dry highveld winter. Unfortunately, along with all this beauty come the common signs of allergy and in particular allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever. An amusing little fact is that hay fever is not caused by hay and doesn’t produce a …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …