Learning through play, Smiley Kids

Are our children too clean?

The key is to find balance – we’ve got some do’s and don’ts listed for you that will be of help in development of immunity as well as avoiding infection:

1. Expose Your Child To Mud And Dirt

Encourage exposure to dirt by allowing your baby to crawl on the ground in your house and occasionally even outside. This encourages small amounts of bacteria to be picked up and get transferred to their digestive systems to strengthen their immune systems.

2. Use Hand Sanitizers In Moderation

While sanitizer is a substitute for hand washing, it is in no way a replacement and should only be used when necessary.

3. Use Antibiotics When Absolutely Necessary

Carefully consider and consult your physician about the use of antibiotics. It is not necessary to depend on them for every episode of fever and is extremely unhealthy for the immune system’s ability to fight infections in the long run. Talk to your doctor regarding this before making a decision.

4. The ‘Five-second Rule’ Isn’t True, But It Doesn’t Mean It Is Unhealthy

It takes just milliseconds for pathogens to attach themselves to food. So unless you drop food in an environment you’re not sure about, it’s perfectly alright to follow the five second rule. Additionally, picking up a pacifier off the ground and licking it before giving it to your baby, is healthier.

Now that you have an idea of just how much your child needs his ‘dose’ of germs and dirt, its time you let the messy fun begin!

Medicine, Smiley Kids

How safe is paracetamol for children?

Most parents have given their children paracetamol at one time or another, yet paracetamol overdose is the leading cause of liver failure in children. So how safe is this commonly used medication and when should we give it to children?


In fact, few parents wouldn’t have used this common medication to bring down a child’s fever or ease the discomfort of teething pain, colds and flus, or ear aches.

Yet while paracetamol is a very safe medicine when it is given correctly, if children are given too much it can be dangerous and in very rare cases deadly.

A recent study found paracetamol to be the leading cause of liver failure in children in Australia and New Zealand. The researchers identified 54 cases of liver failure in two children’s hospitals between 2002 and 2012, 14 of these cases were related to paracetamol overdose, and 12 were in children under five years old. While the overall number of cases of children that experienced liver damage was low, the researchers are calling for a review of the safety practices around paracetamol use.

Associate Professor Madlen Gazarian, a consultant in Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics and an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of NSW, has extensively researched the appropriate and safe use of medicines in children, including use of paracetamol.

She says accidental harm from paracetamol is generally the result of:

  • a single large overdose
  • a number of doses that are slightly too high.

“The first thing parents and carers need to know is whether and when it is appropriate to use paracetamol, including when they should seek medical advice for an unwell child.”

In her view, people need to understand it isn’t always necessary to give paracetamol to young children when they have fevers, which are often caused by common viral illnesses.

As well, she says parents and carers also need to know how to use paracetamol safely – including making sure the dose, formulation and strength are appropriate, how long to use it for and how to make sure storage and administration are safe.

She answers some common questions parents have when it comes to treating fever.

When should I take my child to the doctor?

Take your child to the doctor if they have a fever (eg temperature greater than 38.5oC, under the armpit) and:

  • they look very sick.
  • they are less than 6 months old.
  • you have been giving paracetamol every 4 to 6 hours for fever for 24 to 48 hours and they still have a fever.
  • they have symptoms like:
    • a stiff neck or light hurting their eyes
    • vomiting and refusing to drink much
    • a rash
    • being more sleepy than usual
    • having problems with breathing
    • pain.
  • you are otherwise worried about them.

See your doctor if your child becomes unwell while taking paracetamol.

Smiley Kids

If you blink, you’ll miss it!

Thanks for joining me! Smiley at your service!

SW_Normal_Transparent

When you think of preschool, what do you envision? Are you afraid that your child is still too small to be placed in a structured environment? Does it scare you how they might cope with the separation?

Well, don’t be. Preschool can only help your child.

Children gain a lot from going to preschool because they become exposed to numbers, letters, and shapes there. But, more importantly, they develop social and emotional skills and learn how to get along with other children, to share and to contribute.

My name is Smiley, and on this blog we will share valuable information and talk about the things that matter when it comes to development and growth of your little one!