WonderBaba

Healthcare by a Pharmacist mum!


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Is there a right time to start potty training?

PLPOTTYPODgreyMilltownThe’right’ time for potty training is a topic of great debate! In America potty tends to happen before the age of two but in Ireland it’s much more likely to be over two or even approaching three! The right time is when your child is showing signs of readiness and most importantly you have the available necessary time to support your child through this large transition to avoid it becoming a negatively fuelled battle. There are certain pressures from society now which do encourage parents to take the task in hand a little earlier such as requirements by Montessori schools etc which now start earlier for many children with the introduction of a second free Pre ECCE year. This has changed the starting age for Montessori of many children to three rather than four.  Many montessoris have a requirement for children to be fully toilet trained before starting which would mean you would need to make a start on it at about two and a half years of age.

How do you know if they’re ready (are there signs to look out for)?

toilet-clip-art1-1-copyThere are many signs of readiness, these include: Continue reading


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WonderBaba Guide – Suppositories versus Oral Medicine?

Well this is an interesting one as there are a few different factors which need to be considered.  For the purposes of this article I am speaking about the use of suppositories to treat fever and pain, and not referring to their use in constipation.  For more information on constipation and how it can be treated effectively click here.

Untitled design (17)The first thing I have to say is that suppositories are not as scary as some people think, they are just cone-shaped boluses of medicine which can be easily given to your child to treat pain of fever when a liquid is not suitable.  Suppositories available to treat fever and pain include ones based on paracetamol such as Paralink and Tipol, and ones based on ibuprofen such as nurofen.  These are both suitable from three months of age – just make sure to read the packaging to get the correct dosing for your child.

Before I go into the detail of how you actually use suppositories I’m going to get straight to the point and tell you when you SHOULD  use suppositories.

  • Use them if your child has a high fever or is in pain and will not or cannot take oral medication.
  • Use them to treat fever or pain when your child has vomiting.
  • My mummy perspective suggests using them when you are travelling to avoid having to carry lots of liquids.. I suggest this only for young children who are quite happy to use a suppository over oral meds.

What are the pros and cons?

question markUsing suppositories is more invasive than using oral medicine so a correct approach and a respect for your child’s comfort is essential.  I will explain in the next section how to use them but now I just want to emphasise that when used properly with a willing child they are so simple, easy and convenient to use.  I personally feel that a child who is still in nappies is an ideal candidate for this method of giving medicine – they are used to you cleaning and touching their nappy area and so will not be distressed when you insert the suppository – in fact many children will not even notice!! I also think it is a different situation when a child is out of nappies and unless you have the child’s permission and general understanding of what is going to happen I think the oral route of medicine is best when possible.  Another factor to consider is that suppositories have been proven effective for the treatment of pain or fever but they may actually take a little longer to take effect than oral medicine.

When faced with a vomiting child with a high temperature that needs to come down, or a child with a jaw so tightly clenched and unwilling to take oral medicine it is definitely a good idea to have suppositories on stand by.

So how to you use them?

For this bit I’m going to cheat and provide you with a perfect explanation from the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London:

“Remember – suppositories should never be swallowed.

  • Sit your child on the toilet to see if they need a poo.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Warm the suppository in your hands for a minute.
  • Remove the foil or plastic wrapping.
  • Get your child into any of these positions to give the suppository:
    • squatting down
    • lying on one side with one leg straight and the other bent
    • standing up with one leg raised
  • Gently but firmly push the suppository into your child’s bottom as instructed.
  • Push it in far enough that it does not slip out again.
  • Ask your child to close their legs and hold your child’s buttocks together for a few minutes.
  • Wash your hands again.

If your child needs a second suppository, wait until the first has dissolved before inserting the second.”

I will add that for younger children such as babies in nappies I would advise that you place them on their backs and proceed to change their nappy – when you have the dirty nappy off and area wiped clean I would hold their legs back gently towards them with their knees bent and insert the suppository then and continue with the nappy change as normal.

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngSome Useful Hints

  • If the suppository is warm before you open it you can run the wrapper under a cold tap or place it in a fridge for a few minutes to cool it as it can not be inserted when melted.
  • Being calm and confident will help your child to feel calm and confident in your actions.
  • If your child will take oral medicine and finds the use of suppositories distressing then do not persist – just offer oral medicine when necessary.
  • If you would like some tips on how to give your child oral medication then just click here!
  • Having a book ready so that you can scoop your child into your arms and settle them on your knee to read a story which will help them sit still to allow the suppository to absorb.
  • You should always consider the psychological welfare of your child and explain everything that you are doing – I even do it with babies even though they may have no idea what I’m talking about so that they get used to you respecting their personal space from an early age.
  • Sometimes the advice I have to give can make the process sound scarier than it really is – I assure you – babies in nappies most often are quite happy for you to administer a suppository and it can be such a great means to reduce a temperature that you may otherwise struggle to.

 

doctor-logo-red-white-mdWho should not use suppositories?

  • Children who have had bowel surgery unless prescribed by a doctor
  • Children who have an oncological condition or are otherwise immunocompromised.
  • Children who have irritable bowel disease.

 

websitefeetlogoI hope you found this information helpful and as always don’t hesitate to contact me on the WonderBaba Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) with any questions or for one to one advice for your little one! You can also consult with me in person at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 or over the phone on 012600262.

 

References:

 

 


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A Wonder Review Ear Band-Its!

There is nothing worse than trying to explain to a child that they can’t go swimming  or mess too much in the bath because they are not allowed to get water in their ears due to grommets or ear perforation due to a bad infection.  In addition to that consider the nightmare which exists when trying to bathe a child who hates to have water in their ears!  From both a parents and child perspective ensuring no water enters the ear canal is nothing short of a disaster!

From my experience there are two main situations which arise! One where a child is not allowed to get water in their ears for medical reasons such as infection or grommets and another where a healthy child hates the feeling of water in their ears and suggesting a bath makes you enemy number one!! In essence it involves a parent trying to explain or battle (let’s be honest here!) with a child who either wants to splash and dunk their head under the water or else coaxing and convincing a child that hates the bath that water in their ears is ok and there is no need to be afraid!  Well I don’t know about your WonderBaba’s but mine certainly seem to follow my logical arguments!!

I recently came across a genius little product which solves the problems associated with both of these ‘water’ issues!  May I introduce… Ear Band-Its! Continue reading


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WonderBaba Medication Record

We all know how important it is to give your child the right medication, at the right time, at the right dose.  I’m not writing this to give you a lecture – if you are reading this you are already interested in the responsible administration of medication to your child.  I’m writing this to help you find an easy and effective way of doing it – no matter what your family or childcare situation!

The most common reason for medication errors that I have come across is a simple lack of communication between adults. It’s so easily done, everyone is in a hurry and has an awful lot of information to provide during ‘handover’ of responsibility from one parent to another, from a parent to a childminder or from a parent to a creche or school etc.  It’s simple to forget to let someone know that you have given a dose of medication, in fact with tiredness and stress involved I’d say its near impossible to be perfect all of the time!

Rather than beat ourselves up about not being ‘WonderParents’ all of the time I feel it’s a lot more constructive to identify that everyone is only human after all, and to try and find a system to put in place to prevent any medication errors from occuring.

I have designed the following record so that it can be used in a home, childminders, creche or school environment.  Ideally it could be stored in the box of the medication so that it is easily found but can even wrapped around the bottle with an elastic band or hair bobbin if needs must!  I really hope you find it useful as the most important thing is the health and welfare of our fabulous WonderBabas and I know this is a system we will be using in our house from now on when one of our three is unfortunate enough to need medication.

The Record can be downloaded and printed off by clicking the following link:

WonderBaba Medication Record download!

wonderbaba medication record download! pic

 

 

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I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262.  I’m always happy to help!

 


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A WonderBaba Guide to Low Body Temperatures in Babies

microlife thermometerAccording to the HSE a child’s normal temperature would be between 36 and 36.8°C (96.8 and 98.24ºF). Anything above 38°C (100.4°F) can be classified as a fever. A low body temperature can be just as serious as a high one and is considered anything below 36°C.  If your baby’s temperature drops below 35°C they would be considered to have hypothermia.

Babies are more at risk of becoming cold and developing hypothermia because their little bodies struggle to regulate temperature. Continue reading


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Wonder Review – Uriage Cradle Cap Cream and Shampoo!

Cradle cap is the name given to flaky, yellowish patches of skin which occur on a babies scalp usually within the first three months of their lives. The cause is not fully understood but it usually clears by the time a child reaches two or three years of age. It may last just a few weeks or even a few months. It does not generally cause any discomfort for the baby. It can however look quite unpleasant and, if the scales are picked at, it can leave your child vulnerable to an infection of the skin. Continue reading


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Hand Foot and Mouth Disease – A WonderBaba Guide!

mouthHand foot and mouth disease can affect any age group but is most common in children under ten years of age. They are most likely to catch it in the Summer or Autumn.  It should not be confused with foot and mouth disease which is a viral infection which affects animals such as cattle, sheep and pigs.

Hand foot and mouth disease is a viral infection most commonly caused by the following viruses: Continue reading


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Oral Hygiene for Babies and Children!

A regular dental cleaning ritual is an important aspect of your child’s hygiene routine.  You can actually begin with an oral hygiene routine before your baby’s first tooth has even appeared! The easiest way to do this is to use a damp clean facecloth and just wipe it gently over your baby’s gums.  This gets your little one used to the process and can also make it easier for you to identify when teeth are cutting through! You don’t need to use any toothpaste until the teeth actually appear so just warm water will do. Continue reading


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Eczema and Dermatitis – A parent’s complete guide.

Eczema and Dermatitis – A parent’s complete guide.

What is it and who does it affect?

These two terms are both used to describe the same skin condition which can cause dry, itchy and irritated skin.  It is the most common inflammatory disease of the skin.  Approximately one in five children under six years of age suffer from eczema.  Children often grow out of it and as a result only one in twelve adults have eczema.   It can occur in very young babies and often begins with a small patchy rash on the cheeks or scalp. It can be differentiated from cradle cap by examining its colour.  Cradle cap tends to be yellow in colour whereas eczema will cause more of a red rash.  Continue reading


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Bumps to the head – What to watch for!

 

bump helmetI know this sounds obvious but preventing a bump is better than curing one. I sometimes wish it was possible to wrap them up in cotton wool but as it’s not, there are lots of other things you can do – although I will admit I think this fella’s crawling helmet might be taking it a little too far!!

There are however times a helmet is a good idea! Always make sure they wear a helmet when cycling or on a scooter, childproof the home using stair gates and other safety equipment and check that windows cannot be opened by your child especially upstairs windows (if necessary move beds or furniture away from the window to reduce the risk of falls). Avoid the use of cot bumpers as these can pose a suffocation risk as well as being a potential climbing aid to be used to escape a cot. Even with all the precautions in place it is inevitable that they will have the occasional bump. Continue reading