There seems to be so much emphasis on superheroes with super, out of the ordinary powers, that sometimes regular human beings who aren't able to fly or catch villains with their laser beam eyes seem boring! How about doing a session on real people who are in their own way, super heroes!
What are the qualities of a super hero?
- Put others first
- Help people less fortunate than themselves
- Always willing to listen and be useful in all sorts of situations
Talk about real people who have these qualities. See what the children come up with. (Doctor, paramedic, fireman).
Visit a surgery. Have a chat about what tools a doctor uses. Are there any at your setting you can do some role play with? Or perhaps set up a home corner like a doctor's waiting room and surgery. Can you take a role each and be the receptionist, nurse and doctor.
Look at a hospital on line or some images of hospitals and ambulances in books at the library. Set up an accident: Teddy has fallen off a bench! He needs to get to the Teddy and Dolly hospital. Carry him in a special pram or box to the hospital and act out what might happen.
Chat about what the firemen wear - their protective clothing etc. Talk about what they do (rescue people, save houses from burning and help with road accidents). Also take a look at what they might use (water hoses, ladders etc). See if your local fire station will permit a visit. Take the children down to see the fire engines and meet a real fireman.
As with any illness that your children might suffer, if you can recognise the symptoms of tonsillitis then you can act quickly should your children go down with it. Tonsillitis is a disease which involves the inflammation of the tonsils at the back of the throat. It is usually associated with children but adults can get it too. It can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Viruses that cause common colds are also responsible for tonsillitis.
Where are the tonsils?
Tonsils are the red, fleshy part of the back of the throat. They normally look red and clear. When you have tonsillitis, they become bigger, more vibrant red and can be covered in a white/grey substance or yellow spots. The tonsils actually form part of the body's immune system.
Symptoms of Tonsillitis:
Sore throat or neck
Nausea and being sick
Is it contagious?
Wash plates cups and cutlery in very hot water and do not share.
Throw away toothbrush as it may carry the infection.
Wash hands frequently.
Take the patient to the doctor for diagnosis, and to have a course of antibiotics prescribed. Things usually return to normal after a week or so but tonsillitis can recur. Encourage children to rest and to sip warm or room temperature drinks.
For many children, speech comes naturally - they babble sounds and copy words spoken to them, then they start saying a few words on their own and before you know it they are speaking in sentences and chatting to anyone who will listen.
However, sometimes they stumble over consonants and make errors especially if they get excited or are constructing a long sentence. They ask for some "ninner" rather than "dinner" or say "wellow" rather than "yellow". But this is perfectly normal. There is nothing to worry about .
For many, it is simply that they don't have the muscle co-ordination to enunciate properly. Or it may be a new word that they need to practice. Or they are just trying out a new sound. In each case, try not to make an issue of it. Just repeat the word back to the correctly. Do you want some Dinner? The ball is Yellow, isn't it.
Between 18 months and about 3, it is natural that toddlers will make mistakes. They are exploring new word sounds and beginning to remember which letter sounds make up which words. They may even correct themselves if a word doesn't sound right.
Once they hit three, most of their words should be perfectly understandable, with a few errors here and there.
If however your child seems not to talk much, or even never,then you should consult a GP just to ensure everything is OK.
If they are still making frequent errors by age six, you may wish to ask you GP about it, just to be sure. Speech problems, may hide a hearing problem or indeed a learning issue that a doctor can help with. A speech therapist can offer exercises and game sto help with muscle control and speech formation.
There are lots of things you can do to reduce the pain and stress of having your baby's jabs done. Firstly, you should know that if you are nervous or anxious, the babies will pick up on it and it could make them more agitated and fretful. If you are calm, softly spoken and make baby feel secure, they will be more inclined to settle and will feel less pain.
So, to avoid your anxiety, here are a few tips:
- Plan ahead. Make sure you have easy to remove clothing that is not too hot.
- Get there early so you are not in a rush and arrive calm instead of all flustered.
- Take along a favourite toy or teddy so you can have a nice play in the waiting room before going in. This will relax you both! Laugh as much as you can and have some fun together.
- Keep smiling at your baby and have lots of cuddles before you go in. This will reassure them.
- Remind yourself that every baby in the country has to go through the jabs experience, so take heart, you are not alone.
- Make sure you remind yourself too, that you are a good parent for going through with the jobs even though they are uncomfortable for both you and baby! It could save your baby from illness and you from lots of worry by avoiding getting illnesses.
- When you go in, keep chatting normally to the nurse. Have lots of tickles, giggles and chat while the nurse prepares.
- Have some Calpol ready for after the jab to dull the pain and swollen area where it's gone in.
It's always alarming when your baby is unwell, especially if they are really tiny, but what signs should you look out for to determine whether calling the doctor is the right course of action?
Every baby is different and responds differently. For brand new parents it hard to know what is normal and what is not... here are some signs to look out for which might indicate you baby needs medical help. But remember, a baby's state can deteriorate quickly, so if you are concerned in any way, don't hang around, call for medical advice immediately if your baby or child...
- Is unresponsive: you know what they are normally like, so if they seem unresponsive to a favourite game or toy then they may be ill.
- Has a persistent high temperature: if they seem warm and the temperature won't reduce despite cooling them.
- Refuses feeds: if your baby is still feeding and refuses one feed and then refuses a second feed.
- Vomits: if they vomit up their feed twice in a row or the vomit seems discoloured in any way (ie is greenish or has blood in it).
- Has diarrhoea; if it is blood stained or persistent.
- Shows signs of lethargy: very tired all the time and weary.
- Has a rash: any kind of rash.
- Is irritable or restless: if they won't settle or relax or sleep.
- Has breathing difficulty: if they are struggling to breathe or are breathing in an unusual way.
- Is coughing: unusual or painful coughing
- Has a bulging fontanelle: if there is a bulge at the forehead.
You know your baby best. If in doubt, call the doctor or NHS Direct!
Dolls and Teddies all over the country are being called upon to help little ones get through the discomfort and soreness of having jabs! Its a great way to prepare your toddler or pre-schooler for having dreaded injections and it really can help! Role play can make a trip to the doctor more familiar, prepare even the littlest children for injections and prevent them being too traumatised about it.
All you need is lots of willing dollies and stuffed toys, some old bandages and a doctor or nurses outfit if you have one. Show your little one how to wrap up poorly arms and legs with bandages. Use real cotton wool and plasters if you can spare some. This makes them feel more grown up and makes the items more familiar for when they go into the doctor's surgery for their own injection.
Make sure you pretend to settle the dolls, calm them and say nice things to them... get your toddler doing the same. If you have a doctor's set, get that out too and play with all the bits and pieces. When you're finished, don't forget to award the patients some stickers for being so good!
If your child is a bit older or understands more, explain an injection by saying its medicine to stop them from being poorly. Tell them all children must have the medicine and it shows how grown-up they're getting. Have a few chocolate buttons ready - tell them they're going to get them if they're brave - and make sure you don't forget to hand them over immediately after the jab.
It is important to prepare them. After all, even toddlers understand so much, but make sure there are plenty of cuddles and kind words when its over... and not forgetting the all important chocolate buttons for you both!
Sight is a precious gift and we must do all that we can to ensure that our babies' sight remains healthy. At birth, babies are given a test to ensure there are no obvious problems. It's very rare for there to be problems with the sight of a newborn, but checks are given to ensure that the eye has developed normally and that there is no sign of infection.
At birth, a baby's eye is 75% the size of an adult eye, that is why the eyes of a baby look so large and makes them so adorable! Eyes are more delicate and not as flexible as the rest of our body and large levels of growth can't be accomodated, so they only grow a little more, reaching full size at around the age of two.
Your child will have further eye examinations when you see your health visitors or doctor, but you should always keep alert for signs of any problems and arrange to see an optician or specialist doctor if you suspect any problems. They'd rather see you and send you away without finding any problem than not see you at all, so if you suspect problems, don't hesitate to make an appointment.
There are many problems that can occur as your children grow, including infections, cataracts, blocked tear ducts, drooping eyelids, misalignment (squints), loss of vision (lazy eye) and other issues. Keeping a check on eyes is an important responsibility for parents. There are many aspects of healthy eye sight that need to be tested beyond simply reading an eye chart. Baby's of course can't read out rows of letters but there are plenty of tests that doctors and opticians can perform to ensure that their eyesight is developing properly.
When should I be concerned if my baby is not reaching developmental milestones? This is a question so many parents ask. But, you must remember that all babies develop at different rates. Some may be babbling early and chattering at every opportunity. Another may show no interest in crawling while all his fellow babies are dashing about on all fours. Neither is right or wrong – they are just different.
However, if you have any concerns, go along to your doctor or health visitor – especially if you have worries that your baby might have sight or hearing problems. And, if your baby was doing something well, such as rolling over, and then seems to lose that ability and does it no more, do go to the doctor.
Remember, ToucanLearn has plenty of activities to track the developmental milestones and gives you lots of ideas of how to encourage your baby to achieve them. The key is not to compare your little one with other babies too much and help their healthy development by providing a happy, safe and stimulating environment for your baby. Go to ToucanLearn for some ideas!