Two Can Learn Better than One!

Tags: symptoms

Tips About Tonsillitis

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health , Tags: doctor, health, illness, symptoms, throat, tonsillitis

Sign up FREE to ToucanLearn to receive hundreds of activities, games and craft for preschool children!
Find out more...

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
Swollen glands
Painful swallowing
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.

Milk Teeth Breaking Through!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Health , Tags: baby, milk teeth, poorly, symptoms, teething

Sign up FREE to ToucanLearn to receive hundreds of activities, games and craft for preschool children!
Find out more...

A baby's teeth start growing in the womb - while a mother is pregnant, the tooth buds appear in the gums and these are the foundations of milk teeth.  Between 4-6 months milk teeth begin to break through the gums although this differs between different children.  By age three, most should have a full set of teeth.

Teething pain

As each tooth develops, the gum above becomes very red and sore and swollen.  Baby's cheeks can look flushed and they may get restless and irritable for some time prior to the tooth appearing and indeed once it breaks through.  Eventually you'll see a tiny white bump on the gum.  This is the new tooth!

Help through teething

Offer lots of comfort during teething and lots of cooled boiled water to drink.  If your baby goes off food, try to offer more milk to keep them sustained and offer little meals more often, rather than trying to get them to eat if they don't want to.


  • 1 in 2,000 babies are born with teeth already formed!
  • Some babies don't cut their first tooth unti they are over a year old.
  • Premature babies may get teeth later than full term babies.
  • Most develop milk teeth when they are about to start eating solid foods.

Dealing with sore gums

  • Rub baby's gums or show them how to bite on a teething ring.
  • Keep any favourite chweing toys in the fridge as coolness will sooth the irritation. Try giving them cold things from the fridge to eat such as yogurt or cold apple.
  • Offer teething gels or granules (available from a pharmacy) to sooth the pain.

Be aware

Teething does not result in fever, chestiness, rashes, diarhoea or convulsions so if you baby gets any of these symptoms, take them straight to the doctor.

Recognising Meningitis

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Health , Tags: learning to walk, meningitis, molly fisher, symptoms

Sign up FREE to ToucanLearn to receive hundreds of activities, games and craft for preschool children!
Find out more...

Molly Fisher, a little girl from Cumbria, has recently taken her very first steps after losing her toes to meningitis.  She was fitted with a pair of special shoes that aided her balance and now a year later she has been able to learn to walk.

The very brave little toddler had all the toes on her right foot and the tips of the toes on her left foot amputated after having contracted meningitis when she was aged one.  At one point it was though she would loose her legs from above the knee but thanks to her miraculous recovery, only toes needed to be removed.

The new specially made shoes compensate for the lost toes and give her support where she needs it.  The stiff soles and built-up inside of the shoe, gives her the momentum that a big toes gives those who walk that have all their toes.  Now, when wearing her little shoes, she can balance upright, walk and play.

The very grave strain of meningitis that she had contracted is life threatening and at first it was believed she wouldn't even pull through.  However, thanks to medical support and her own bravery, she is going to lead a full life and won't even need special shoes when she grows up.


What is it?

An inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

What causes it?

An infection with bacterium or virus.

What are the different types?

  • Viral - usually appears in the summer months and is less severe.  Most recover.
  • Bacterial - more dangerous with serious risks to life.

Symptoms can include:

  • A rash that doesn't fade when pressed (look at it through a glass)
  • Stiff body movements or a floppy body
  • Irritable or disliking being touched
  • High pitched crying or moaning
  • Refusing to feed
  • Bulging fontanelle (soft area on top of head)
  • Pale skin often blotchy
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever

If you have any concerns go straight to the doctor or ring the emergency services for help.  Don't hesitate.


When To Call The Doctor

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Health, Family , Tags: doctor, health, illness, nhs direct, symptoms

Sign up FREE to ToucanLearn to receive hundreds of activities, games and craft for preschool children!
Find out more...

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!

Sleep Deprivation in Children

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Toddlers, Babies, Parenting, Health , Tags: naps, sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, symptoms

Sign up FREE to ToucanLearn to receive hundreds of activities, games and craft for preschool children!
Find out more...

Lack of sleep affects different children in different ways, make sure you are aware of the symptoms so you can spot a problem early on.  Sleep deprivation in babies is rarely chronic, but your babies amd toddlers may be lacking in sleep and there are signs that you can be watching out for so that you can remedy the situation if it arises.

As adults, our bodies slow down when we are tired, but in children it's common for their bodies to speed up.  If their bodies do slow down, you'll spot the obvious yawning, napping during the day and lethargy, but you may not associate some other signs with lack of sleep.  Children can display different signs of sleep deprivation, including hyperactivity, being overly clingy, fragile emotions (breaking down for the slightest reasons), irritability, losing co-ordination and displaying tantrums.  If your little ones fall asleep on almost every car journey then that too can be a sign that they are overly tired.

Babies need anything up to 17 hours of sleep in each day for their first two years, toddlers require up to 14 hours of sleep.  They may not only sleep at night, babies will be napping during the day and toddlers will continue to nap until well after their third birthday if they are in the habit.

Unfortunately, being in bed and asleep is not necessarily the cure for sleep deprivation.  Just as adults cycle through stages of deep and lighter sleep, so our little ones do too, and unless our children are getting the right sort of sleep, their bodies may not actually be recuperating in the way that is required.  Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that your babies may suffer yet you may be unaware.  Because there's no way for you to tell whether they are sleeping properly, you will need to keep an eye out for symptoms during the day.  Just because your child appears to sleep through the night, it doesn't mean that they are getting all the sleep that they require.

If you think your children are suffering from sleep deprivation, take them along to your doctor.  There could be many causes and many solutions depending on the cause, but if you do suspect a problem, it is better to obtain expert advice so that it can be dealt with professionally.


March 2023
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
 << <   > >>
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

Sign up FREE to ToucanLearn to follow our activity based learning programme for babies, toddlers and children. We offer hundreds of fun learning craft, games and activities - every activity is aimed at the capabilities of your specific children. Download custom activity sheets, and log their progress in each child's unique Daily Diary!

You'll also find sticker and reward charts, certificates, number and letter practice. Every activity links into the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) areas of learning and development.

Fill in our Daily Diary to log progress against the EYFS and add photo entries instantly simply by sending them straight from your phone. You can share diaries back with parents or childminders so that everyone can enjoy watching your children develop.

XML Feeds

©2023 by ToucanLearn Ltd.

Credits: Multiple blogs solution