So far this year, 29 people nationwide have contracted the MenW meningococcal strain in New Zealand, resulting in six deaths. Now a free vaccinisation programme is being offered to those most at risk.
When they’re too little to tell you how they’re feeling or what’s hurting, parents have to read some other signs to know if their baby is sick. GP Dr Ginni Mansberg has the following must-read tips for parents of littlies.
Constipation is bowel motions that are very firm, and look like little pebbles. Quite a lot of babies look like they are concentrating hard or may get very restless when passing a bowel motion. This is normal, providing the bowel motions are soft and there is no blood.
Drug allergies can be a confusing area for parents because an adverse reaction to a medication does not necessarily mean that the child is allergic to that medicine. In fact most drug-related symptoms will not be caused by an allergic reaction.
Yes, you need to brush your baby’s teeth with toothpaste that has fluoride in it. Fluoride works by attaching itself to the tooth surface and then becoming a part of the enamel. This outer fluoride-rich layer of enamel is much stronger than regular enamel and helps prevent cavities.
The inside of the nose is self-cleaning and needs no special care. If your baby has any discharge, wipe it from the outside, but resist using cotton balls or your fingernail to try to remove it from the nostril – you might damage the nasal membranes. Newborns often have snuffly breathing because their nasal passages are very narrow. Frequent sneezing will help your baby to clear any blockages from his nasal cavity.
The first thing to remember when it comes to ear care is ‘less is more’. Don’t go poking around in your child’s ears as you may do serious harm to the ear drum. The ear is naturally self-cleaning, and trying to remove wax by probing may only force it further into the ear.
The first week home with your newborn baby can be a shock for new parents. Learn how to survive the early weeks with newborn babies in Kidspot's New Zealand's newborn family health section.
Caring for sick children is hard work particularly when they are young. Learn about pain relief for sick kids and understand what analgesics such as panadol, paracetamol and ibuprofen do to control fever and pain in children. Kidspot New Zealand