Baby health and safety

The Witness - - CLASSIFIEDS -

Dr Doshen Naidoo, spe­cial­ist pae­di­a­tri­cian

• Cot death is a very con­cern­ing risk. Only al­low a baby to sleep on its tummy beyond three months of age when its neck is strong enough.

• Al­ways lie ba­bies on their backs with their heads ly­ing to ei­ther side.

• Have a re­li­able ther­mome­ter. Chil­dren can have febrile seizures from six months of age to six years of age.

• All pre­ma­ture ba­bies should have an ap­nea mon­i­tor for the first three months of life.

• All chil­dren should be vac­ci­nated as per the EPI sched­ule. There is no ad­verse ef­fect from vac­cines.

• A ba­sic CPR or child­min­der course is rec­om­mended for all par­ents or care­givers.

Dr Tash­min Bis­seru, spe­cial­ist pae­di­a­tri­cian and in­ten­sivist

• Put all medicine up and away and out of sight. Try not to take your med­i­ca­tion in front of chil­dren as they quickly mimic be­hav­iour.

• Try not to buy toys with bat­ter­ies, as these can eas­ily be taken out and in­gested.

• Kids love to reach, so make sure that all ob­jects are kept away from edges of coun­ter­tops.

• Make sure chil­dren un­der two years old are in rear­fac­ing car seats dur­ing car trips. It is also im­por­tant to have the right size car seat, so check the spec­i­fi­ca­tions for weight, height and age lim­its.

• We know you’re of­ten in a hurry, but be­fore you get in the car, take a few sec­onds to walk all the way around your parked car to check for chil­dren. Des­ig­nate a safe spot for chil­dren to wait when nearby ve­hi­cles are about to move and make sure the driv­ers can see them.

Al­pha Phar­macy

• Keep med­i­ca­tion locked up and away from chil­dren to pre­vent ac­ci­den­tal in­ges­tion.

• Al­ways con­sult your phar­ma­cist or pae­di­a­tri­cian be­fore ad­min­is­ter­ing med­i­ca­tion.

• Al­ways use the mea­sur­ing de­vice that comes with the med­i­ca­tion.

• Read in­struc­tions care­fully and do not ad­min­is­ter med­i­ca­tion in the dark.

• Dis­pose of ex­pired or un­used or un­fin­ished med­i­ca­tion.

• Get your child to an emer­gency room im­me­di­ately if there has been an ac­ci­den­tal in­ges­tion of med­i­ca­tion.

Mid­lands Med­i­cal Cen­tre

• When car­ry­ing a baby, en­sure that you al­ways sup­port his or her head.

• Dur­ing breast­feed­ing, en­sure both mum and baby are com­fort­able us­ing the “nose to nip­ple” and “belly to belly” po­si­tions, en­sur­ing max­i­mum bond­ing.

• Af­ter feed­ing, hold baby up­right and burp baby to avoid chok­ing or vom­it­ing.

• When plac­ing baby down af­ter feed­ing, see that baby is on his or her side and not on the tummy.

Dr Shamila D. Singh, spe­cial­ist pae­di­a­tri­cian

Of­ten the safety of an in­fant de­pends largely on the en­vi­ron­ment the child is nur­tured in and the mother’s or par­ents’ ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge of post­na­tal care.

Com­mon safety mea­sures in­clude the fol­low­ing:

• All ba­bies, less than three months of age, who present with a fever, should be seen by a pae­di­a­tri­cian or fam­ily GP.

• Feed­ing choice is an im­por­tant fac­tor as ba­bies on for­mula feeds tend to have a higher risk of over­feed­ing and re­flux. This can cause as­pi­ra­tion of feeds into the lungs.

• Never let a baby less than six months of age sleep on its tummy un­su­per­vised as it con­trib­utes to a high risk of Sids (Sud­den In­fant Death Syn­drome).

• Phar­ma­cists should never be con­sulted to pre­scribe or ad­vise on any med­i­ca­tion for ba­bies less than six months of age, es­pe­cially if the baby has not been seen by a med­i­cal doc­tor.

Even home­o­pathic med­i­ca­tion has al­ler­gic com­po­nents in its for­mu­la­tion that can cause an acute al­ler­gic re­ac­tion, for ex­am­ple, ivy plant ex­tracts in a cough mix­ture.

• Ba­bies less than six months should not sleep with their par­ents in the same bed es­pe­cially if one or both par­ents smoke. Ba­bies tend to have a higher risk of chest in­fec­tions and Sids in this sit­u­a­tion.

• Vac­ci­na­tions are im­por­tant in im­prov­ing baby’s ac­quired im­mu­nity and pro­tect baby from sec­ondary in­fec­tion.

Dr Rak­sha Tako­ordeen, spe­cial­ist pae­di­a­tri­cian

• When trav­el­ling, all chil­dren un­der the age of four years must be re­strained in a car seat, from the very first trip from the hos­pi­tal, no mat­ter how near or far.

Chil­dren be­tween four and 14 years old must be re­strained with a seat belt on the back seat, un­der South African leg­is­la­tion.

• It is im­per­a­tive to fol­low the vac­ci­na­tion sched­ule to pro­tect your baby from com­mon, yet po­ten­tially de­bil­i­tat­ing dis­eases in our ev­ery­day en­vi­ron­ment.

• Main­tain strict hy­giene when pre­par­ing food and milk for your baby. Proper hand­wash­ing is the most im­por­tant and eas­i­est pre­cau­tion you can take.

• En­sure that your child is al­ways su­per­vised. Cover un­used plug points, lock away dan­ger­ous sub­stances and ap­ply fridge, freezer, wash­ing ma­chine locks and stove cov­ers.

• Al­ways fol­low age rec­om­men­da­tions on toys, es­pe­cially those with small parts.


Put all med­i­ca­tions up and away and out of sight.

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