Y1oto 3uyearrs tod­dler

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Your Baby & Toddler - - Your 1 to 3 Years Toddler -

and the af­fected chil­dren should stay away from school un­til they are lice free.

Lice don’t choose their hosts with spe­cific hair colour or type – but chil­dren with long, straight, fine and clean hair are their favourites. This hair type is eas­ier to grip. Oily and curly hair is slip­pery and dif­fi­cult to cling to.

The nits, nymphs and adult lice must be dealt with in­de­pen­dently. First, the nits have to be picked out one by one be­cause they are ac­tu­ally “glued” to the hair shaft. This is la­bo­ri­ous, es­pe­cially in the case of long hair. Leave one be­hind and you’re back to the be­gin­ning! The best way to tackle this task is to sep­a­rate the hair and tie it into sec­tions to work me­thod­i­cally. Nit combs (avail­able from a phar­macy) are help­ful – but can be in­ef­fec­tive. When in­fes­ta­tions keep re­cur­ring, cut­ting your child’s hair short may be un­avoid­able. Yes, crawl­ing is an im­por­tant de­vel­op­men­tal mile­stone for learn­ing. But do not panic – there are still ac­tiv­i­ties you can do to have your child ben­e­fit from the crawl­ing po­si­tion, even if he is al­ready walk­ing. It’s never too late to in­te­grate the ac­tion of crawl­ing into a child’s play, and shouldn’t be stopped even if a child has crawled and moved on to walk­ing.

The rea­son crawl­ing is im­por­tant for learn­ing is that this po­si­tion al­lows a baby to nav­i­gate their body through space, which al­lows them to de­velop their own body spa­tial aware­ness and learn con­cepts such as big­ger and smaller, as they start to un­der­stand their body in re­la­tion to the world. This also helps with depth per­cep­tion and hand-eye co­or­di­na­tion. It is also im­por­tant for de­vel­op­ing bi­lat­eral co­or­di­na­tion, which is the smooth and in­te­grated use of the two sides of the body. This will be im­por­tant to your child when it comes to dress­ing, cut­ting, feed­ing him­self and aca­dem­i­cally for read­ing, let­ter and num­ber for­ma­tion. Crawl­ing helps de­velop the shoul­der, wrist and hand mus­cles, which are im­por­tant for fine mo­tor con­trol. On a sen­sory level, crawl­ing al­lows more of the baby’s skin, through their hands, knees and feet to be ex­posed to dif­fer­ent sen­sory in­put, and this may al­low them to be less de­fen­sive to dif­fer­ent touch ex­pe­ri­ences. Here are some fun ways to get your lit­tle one back on all fours: Cre­ate ob­sta­cle cour­ses through­out the house or gar­den where your tod­dler has to nav­i­gate over dif­fer­ent heights and sur­faces. This will be hard to do while stand­ing, so he’ll be forced to get down on all fours. Think of us­ing stacked up pil­lows, stairs, sturdy boxes, blan­kets and rollers to crawl and climb over. Play peek­a­boo in hard to reach places, such as un­der the dining room ta­ble. Your lit­tle one will need to crouch and crawl to get un­der the ta­ble. Most kids love pop up tun­nels (avail­able from toy stores). Play­ing in th­ese tun­nels in­cludes rolling balls, push­ing cars or hav­ing an older friend or sib­ling crawl through first. An­other mo­ti­va­tor is mom or dad wait­ing for him on the other side of the tun­nel. Use a pi­lates ball and let your tot roll over the ball while on his tummy, weight bear­ing on his hands, and col­lect­ing a toy from the floor. This way his shoul­ders and wrists get a good work­out too. If your tod­dler is strong enough, do a few wheel­bar­row walks around the room – hold his hips, and not an­kles, for ad­di­tional sup­port.

Email your ques­tion for our ex­perts to: ker­ryn@yourbaby.co.za. Please note that ex­perts un­for­tu­nately can­not re­spond to each ques­tion per­son­ally. The an­swers pro­vided on th­ese pages should not re­place the ad­vice of your doc­tor.

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