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Child Development

Child DevelopmentParenting
April 8, 2019

Could your baby have Hirsprung’s Disease?

Hirschsprung’s disease is a condition where the large intestine makes it difficult for stool to pass through it. It’s usually found in babies and is present at birth. Between the fourth and twelfth week of pregnancy, the foetus develops nerve cells in the digestive tract. When these cells don’t grow sufficiently past a specific point in the intestine, digested food and stool can’t move through that part of it. After this happens, Hirschsprung’s Disease develops, and your baby becomes constantly constipated and unable to have normal bowel movements. This condition is found in approximately one in five thousand births. Males…
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Child DevelopmentParenting
January 23, 2019

Does your child have Electronic Screen Syndrome?

Believe it or not, a child’s nervous system can become overstimulated by regular screen exposure that comes from cell phones, computers, iPads and other digital devices. These devices can cause chronic stress on the brain, which may result in various different learning and behavioural disorders. Electronic Screen Syndrome (ESS) is considered an unrecognised modern-day disorder. The interaction with screens can shift the nervous system into fight-or-flight mode, which causes dysregulation and disorganisation of different biological systems. Once in this state, your child’s mood, behaviour, and focus can be affected. ESS isn’t limited to teenagers obsessed with digital devices; toddlers can…
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Child DevelopmentParenting
October 22, 2018

10 Tips to keep your kids happy this holiday

Kids look forward to the holidays all year long. Amid all the fun and merriment, keep their brains exercised and engaged. Here are a few ways to prevent the summer brain drain. 1. Switch off the TV and go live This holiday, give the television a break too. Instead, take your kids to watch theatre shows or outdoor concerts. Live shows teach children the value of audience participation and boost their confidence. Introducing them to different forms of storytelling (other than movies) is also good for their cognitive development. 2. Get out! Encourage your kids to play outside. Set up…
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Child DevelopmentParenting
May 11, 2018

At what age can my kid have a cellphone?

You’ve decided to give your child a cellphone for safety reasons. But you’re worried. Will he spend his days glued to the tiny screen? What kind of horrors will he be exposed to on the Internet? Is it a big mistake to give him a phone at this age? A child receiving a cellphone has become a 21st century rite of passage, but there’s a lot to consider, with all the emotional, developmental and social risks involved. Know the risks A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that cellphones pose possible health hazards for the brain,…
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Child DevelopmentParenting
March 7, 2018

Tips to help your emotional child

We’re all emotional beings. And we all express our feelings in varied ways. Children are no different but they may have different modes of expressing themselves as they go through development stages. According to the National Council of Developing Children at Harvard University, the emotional health of children or the absence of it, is closely tied to the social and emotional characteristics of the environment in which they live, which includes their parents, families and communities. So, as a parent, you need to understand that those frequent emotional outbursts your child has are not just temperamental. Be prepared and know…
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Child DevelopmentParenting
March 2, 2018

Feed your baby’s brain

Your baby might not be able to read yet, but you can improve his brain development during feeding time. Babies are especially vulnerable while they’re growing and developing, so it’s important to include the right foods in his diet. No one single food will give your child all the right nutrition and vitamins, so make sure to give them a variety of fresh foods. Good to know Before you get started with solid foods, keep in mind: Talk to your doctor before introducing a new food into your baby’s diet as there may be possible allergies. Babies are usually ready…
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Child DevelopmentParenting
November 13, 2017

Why is my baby not talking yet?

Whether your baby is hungry, tired, ill, or even throwing a tantrum; crying lets you know she’s communicating - loudly! But what happens when all is silent? Should you worry? Not necessarily. The late talkers Don’t stress. All babies develop at their own pace. For some, speaking comes at the tail-end, while others start babbling sooner than expected. Soon enough your baby should be able to express herself with gibberish. Experts say that if by 18 months your little one isn’t chatting yet, then you can check in with your paediatrician to look for solutions. Boys typically tend to develop language…
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Child DevelopmentParenting
October 31, 2017

Could changing the way we manage autism help curb the “epidemic?”

It’s hard to put a number on exactly how many children in South Africa are affected by autism, but it’s fair to say that that number is high, and its growing. For example, in the Western Cape alone, up to 10 children a week are diagnosed with the condition. Over the years, autism has gathered some bad press, especially when it comes to what causes it. Traditionally believed to be caused by poor parenting and then by vaccinations (it’s not!), the “unknown" element of the condition has created a negative stigma against those who suffer from it. It’s an area…
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Child DevelopmentParenting
October 31, 2017

How best to handle a temper tantrums

Its every parent’s worst nightmare: the temper tantrum. It could be in the middle of the shopping centre when your child realises that the models in the windows aren’t real, at a friend’s house when they figure out that they can’t fly, or at home when you give them their peanut butter sarmie cut into squares and not triangles. Regardless of where you are, or what it’s about, dealing with a tantrum is not for the faint hearted. Tantrums are normal… at any age Tantrums are, unfortunately, a normal part of childhood. They occur most frequently amongst 1 to 4…
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Child DevelopmentParenting
October 31, 2017

Communicate with your baby without talking

Wouldn’t life be so much simpler if your baby could just tell you what was wrong?  Hearing your baby cry and not knowing why can be distressing. Most often, it can leave you feeling completely helpless. Figuring out what your baby wants, often comes down to a process of elimination: Is their nappy full, is it nap time, are they too hot, or could they be hungry? Well, now you can learn to communicate with your baby. Replacing crying with communication Sign language has been used for years to assist those with hearing difficulties to communicate. In the late 1980’s, a doctor who…
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