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When one night my daughter woke up with welts all over her body, I honestly didn’t know what to do. I rubbed the poor child down with Calamine lotion and eventually it subsided.

So I figured okay that was a one time occurrence, the next night at 1am I hear the poor child screaming, only to realize she was all welted up again. So I applied more of the “horrific” pink stuff. 

I hadn’t changed her diet, we were in the same house, so there was no real change of environment and here she is with these crazy allergic reactions. 

If you are a parent and experienced your child going through the dreaded allergies, it can be super scary, as you don’t know if it will worsen, cause them to stop breathing, or cause the poor things to die. 

Of course I took my little princes to the Doctor, well one, and then another, and another and another. Tried several remedies, various allergy tests and array of treatments. 

So while we may not be medical practitioners, I am a parent that cares, so be that as it may, here's some info we would like to share: 

A food allergy is an adverse response to the proteins in certain foods. The body’s immune system mistakenly identifies these proteins as harmful and immediately reacts by producing antibodies that fight against the problem (imagine tossing a piece of meat to hungry lions-that is your child’s body responding to the trigger food). Chemicals such as histamines are released that cause allergic symptoms like pesky runny eyes and nose, vomiting and skin rashes. 

What should I look for?

Good question. The allergies will vary in severity and some may even be intolerances (marked by digestive problems and doesn’t occur as speedily as an allergic reaction). However, some common symptoms to look out for are: 

  • rash
  • wheezing
  • itching
  • severe stomach symptoms, 
  • Swelling of the throat and mouth which causes difficulty in swallowing and speaking. 

Along with these symptoms be sure to pay attention to some pretty common foods that are especially common allergens such as:

  • nuts (peanuts)
  • milk
  • eggs
  • seafood (shellfish) 
  • wheat
  • fruits
  • gluten 
  • soya 

How exactly will my child react?

There are actually 3 categories of reactions with the latter category the most severe:

• Immediate reaction (IgE): the allergic symptoms develop quickly, usually within an hour of eating the trigger food. The symptoms may vary in severity, from skin rashes to life threatening anaphylaxis (this is a no no). The reaction is often localized to the lips and the face. 

• Delayed Response (Non- IgE): these responses are harder to spot because the symptoms do not emerge until hours or even days after eating the trigger food. The severity of the reaction is directly related to the amount of food that is consumed and it results in eczema and constipation. 

• Anaphylactic Shock: this is the most severe and extreme allergic reaction. The body produces large amounts of histamine and other chemicals in response to the allergen and this causes the body to go into shock. The whole body is affected within minutes of exposure. Usually, all it takes is a tiny amount of the trigger food or even just touching the food to cause an anaphylactic shock. Foods such as peanuts and other nuts, sesame, milk, fish and eggs are the most common triggers.

It helps to speak to your child’s pediatrician or general practitioner in conjunction with a nutritionist or dietitian in order find out what your child maybe allergic to and how best you can plan meals that are safe for them. Also substitutes for these trigger foods can be used. 

Reference:

https://www.allergyuk.org/allergy-in-children/spotting-symptoms-in-a-child

http://www.madeformums.com/baby/spotting-the-symptoms-of-a-food-allergy/11391.html

http://www.patient.co.uk/wellbeing/health/spotting-the-signs-of-food-intolerance 

 

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Being a mother is the most rewarding feeling ever. My son Dillon makes me happy but recently being around him is depressing. Three weeks after his birth I took him to the doctor as I was convinced something was medically wrong with him. He would cry for hours and no matter what I did he would not stop. He was not hungry, he didn’t need changing, he was not tired maybe a little gassy but something was definitely wrong.

He looked like he was in pain as he arches his back and screamed as he passes gas. I gave him Gripe water and Infacol but nothing seemed to work. The only thought in my mind was that he was in pain. That could be the only answer. I took him to the doctor and she examined him and said he was fine. Frustrated and upset, I argued with the doctor telling her something is wrong with my son. She advised that he has colic. Colic? What is Colic? How did he get Colic? What did I do to give him Colic? Was it my fault? So many questions and not enough answers.

She suggested a couple of activities to help Dillon. I tried all of her suggestions -warm wrapped bottle against his tummy, a gentle massage, putting him in the bouncy seat and playing music. Sometimes they helped for a bit but nothing seemed to cure him.  Some days I would be crying when he was crying as I was tired, helpless and stressed out. I hated that because I needed to remain calm and happy for him but it was too hard to smile when all I wanted to do was pull out all of my hair. One afternoon I closed the nursery’s door and bawled my eyes out, and that is when I decided to try something else and not give up just yet.

 I took Dillon for a car ride so we could both get some fresh air, and I realised he stopped crying once the car was moving. I tried again the following day and it helped again so I started doing it regularly and most days he would fall asleep. Taking afternoon drives became part of our daily routine until he was about four months old when the colic seemed to have disappeared.

Sometimes running a vacuum, rocking in a rocking-chair or a warm bath helps too.  If a mother is breast feeding, eliminate certain foods like wheat, eggs, nuts, fruits, broccoli, caffeine and chocolate. Absolutely no medicine unless prescribed by your doctor.

 

As a parent it is extremely hard to see your child in discomfort and knowing you are not much help to them but do not give up. It is impossible to not be upset, frustrated and even depressed, but your baby needs you so you have to be strong for both of you. Thankfully colic is gone by 3 ½ to 4 months!

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No!  Please do not smash the truck on my laptop!  Mummy needs to work, go and play with your blocks.  I swear I have been saying no all morning.  I have deadlines but no chance to work.  Philip is home with me this week and it’s turning out to be a nightmare.  He usually goes to Pre-school, but the school is closed for a week, so my only option was to keep him at home with me.  I actually thought it would not be too bad, as I am able to get work done from home when he is home, but being stuck in the house all day and not being able to do what we want is driving us both crazy.

The Pre-school usually has him on a schedule but I figured I would just let him tire himself out by playing while I work. That however is not working for either of us.  I am going to turn my house into a mini pre-school and get Philip back on a schedule.  He usually is at night, so why not during the day.

Wake up, breakfast and bath, which he is accustomed to, as that is our daily routine when he goes to pre-school. Then we will do arts and crafts and clean up.  9 o’clock and I haven’t looked at my laptop for the morning.  I am so behind on work!  Time for his morning fruit and then I will let him play the counting games on the ipad.  He seems a bit captivated so I will see how much work I can get done now. Not much, as ipad time lasted only 30 minutes.  Gosh what to do now?  As Philip runs around playing with his toys I am going to try to work as he is distracted! Nope, not going to happen.  His idea of playing is now banging my laptop.  I feel as though he is not being entertained, or he has an attention span of a fish, as activities keep him occupied for only one minute.

Lunch and then nap time!  God blessed me with two and a half hours of nap time.  I was able to accomplish so much while he was sleeping.  We watched a movie together when he woke up from his nap.  Well he watched the movie and I worked while singing every song in the movie.  Outside time until daddy comes home and then back to work for me.

Working at home with a toddler can be difficult and unproductive, but planning ahead helps and taking full advantage of nap time.  Eat when they are eating and involve them in any activities you can. While they are sleeping is the best time for working, even if it’s at night when it’s their bedtime.  Having someone else there with them while you work a couple of hours also helps.  Whether it be an older sibling, husband, friend or family member, so you can have at least a few hours working uninterrupted.

 

 

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Oh no! Not now! Why does this child hate me so much? Does she need to kick and scream on the floor? I must not be the only parent that experiences this embarrassment.  First thought is to try to bribe her but I have been doing that for weeks and it does not always work. The more she misbehaves the more upset I become.

Okay okay keep calm, I can handle this, let’s go Emma, you have to stay in the car until you calm down. Sitting in her car seat and bawling her eyes out for a whole two minutes while I fight the urge to choke her. Surely I am not the only parent that feels like a complete failure when their pride and joy throws themselves on the ground and acts like you did not teach them better. Yes I know tantrums are toddlers’ way of expressing their frustration but there must be a better way, this cannot be my life.  Worst yet, temper tantrums are steadily becoming part of this child’s daily routine, how will I survive this phase? It is time for me to research the topic of tantrums.

After reading I discovered there are certain situations which can trigger tantrums, for example when Emma is hungry or sleepy I realize she is more irritable and I think too, I can expect her to have an episode. From here on I will try to do errands when she is fed and rested but I will also make sure that I have healthy snacks for her to munch on in case I am taking longer than I originally planned. Also I must make sure that after she has a tantrum and calms down, I will talk to her about what happened and acknowledge her frustration but reassure her that I love her although her behavior is upsetting.  Maybe even throw in a hug and a kiss.

Avoiding tantrums is not always possible but knowing your child’s triggers and predicting their reactions can help with altering the outcome of the situation. Keeping calm is very important although you are frustrated and try to be in control, giving in to your toddler’s demands doesn’t improve the situation.

 

 

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Babies should be exposed to books very early in life. Some people believe that this is nonsense since most babies are unable to read before the age of three or so. However, it has been proven that the earlier a child's brain is stimulated, positively, the more beneficial it is.

From the moment a baby is taken home from the hospital that baby should be read to on a daily basis, if not several times a day. The human voice is soothing to new-born babies and helps them to recognize words, emotions and other family members.

Babies can have their very own books at any stage in their development, as there are several types of books designed specially for them :

·           Inflatable books and foam books for bathtime

           These are very entertaining as they float on water. However, care must be taken that the baby does not bite them. They are easily cleaned and easy for tiny fingers to grasp.

·            Cloth books

            difficult to destroy but easy to maintain as they are washable.

·            Thick cardboard and wooden books

            durable and practically 'baby-proof'.

·           Pop-up books

            fun and  interactive, for older babies.

·           Musical books and Talking books, with other sound effects

            not only visually stimulating but aurally, as well, adding to baby's overall experience.

·            Other interactive books; with peek-a-boo windows, variety of textures, scratch and sniff, squeaks, etc.

            These are extremely engaging as there is plenty to experience through a single book.

·           Wipeable books

When selecting books for your baby or toddler ensure that the cover and pages are sturdy and wipeable so they can be easily cleaned.

There really is no reason why babies and toddlers should not be exposed to books and reading. The world is theirs to explore; teach them to develop a love for books.

 

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