Child Safety-How to Childproof your Home

When faced with the overwhelming responsibility for the safety of your young child the world can look like a very dangerous place.  Cleaning products, sharp corners and a myriad of dangers lurk in every household while public places are rife with germs and stranger danger.  Before you succumb to the temptation to wrap your offspring or your entire environment in bubble wrap, let us offer you some sound advice on child proofing and a sensible approach to keeping the wee one safe in the world.

The Kitchen:
Home Safety Starter Pack
Home Safety Starter Pack

Take a good look around your kitchen. Now get down on your hands and knees and view it. Apart from the obvious dust bunnies under the chairs, just take a moment to view the world from a baby, a toddler and a wobbler’s perspective.  Vow to cover the plug sockets, get the obvious safety catches for cupboard doors and to move the dog’s water bowl to the outside hall. Beyond this you should also consider cooking at the back of the hob and in the case of big open spaces, employing the use of a room divider to create a safe place for baby.  Take note of where the bin is. Babies and children love bins. If it is accessible, then move it.  Check if your oven door becomes hot when in use and whether small hands are likely to come into content.

Windows and Blinds:
Clippasafe Draw Cord Shortner
Clippasafe Draw Cord Shortner

Children love to climb. If they do make it to the window ledge, ensure that they open outwards and that locks ensure that your child can never open them outwards or inwards. The legislation governing blinds changed in 2014, to make them child safe. Be mindful that cords are wound up, even in houses you visit and that your child will not be exposed to badly fitted or unrestrained cords.

Bathroom:
Clevamama ClevaBath Mat
Clevamama ClevaBath Mat

The toilet bowl is the first obvious target for a wobbling toddler. A toilet lock will ensure no danger from slamming seats, chemical loo blocks and yummy toilet water!  Toiletries and cleaning materials should be out of reach.  Never leave your child alone in the bath and be vigilant while checking the water temperature.  Hot taps in the bath can be hot in themselves.  A non slip mat is good for the whole household and essential for parents carrying slippy wet children out of the bathroom.

Fire:
Clippasafe Classic Fireguard
Clippasafe Classic Fireguard

 

A secured fire guard is essential for open fires and stoves.  Choose the right fire guard to ensure complete peace of mind. Radiators can get very hot in winter and should be cordoned off from little ones.

Miscellaneous:    

Balloons, grapes and small coins are a choking hazard to very young children. – 1 ¾ inches is the guide, anything that is smaller than this and can fit through is a choking hazard and should be out of reach of children. Plastic bags are also hazardous for children.

Hot drinks. Be vigilant around other adults and visitors who may not realise the capabilities of your child. Ensure that hot drinks are at the centre of the kitchen table and not left unsupervised on coffee tables.  Obvious sharp corners and doors that slam easily in the wind can all be made safe by simple purchases at your nearest child’s accessory store.

Be sensible:

Think ahead and scan the house regularly for potential issues. Do not approach child proofing and safety from a perspective of learning from experience. The experience may have a lasting detrimental effect on your loved wee child.  Put child safety first at home and remind older siblings, Granddad, Granny and any other visitors of the same.

Stay safe

 

 

Children’s Happiness and well being

Dutch children are among the happiest in the world. Here are the reasons why>

Dutch babies have been declared as the happiest in the world according to UNICEF research. This has been verified by recent reports which examined the difference in temperament between American babies and those born in Netherlands.  The Dutch babies smiled more, cuddled more, laughed more and were easier to pacify, while the American infants displayed more fear, sadness and frustration.

The Dutch parenting model is something we should be emulating in Ireland and there is a lot to be learned. Firstly and most importantly there is a recognition that happy parents make for happy children. Parents place their child at the centre of the family and have worked to reduce anxiety stress and reduce the worry caused by unrealistic goals for their children or themselves.  They understand that achievement might not necessarily mean happiness, but happiness can foster achievement

Home:

Free range children signParents work an average of 29 hours per week, dedicating one day a week to spending time with their offspring. Fathers are as equally hands-on as Mothers. Play is actively encouraged and  is likely to be noisy and disruptive. Children are encouraged to explore the world around them and there is a tendency for parents to reason and explain things to errant young ones rather than impose authority. Its all very zen.  Eating together is important and sitting down together for meals, especially breakfast,is the norm. Breakfast is for bonding, not just for eating.

School:

schule signDutch children, like their Finnish counterparts do not believe in homework for primary school children.  Children in the Netherlands stated that they enjoyed attending school and had fun there.  No pressure to overachieve is evident and yet, all seem to do well academically despite the lack of emphasis on achievement.

Respect:

girl running in tulip field, children's happinessThe research showed that children felt that they were heard as well as seen. They spent more quality time with parents and were afforded a great deal of trust and independence; allowed to play outside unsupervised and to go on errands and to school alone.

Not too many things:

dutch children playing, children's happinessSimple pleasures and a few toys are the norm in the Netherlands home and the happiness of Dutch children was not linked to consumer goods.   The Dutch opt for time spent with children rather than money.  A birthday party gift would cost no more than €10 and the emphasis would be on enjoying the day rather than outdoing each other with pony rides and bouncy castles.  Every year in April the Kings Day festival has open air children’s markets selling second hand toys and clothes in every town and village.

So, we need to go back to basics. Eat together. Enjoy simple pleasures. Listen to your children and try to convince schools that two hours of homework is not necessary for a seven year old.

Happy Out.

Sleep easy by choosing the right cot

With prices ranging from €80 for a basic cot up to €1300 for a solid wood luxury cot, it’s worth shopping around to choose the one that is perfect for your baby’s early months and years. Whether you decide to buy a cot-bed which will last until your child is five or six, or whether you want a cute cot for babyhood, you will be searching for the best in safety quality, durability and value for money.

Cots:

There is a huge range of cots to choose from and you would be wise to do some extensive research and to consult with the staff in your local baby accessories shop before making a purchase.  Ensure that you always look out for the BS EN 716: 2008, safety standard.  This ensures that the cot is deep enough to be safe for your baby, that the bars are the correct distance apart, and that the cot does not have cut-outs or steps.  If you are using a borrowed or second hand cot, ensure that the distance between the bars is no less than 2.5cm (1inch) and no more than 6.5cm(2.6inches).  This is to prevent babies head slipping between the bars.  Cots used to have drop sides, for easy access, but these day cots have static or non- moveable sides.  It is acceptable to put baby in the cot as soon as they are home form hospital, although many parents prefer to use a cradle, moses basket or carry cot till the baby is a little bigger. A height-adjustable base is common in most cots and cots beds. You can choose the highest lever for the first few months in order to lift your baby in and out easily. The lower level really comes into its own as baby starts to pull themselves up and become more adventurous.

Baby Elegance Laba Cot
Baby Elegance Laba Cot
Cot beds:

A cot bed is a cot where the sides and the end panel are removable, so that it may be converted into a toddler-sized bed later on.  The best cot beds are durable, safe and easy to convert. Not surprisingly, these are extremely popular and are a much better investment, in that you get a longer life from the purchase.  They may also help to assist in making the move from a cot to a bed as smooth as possible for your child. On the down side, a cot bed will take up more space in the room. However its life span in terms of usage is much longer than that of the cot.

Babystyle Bordeaux Cot Bed
Babystyle Bordeaux Cot Bed
Travel Cots:

Travel cots are portable cots that you can fold up and put in a bag to take away with you. Most have a plastic or metal frame, woven fabric and mesh sides, and a hard segmented bottom with a folding, lightly padded mattress. Before purchasing check weight (is it too heavy for travel?) size (again is it travel friendly?), do you need a mattress, stability, ease of assembly (for obvious reasons!)  and naturally, cost. If you don’t actually leave home very often you must ask whether you actually need to purchase a travel cot.  The assistant in your local baby accessories shop will be able to advise on the best travel cot for your needs.

Aeromoov Instant Travel Cot
Aeromoov Instant Travel Cot
Teething rail:

An optional teething rail can be incorporated into some cots.   It’s a simple rail or a protective covering lining the side-edges of the cot which assists in avoiding the risk of damage. Some cots have casters or mounted wheels which are handy if you want to move it into to a different room. It also makes for easier cleaning under and around the cot.

Bedside cots:
Chicco Next 2 Me Dream Crib Delicacy
Chicco Next 2 Me Dream Crib Delicacy

 

You can buy cots with a removable side so you can position the cot right next to your bed. The base can be adjusted so your baby’s mattress can be lined up with yours, which makes night-time feeding easier.

 Mattresses:

Just as it has become a huge part of purchasing an adult bed, there is a mind boggling range of mattresses to choose from. Make sure you choose the right size, ensuring that it is firm and flat and has a waterproof cover. Mattress should have the BSI number 1877-10:2011+A1:2012. There should be no gaps at the side.

Read more about how to buy a cot here:

 

Eating Healthy for two- The do’s and don’ts of your Pregnancy diet

Did you know that dietitians are now saying that during the later stages of pregnancy, your baby can  ‘taste’ the foods you eat through the amniotic fluid.  Treating your baby to a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables in the womb, will increase the chance that your baby will recognize and accept those flavours later on.  Eating healthy for two can seem to be a complicated matter. There are foods to avoid and foods to enjoy. Some people encourage you to eat more while others frighten you with words like ‘obese’ and plain old ‘fat’. A good diet for a healthy pregnancy is mainly common sense.  If you ate healthy before getting pregnant then there is little change required. If your diet was full of ready meals, takeaways and sugar rushes, then you have the incentive to change.

What not to Eat!

Some foods should be avoided when you’re pregnant. These include raw seafood, unpasteurized milk, cheese and soft cheese like Brie or Camembert. Avoid pate and raw or undercooked meat and poultry. Try not to be tempted by hot deli meals, hotdogs etc as they have a small risk of passing bacteria and parasites. Undercooked eggs should be avoided. Likewise, liver and liver products.

What to Eat!

Everything else! As you can imagine, this leaves a lot of good things to eat. It is worth noting that for the first six months of pregnancy you do not need any extra calories for a growing baby! In the last three months you only need 200 extra calories a day. This is the equivalent of a toasted pitta bread and two tablespoons of hummus or a couple of oatcakes and avocado!!  Fruit and veg, protein and low fat dairy are the obvious menu options as you give the tiny person and yourself the most nutritious meals available.

Don’t feel like eating? Toast

If you suffer from nausea or heartburn, you may find it easier to eat a little often rather than large meals at designated times. Bland starchy food, such as crackers or toast may be the short term solution.

Reduce caffeine and throw alcohol to the bin for the duration.

Treats during pregnancy:  You are not being punished and don’t need to give up all your favourite foods. High salt and sugar snacks can still be enjoyed in moderation. But don’t feel too guilty if you succumb to temptation and the bowl of crisps or gallon of ice cream disappears in one sitting!  Eat well and have a happy healthy pregnancy

 

Are the Terrible Two’s Really Something to Fear?

Toddlers are adorable. They are loving and funny and cute as kittens in a basket full of teddy bears. So why does everyone brand them terrible when they reach the tender age of two. The complete overuse of the cliché, terrible twos, would imply that as soon as the candles on the second birthday cake are extinguished, the screaming will start and continue unabated till the third birthday.

Sure, we have all seen a tiny person having a large meltdown in the supermarket, church or street. Attila the Kid. Screaming the walls down because there is no pink cornflakes, because they cannot have a wine spritzer or some other random inexplicable reason.  Knowing glances and smiles from other parents can help with the embarrassment of the outburst, but  it won’t be too long before someone in the viewing public will condescendingly utter those over-used words: ‘The terrible two’s’.

Supermarket Meltdown

Two is not terrible folks. Two is wonderful. (Most of the time!). Put yourself in the little persons place and think about how they feel. Life is very complicated and this little dude/dudette must negotiate social situations, strange new experiences, food likes and dislikes, body changes and a whole plethora of new scenarios daily that would turn an adults head.  In fairness to the little ones, they meet most of these challenges with good humour, aided by cuddles, the odd nap and a healthy snack. Who can blame them for feeling overwhelmed sometimes and when those feelings of frustration bubble to the top… well, you just have to let it go!

Toddle temper tantrums can be epic! Frankly, a lot of adults would love to let rip without inhibition or consequence. Rolling around the floor bemoaning the fact that the cinema does not have hot nachos and it’s the last straw in a yucky day!  Fortunately (or unfortunately) we have learned to control our feelings of dissatisfaction and annoyance. Social mores dictates that we smile tightly and supress the screams. We cannot expect the same behaviour of the new people in the world. Afterall we would all love to react like this if we were going to Disneyland…

Let’s stop labelling toddlers, wobblers and smallies. It’s a big world for small people.  We must forgive the odd outburst and not focus on the negative. Two is no more terrible then the Onerous Ones, the Horrid Threes and the Ferocious Fours!  It’s all about attitude and your frame of mind. Children are a joy. Enjoy the world with them and through their eyes and if it all becomes too much… well… you know what to do…let it rip… after all, those terrible thirties can be tough.

Stimulate your Babies Imagination with these Artistic Activities

We are all used to a more stimulated lifestyle than any previous generation. T.V., Netflix, Theatres, Cinemas and Art Galleries feed our imagination and inspire us to greater things. Or at least, they inspire us to greater posts on Instagram and more interesting conversations. But the world of culture is not just for adults and the organisers of events, galleries and theatre venues are appreciating this new and untapped audiences with many inventive ways to attract your baby and toddler from the cradle to the theatre seat.

Theatre venues like the Mac in Belfast are among the leaders in providing child-friendly or ‘relaxed’ performances of their productions. At these designated shows, the lights are left on, the actors explain the ‘baddies’ early on in proceedings and the volume is down a notch or two on stage. In the audience there is a higher tolerance for noise and movement which makes it a welcoming place for younger children and those with disabilities. It’s a perfect introduction to Theatre.

The Hawkswell Theatre in Sligo

The Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo offer shows for the Younger Audience

regularly organise shows which are geared specifically for the younger audience, from classical concerts, the very popular Beethoven Babies and Baroque Babies to the sing-along all singing all dancing human Skittles that are the Speks. A full programme of events for children from tiny to tweeny to teenager is on the menu in most auditoriums.

 

Cinemas are also cashing in on the baby boom in entertainment. The Carrick Cineplex hosts parent/carer baby morning screenings of new movies. ‘Rattle and Stroll’ happens once a month. The films are aimed at adults but with a sensible rating. No Texas Chain saw Massacres but LaLa Land musicals and romantic comedies. Lights are left low, volume is low in what they call a relaxed social environment. Obviously there is a tolerance of baby and child noise. Although it has to be said that the baby friendly cinema is really about allowing parents to visit the cinema in a tolerant atmosphere and less about encouraging the inner film buff in the toddler. No doubt early exposure to movies may inspire for the future.

Art galleries and venues are aware that this audience enjoy interactive play or taking part and they too have included the tinniest citizens in planning their schedule of events for the year. The Model in Sligo, and the Dock in Carrick on Shannon hosts a series of workshops in February and

March ‘My toddler and me’ offering sessions in toddler drama, art &crafts, messy play and guaranteed fun. I know you probably feel that your life is full of toddler drama and messy play, but this is a chance to see work with artists and drama facilitators.

The Dock Carrick on Shannon
My Toddler and Me Sessions are both fun and interesting for Parents & Babies

Children are naturally curious and open to new experiences. An early introduction to appropriate theatre, films and art can only enhance their development, broaden their minds and feed those wonderful imaginations. We don’t have to go far from home to find suitable entertainment for the little ones, and if we happen to enjoy the events ourselves, well that can only be a bonus.

Showing & Glowing – How to Look Fabulous during Pregnancy!

 That pregnancy glow does not mean that you should hide your light under a bushel or under an ugly pregnancy kaftan.  This is a wonderful time in your life and while you might feel like staying in the pj’s and trackies for the duration, it is a great time to dress up and to shine like never before.  Sure, high heels might be out of the question, but that does not mean you cannot look stunning and alluring.  Here are a few tried and tested pointers for avoiding the dreaded maternity frump in favour of fabulousness. Just follow a few guidelines and dress to wow and delight!

Invest in a few nice pieces:

Forget about adapting your current wardrobe to cope with the extra baby width. This will only result in you looking squished and at the end of the nine months, you will associate your present clothes with your pregnancy and may be reluctant to wear them again.  Don’t rob yourself of the joy of getting back into your favourite non-baby bump dress. It makes sense to purchase a few choice items of maternity wear to see you through the pregnancy in style.  A good pair or maternity jeans or trousers are a necessity. Squishing into too-small jeans is never a good look and leaving the buttons undone is just gross.  Well cut maternity jeans are a staple for the mum to be. Buy a good pair.

Purchase some nice tops in soft, rich fabrics with lots of stretch.  Don’t choose anything too tight or too short. Clothes that restrict your body or make you uncomfortable should be avoided. It is not classy to have your bare belly on show, unless you are at the beach or pool. Sometimes less is more, but mostly, more is more!  Maternity clothes are especially cut to fit around the blooming pregnant form and nothing flatters in the same way.

Embrace your Bump:

Don’t try to hide a baby bump by wearing clothes way too big. Choose your own size and a nice stretchy material to enhance and celebrate the life

What to wear when pregnant
Perfect your Maternity Style in the clothes you love.

growing within. Make sure you only wear things you love.  It does not matter if they are pre-loved, vintage, second hand or bought especially for you. Loving the look you have is important for your own self esteem.  Layer clothes for a beautiful effect. Team floaty tops with leggings, top dresses with pashminas. Dare to be different and embrace this special time in your life.  Enjoy colours and patterns and anything which makes you feel good will make you look good.

Keep your own style:

Keep your own personal ‘look’ and don’t feel that you have to hide in oversized shirts and wide jeans (unless this actually is your ‘look’)!  Adapt your style a little and choose accessories which reflect who you are. You may be becoming a mother, but you are not becoming ‘mumsy’ just yet, so don’t fall for the cliché pregnancy staples and instead make your bump a fashion statement. Pregnant and Proud!!

Choosing a Family Pet – What you need to know…

So, you have finally succumbed to family pressure and decided to get a pet in 2017.  This is a big decision. Sure, the kids are promising faithfully to do all the cleaning up and the feeding. The spouse is starry eyed thinking of the cuddles and warmth associated with welcoming a bird, animal or fish into your family unit, It is up to you, the sensible one, to keep everything sane. Firstly, you should know that you are not alone. Over 60% of Irish households list a pet, a dog, cat or other animal part of their family. Pet ownership is on the increase and as you join the statistics, there are some important things which others have learned to consider.

Firstly, you should decide what kind of pet is going to add to the disruption of your life. Size matters and is in direct proportion to the upset and upheaval caused.  A goldfish called Benny, will take little space, make no noise, be cheaply fed and might just tick the children’s box of ‘someone else to love’.   However, as the song about doggies in windows famously says ‘You cannot take a gold fish for walks’.  It is likely that your offspring will want a dog or cat as a pet. Almost half of all Irish pet owners list a dog as their pet of choice.  So, if you have no luck enticing the children to welcome a Parakeet (noisy, kinda messy but not too life changing) or a Hamster, mouse or Guinea Pig (messy, smelly but small enough to be hidden away) then you are going down the quadruped route.  Here are some pointers for choosing a dog or cat to share your life.

Cats:   We don’t chose them. They choose us and then disdainfully spend the rest of their lives in annoyance that we are absolutely untrainable.  From a cat’s perspective, you are here to serve them and let’s face it, you will never meet their high expectations. Cat owners experience a high level of haughty looks, interspersed with some random contact, rubbing against legs and purring, in order to maintain the Stockholm syndrome which is the default position of most cat owners.  On the plus side, cats ate attractive, generally clean and independent. This might be the pet for you as it meets all the criteria of family pet without too much interaction.

Dogs:  If unconditional love and devotion are missing in your life, then you need a dog. Incredibly loyal, fun and useful as both guard dogs and exercise machines (they promote a lot of walking, running and fetching).  A dog is the most popular pet for human families. On the down side, they are smelly, particularly when wet. They chew things and demand a lot of attention.  Unlike cats, they don’t like being left alone and in general, we can presume that the family dog considered itself to be another child, sibling or family member.  Dogs are a great comfort and many would say that a good humoured dog is much more preferable company than their human counterpart.

In all this decision making, there are some rudimentary considerations. These are based on common sense and should be considered carefully before the children have a chance to set their sights on the batting eyelashes and pleading look of a Great Dane or a rescue Donkey. Space! How much space can you give to the new pet?  Dogs, cats and horses need space both inside and out (well, mostly out for the horses)!  Will the animal require outside winter housing. If you live in an apartment or flat, the size of the animal will obviously be a factor.  Cost!  All pets cost money. Food, Kennels, cattery or dog minder (when away). Vaccinations, medications, toys etc all cost money, Calculate a budget before your final decision and remember that vet bills can be a factor from time to time. Certain animals require a specific diet, which can also increase your budget (parrots, for example, eat pellets, vegetables and nuts). Some pets may also need trainers, an added cost that can quickly add up. Who is in charge!  Establish who is in charge of the pet. Some animal need a lot of caring. Dogs need to be walked, mice need cage cleaning and fish need to be fed. If your children are young, factor in their growing up and leaving you with the pet as the new life of college, dating, mating and producing families of their own will see you looking after a family pet in your own old age.

On the upside, studies have shown that children who grow up with pets have better self-esteem, show more empathy and a more caring attitude. Responsibility is fostered in those caring for animals. Families with pets interact with each other more as the pet provides a focus for fun activities and general shared mayhem.     Choose your new family member wisely and enjoy the benefits to come.

Bed Wetting – The Tried & Tested Guide to combat Bedwetting

Nothing is more taboo in parenting circles than bed wetting. It’s one of those problems that elicits a plethora of advice from well-meaning parents of children who do not bed-wet! As much as this is infuriating for the parents of children who do have this issue, that annoyance is eclipsed by the feelings of inadequacy and failure which parents of serial bed-wetter’s already feel. So, first things first.

Never presume that every effort to address the problem has not already been explored by the family involved and the same rules apply as with sleeping babies. If you have a baby who sleeps through the night, be happy but be quiet. If you have children and never experienced bed wetting, be happy but be quiet!

It won’t last forever

If your child has nocturnal enuresis, or accidental loss of urine during sleep, they are not alone. A quick trip down the nappy aisle of any major supermarket will reveal the need for sleepwear products designed for older children. In fact 15% of all children suffer from bed wetting at one time or another. The HSE are clear in their advice that bed wetting is normal in children under 5 years of age and quite common in older children.

The good news is that as a child grows, their bladder capacity also grows, the need to urinate lessons and they learn to wake up when the need arises, so they are likely to stop bedwetting as time passes. If you are worried about bed-wetting, it is advisable to seek professional advice and, of course, there are a few classic dos and don’ts.

1. Never make the child feel embarrassed about bed-wetting.

2. Do not punish or reward. It is not their fault and they cannot control the situation.

3. Encourage normal drinking of fluids as it is important to recognise a full bladder.

4. Make sure your child eats enough fruit and veg as it prevents constipation, which can cause bed wetting.

5. Stay calm and invest in a good under sheet and pull up pants to eliminate the stress of cleaning up.

6. Encourage your child to change the sheets with you. This is a family issue which you are openly and calmly handing together.

7. Ensure child uses the loo before bed and leave a light on in case they need to get up during the night.

8. Don’t use a waking strategy. This is a short term answer.

9. Seek professional advice or a referral to a enuresis advisor if you feel

Bed wetting has been an issue for parents and children for generations. As such, we need to take a gentle and realistic approach. It is a temporary problem but if it is not treated with common sense and respect in the childhood years, it may leave psychological scars for the adult. Stress and anxiety can be responsible for the start of bed wetting, but can also make it worse. So Stay calm and carry On Being the wonderful Parent you know you are!

Kids Home Remedies you haven’t thought off…yet

Children can become ill at the most unexpected times.  Luckily most childhood illnesses and complaints are short lived and can be dealt with at home. There are a number of home remedies which have been passed through the family generations, or on parenting websites and from medical professionals which may be useful when your child is a little under the weather. None of these are intended to replace proper health care but to aid in the more minor problems that arise when parenting wee ones.  Common sense must prevail and of course, you should always consult your doctor or chemist if you are concerned about a child’s ailments or if they are prolonged or severe.  We have listed below, some tried and tested home remedies for dealing with minor complaints in children.

Diarrhoea and Tummy Upset:  There really is only one Irish home remedy for children with a dodgy tummy or a dose of the dreaded ‘lurgy’. The ubiquitous flat white lemonade and plain biscuits!   While this has a comedic value for anyone wanting to slag off traditional Irish parenting, there is, in fact a good scientific reason for administering flat fizzy drinks (technically un-fizzy drinks) and a rich tea biscuit (technically the ones left uneaten at the end of the Christmas tin). The reason is very simple; Rehydration.  If a child will not drink the recommended rehydration products, such as Dyoralite or Tacesan, then flat seven up will impart the necessary sugar and salt to the system.  A plain biscuit or a slice of toast is easy on the tummy for toddlers and children suffering from diarrhoea and or stomach upset.  Never give fizzy drinks as this will make things worse.

Bananas are an effective and handy remedy for mild diarrhoea.

Constipation: Orange juice or some segments of mandarin or satsuma will assist in cases of constipation.

Colds and flu like symptoms:  There is no substitute for TLC when a wee one is not feeling well. Tucking them up with soft blankets, warm drinks and lots of cuddles is the first step to recovery. Steaming or a home vaporiser can help with chestiness and shortness of breath. Honey and lemon drinks will help with sore throats (but honey is not recommended for children under 1 year).  Add some garlic to sauces and dinners to aid recovery and resilience against germs.

Coughing:  Turmeric is now considered to be a wonder spice and has amazing properties due to its antiseptic properties and is now used widely in combatting the symptoms of coughing. Mix ½ teaspoon with a little water and add to honey for a gentle cough mixture (not recommended for children under 3).   While ginger is a time-honoured natural treatment for asthma. Its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce airway inflammation and inhibit airway contraction.  Mix together equal amounts of ginger juice, pomegranate juice and honey. Give your child 1 tablespoon of this mixture 3 times a day. You can also like to give a coughing child ginger candies.

 Bed wetting- Though technically not an ailment by any means, bed wetting can be very upsetting for child and adult alike.  Cinnamon is reported to be of assistance in some cases and can be sprinkled over porridge or added to muffins before baking. The thinking is that the cinnamon  spice keeps the body warm, which in turn helps to avoid nightly bed wetting.

Minor Bumps and Bruising:  A tube of arnica gel is a godsend for the knocks and mishaps of normal childhood.  Arnica comes from the cactus plant of the same name.  No home should be without an arnica, as the leaves can be taken and squeezed directly on minor burns. Coconut Oil also has many antiseptic properties and is now recommended for use on minor scrapes and cuts.  Simple spread a little on the minor injury and apply a Band-Aid or bandage accompanied by many little kisses and a lot of sympathy.  Ensure the plaster or bandage is changed frequently.

Healthy happy children are the top of every parent’s wish list.  Not all mishaps need a trip to the Accident and Emergency Department nor a long wait at the doctor’s surgery.  Knowing when to treat at home and when to seek professional help is the key.

A leading homeopath and paediatrician Dr James Oskin is quoted in parenting.com

Minor bumps and bruises can safely be treated at home without a doctor’s help with over the counter, Arnica. Self-limiting coughs and colds can be treated with over-the-counter products. Self-limiting allergic rhinitis (hay fever) can be treated at home with over-the-counter homeopathic products. Basic earaches can also be treated with over-the-counter products since most ear infections are viral, self-limiting and will resolve on their own within 48-72 hours. If symptoms persist, parents they should seek medical attention if their child is not improving or getting worse within 1-2 days.”

Thankfully, tender loving care is the best and most readily available home remedy of all.