Posts Tagged ‘Paediatrics’

Social Skills

15 considerations for supporting the development of your child’s social skills

Let’s talk about Social Skills! As adults, we don’t often think much about social skills, as they are ingrained in our daily lives – like getting dressed in the morning or brushing our teeth. Human beings are sociable creatures, and we have developed many ways to communicate our messages, thoughts, and feelings with others. Children, however, must learn social skills from scratch, much like learning to read and write.

Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and our personal appearance. This is an incredibly intricate set of skills which takes time and practice to acquire. The ability is built on foundational receptive communication skills (hearing and understanding language from others) and expressive communication skills (sharing thoughts and ideas with others).

Setting good examples in front of our children is the natural place to start, as they instinctively mimic and copy what we do. By demonstrating sound social skills at home, such as speaking to others in respectful tones, listening to what others have to say, and waiting to speak in turn, children subconsciously take this all in, and voila! The beginnings of developing social skills is a work in progress.

Children are like sponges, they absorb everything!

To help support the development of your child’s social skills, start by paying attention to your own behaviours as you go about engaging in the following ways. You will probably learn a bit about yourself in the process!

  1. Facial expressions
  2. Body language
  3. Gestures
  4. Interacting in group situations
  5. Collaborating with others
  6. Exercising patience and taking turns
  7. Sharing
  8. Achieving compromise
  9. Demonstrating empathy
  10. Play skills
  11. Conversation skills
  12. Emotional skills
  13. Problem solving skills
  14. Showing encouragement
  15. Maintaining eye contact

Many of the above skills will come naturally, however when we stop and think about them in isolation, we may notice that we have to work harder to demonstrate some skills than others, or some areas that we could definitely improve upon.

One of our most important jobs in life is to be good role models for our children. By examining our own behaviours from time to time, we may not only enhance our own social skills, but we also ensure we are role modelling desirable behaviours for our children! Over time, you should see your little person starting to use more and more of the skills outlined above in their interactions with others.

Fun ways at home to develop social skills

Playing board games can be a fun way to practice using social skills at home.

Firstly, board games are fun, but they also require patience, self-control, and using manners. For example, after you’ve rolled the dice and moved your character, say, “Your turn!” Then, when your child has finished moving their character, say, “My turn!” before rolling the dice. By verbalising the order of play, it introduces children to the concept of taking turns, helps to develop the elusive character trait of patience, and begin to understand game play etiquette. This prepares them for navigating group settings such as when it’s time to start kindy or school.

Playing board games also helps to introduce children to the emotionally challenging task of how to conduct themselves whether winning or losing! This is a really important skill which will set them up well once they’re taking their first steps out into ‘the real world’ at school. Let’s face it, we are not always going to be ‘the winner’, so it’s important to learn humility in defeat.

If you have any questions about the above skills or your child is having difficulties with some of them, have no fear. You can directly reach out to one of our friendly paediatricians HERE We are here to help!

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Paediatrics

5 things your baby needs for great mental health

Mental Health is such a relevant topic in 2022, and thankfully there is. more awareness and understanding around Mental Health than ever before. While it’s an important point of discussion for adults, Mental Health support and education is equally as important for our children.

You may be asking yourself:

“When should I start thinking about my child’s mental health”? Well, it would be fair to say it’s never too early and we should be mindful of all the factors that contribute to Mental Health from that special moment when we bring our new-born baby home for the very first time. The role we play as parents is pivotal as we strive to provide our children with the best life possible from the very beginning.

In those first weeks living “earthside” with their new family, your baby will look to you for love, reassurance, and safety. As helpless little humans, ensuring all their basic needs are met is the start of your baby learning that they are safe, protected, and loved. This is all they need to set them off on their journey through life with the foundation of self-worth.

To help you and your baby as you embark on this amazing, challenging, rewarding journey, we have compiled 5 simple tips for you to apply at home:

  1. Take care of yourself! It may seem obvious, but as the parent it can be easy to overlook the basic fact that you need to take care of yourself first before you can provide the love and care your little one needs. Babies look to us as their parents for guidance and reassurance, even when we may not realise it, we are setting the example. Therefore, it’s important that our children see us exercising self-care which contributes to a healthy state of wellbeing.
  2. Communication is key! We always hear about communication being one of the most important aspects in a relationship. Well, we hear this so often because it’s true! This is true for all relationships, and especially so with our children.
  3. Keep calm and carry on. Mishaps happen. Whether it’s at work, at home, or out in public, we all make mistakes. We are all so very human! The really important part however, is how we respond in these moments. If you are stressed about something, or spill red wine on the carpet, try to remain calm. The behaviour we model in front of our children will be what shapes their behaviour as they learn and grow. Let’s see every mishap as an opportunity to equip them well to navigate the challenges that life throws up at all of us from time to time!
  4. Play is the work of childhood. As adults, we work to provide our families with a roof over their heads, food in their tummies, an education, and a good quality of life. A child’s work however, is not that a desk – it’s with toys! That’s right – playing is learning about the world around them and using their imagination and helps a child’s brain develop in so many ways! Ensure your baby has plenty of playtime in their daily routine and engage with them at every opportunity. This helps them to be stimulated by all the new things in their world and teaches them that they are loved, and special, and important.
  5. A little routine goes a long way. Just like we have routine in our days (wake up, get dressed, go to work, have lunch etc.), babies like routine too! This will help them to understand there is an element of structure and predictability to each day and fall into a rhythm. This contributes to a child’s sense of security, and it will help tenfold when it comes to school time too! Trust us!

Raising a baby isn’t easy, especially if it’s your first … and sometimes your second, or even your third!

Raising a baby is also life-changing, and wonderful, and challenging, and overwhelming, and amazing, so try to be kind to yourself. Take it day-by-day and breathe every now and then. You will get there, and so will your little one. If you’re having a tough day, maybe read back over these tips, and if you would like to chat about what we’ve discussed today, please reach out to our friendly team  here (https://www.adelaidepaediatrics.com.au/appointment-booking/). We are here to help!

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Child with bowl of healthy food infront of yellow background

Food allergy education: 6 things you need to know for your child

A common question asked among many parents is: How do I know if my child has a food allergy? Something we hear often. We know prevention is the best form of cure, and we would rather prevent our little ones from having a reaction we cannot control in the first place. So, when they’re ready for solids, it’s important to introduce different food varieties little by little in order to rule out any allergies.

1. So, what are food allergies exactly?

When our immune system sees food as an invader, it triggers an allergic reaction. Our bodies are designed to routinely fight infections, and in the case of a food allergy our body reacts in a similar way. Instead of fighting off a cold or a flu, our body is attempting to protect us from a particular food, and a food allergy develops.

2. Who is at risk?

Anyone is potentially at risk of developing a food allergy. However, if either parent has allergies there is a higher likelihood of the child developing a food allergy. Even if previous reactions have been mild, it’s important to remain vigilant as anyone with a food allergy is potentially at risk of the next reaction being more severe or even life-threatening.

Individuals with a food allergy are usually recommended to avoid the problem food/s altogether.

3. What are the most common food allergies?

Any food may cause an allergic reaction in children as well as adults. These are the most common allergens known to cause 90% of all reactions in kids:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Tree nuts (such as walnuts and cashews)
  • Fish
  • Shellfish (such as shrimp)
  • Sesame

4. What is an allergic reaction?

An allergic reaction is your immune system responding to a food that it does not agree with. This stimulates the body to release chemicals such as histamines. Reactions can be mild or severe; and as we know, a person can have a severe reaction to a food even if they have only experienced mild reactions previously. Allergic reactions can produce different symptoms, including:

  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Throat tightness
  • Belly pain
  • Vomiting (the most common in infants)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  • Hives (the most common in infants)
  • Red spots
  • Swelling
  • Light-headedness or loss of consciousness (passing out)

In some cases, allergies can cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis.

5. What is a food intolerance?

It is often the case that food allergies are confused with food intolerances. The symptoms of food intolerances are far less severe than food allergies. Symptoms can include burping, indigestion, gas, loose stools, headaches, or nervousness.

Food intolerances do not involve the immune system and can occur if you simply do not chew your food properly or because you can’t digest a substance, such as lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance can be unpleasant; however they aren’t usually dangerous or life threatening in the same way that allergies can be.

6. Receiving a diagnosis

Our fantastic Adelaide Paediatrics’ Allergy Team provides diagnosis and treatment for issues such as:

  • Environmental Allergies
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Skin prick testing
  • Immunotherapy
  • Dietitian support & advice
  • Food & drug challenges

We have an amazing team working across Allergy and Immunology including Dr Henning Johannsen, Dr Leigh Mackey, Dr Melissa Norman and Dr Christine Ziegler, and allergy dietitians Laura Ryan and Rachel George providing services at several locations.

For a little more information, you can directly reach out to us HERE

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Paediatrics

Paediatrics

Allergy / Immunology

Allergy / Immunology

Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology

Dietetics

Dietetics

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy

Podiatry

Podiatry

Psychology

Psychology

Speech Pathology

Speech Pathology