Dealing with head lice

Dear Parent:

A case of head lice has been detected in your child’s class. Anyone can get head lice… mainly through direct head-to-head contact but also from sharing hats, brushes and other personal items.

Head lice are a problem in many communities and do not reflect poor hygiene or social status.

Please do your part to prevent the spread of this communicable condition by checking your child(ren) daily for the next few weeks, and on a regular basis thereafter. Lice infestation is much easier to treat if caught early.

If you should discover a case of head lice, please notify your child’s school, teacher and notify the parents of your child’s playmates. This is the best way to protect your family and community.

National Routine Immunisation Schedule in SA

The Department of Health’s Extended Programme of Immunisation (EPI SA)

Age Vaccine Also known as Protects against
Birth TOPV 1 (Trivalent) Oral polio vaccine Polio
Birth BCG Bacillus Calmette Guerin Tuberculosis
6 weeks TOPV 2 (Trivalent) Oral polio vaccine Polio
6 weeks RV 1 Rotarix Rotavirus
6 weeks PCV 1 Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine: Prevenar Pneumococcal diseases
6 weeks DTap-IPV//Hib 1 Pentaxim (5-in-one) Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), inactivated polio vaccine, haemophilus influenzae type B
6 weeks Hep B 1 Hepatitis B vaccine Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
10 weeks DTap-IPV//Hib 2 Pentaxim Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, haemophilus influenzae type B
10 weeks Hep B 2 Hepatitis B vaccine Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
14 weeks RV 2 Rotarix Rotavirus
14 weeks PCV 2 Prevenar Pneumococcal diseases
14 weeks DTap-IPV//Hib 3 Pentaxim Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, haemophilus influenzae type B
14 weeks Hep B 3 Hepatitis B vaccine Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
6/9 months Measles 1 Measles vaccine Measles
9 months PCV 3 Prevenar Pneumococcal diseases
12/18 months Measles 2 Measles vaccine Measles
18 months DTap-IPV//Hib 4 Pentaxim Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, haemophilus influenzae type B
6 years Td 1 Diftavax Tetanus, diphtheria
9 years HPV 1 (girls) Human papilloma virus
9.5 years HPV 2 (girls) Human papilloma virus
12 years Td 2 Diftavax Tetanus, diphtheria


Study Tips

Once you are certain that your child has planned ahead sufficiently and is aware of
all the deadlines, commitments and requirements over the next school term, you can begin to look at HOW they are studying.

  • There are some obvious no-no’s like studying with the TV on or studying in a
    crowded and busy place. Despite the teenagers’ insistence that the TV/iPod etc.
    makes them concentrate better, it DOES NOT.
  • Research has shown that they need to be in a quiet, well-ventilated, uncluttered
    space – preferably at a desk with a white or blank wall in front of them.
  • It is important to divide subjects up into specific time frames so that they do not get
    bored or overloaded with one subject. Depending on the age, children should study
    for 30 – 55 minutes followed by a 5-minute break. During the break, they should
    leave the room, stretch, have a drink and get some fresh air before going back to the
    study area.
  • Once the subject for studying has been chosen, have a look at how it can be made
    more story-like. Think of the movies that they watch and how much of the information
    they retain when stories are told with colour and variation.
  • Subjects like history & geography are perfect examples. The child should have a
    blank paper and coloured pens and create a brief timeline story out of the subject.
    Get the general story right first and then later, add specifics like dates and numbers.
  • Certain subjects like maths require PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Doing
    calculations over and over until it becomes 2nd nature is the only way to ensure that
    the information is retained.  Remember it is not only about these exams but about
    having sufficient retention to be able to move up a year and carry on with more
    complex work.
  • Studying languages is somewhere in the middle. There are instances where stories
    can be created and in other cases, there is just plain old fashioned Rote learning

If your child understands these different study options and arranges the study
timetable in advance, the studying will be varied and in small, regular doses and will
seem much more manageable.

Teaching kids how to save money

Money does not grow on trees, our parents cautioned, and like the obedient children we were, we listened—well, mostly.

From the amount of “I wants…!” sounding off in stores these days, I’m guessing the kids have not gotten the same memo.

Do you talk to your children about money? Probably not as often as necessary.

And yet, wanting to keep them informed without burdening them with concerns about money can be a fine line to tread.

Teaching kids about money is a multifaceted undertaking, with it comes lessons on responsibility, setting goals, and making decisions.

Nothing beats taking from real life examples to teach them important lessons.  How much pocket money do you give your child?

Drafting the monthly budget

Going through the monthly budget can be an excellent way of giving your kids an overview of income and expenses, strengthening their concept of money. Be extra cautious though not to mention financial struggles or frustrations. Stick to the basics.

At an ATM

Do you remember your first encounter with the ATM machine as a child? After pushing a few buttons, our parents made cash appear out of thin air, right? This is the perfect time to talk to your kids about earning a living and making decisions on spending.

Be sure not to leave out an explanation on how this nifty contraption really works.

When paying the bills

Definitely not something we normally do with our children present, but giving them an idea of where money goes and why could not be more beneficial in getting them to understand the value of money, how saving in the present means doing fun things in the future, and that paying the bills is an on-going responsibility for all adults.

This is also a great time to clue them up on how they can help with saving non-monetary essentials like electricity and water.

At the shops 

It may seem like an obvious time, but with a packed store and a long list of items to get to, the thought of fitting in a conversation on budgeting might be at the very bottom of your to-do list.

But what better time to introduce the idea of pricing, especially when requests for treats start rolling in. Turn it into a game by asking them to find the best prices for the items on your shopping list.

Here, you could also establish the difference between a necessity and a want.

When seeking insurance coverage

Clue them up on the how you include insurance costs in your monthly budget, and that even though initially it may be expensive, it can be an incredible money saver in the long run.

When providing their pocket money 

If you’re giving them a certain amount of money every month, you also need to give them guidelines, specifying what your child can and cannot do with their money is one way of doing this, suggesting that they save or donate a certain percentage is another example.

Introduce age appropriate books and apps they could use to manage their money.

When gifted with money 

Receiving money on a birthday or holiday is the perfect time to introduce the idea of saving. By discussing why it is important, along with the different ways they could save, you instill invaluable lessons for their future.

When paying debt

Don’t forget keeping it basic is key, a general run through of what debt is and how it works is all you need to inform them about for now.


Playground fights: where do you stand?

How do you handle playground incidents? What kind of parent are you? And what do you teach your kids about conflict resolution? Estrelita Moses lays it out.

Pushing and shoving in the playpen is a given. Playground politics is a given. There’s always a barney of sorts. There will always be the pre-teen who is age-inappropriate for the kiddies play area. Or the slightly older boys and girls who just play roughly with no regard for the little ones sharing the area. The roughnecks, the bullies, the child who cries just because, the leaders of the pack. The list is endless.

It’s how you deal with said politics that sets the stage for a relatively cool meltdown, or one of epic proportions à la Spur dad style. In case you haven’t been seen it, here’s the crux of the matter.

A brawl between parents resulted in Spur restaurants nationwide banning a man who could be seen being verbally abusive to a fellow diner after an apparent scuffle between their children in the play area. A child was grabbed. The altercation is an ugly one. The language is ugly – by both parties. The whole thing was, well, ugly – very ugly. The jury is still out on to what extent race, gender and anger management issues played a part in it. Was he just a bloody bully?

But no matter how one looks at it, the children on both sides bore witness to this appalling behaviour. And no child should have to watch his or her parent behave in such a manner.

So in the parent hierarchy of playground politics, which one are you?

Are you the one blinded by rage at even the slightest provocation? Do you tend to let your children roam free in play areas – “come back only if there’s real blood”? Or do you watch out for the one sucker you know will watch the entire play area, the parent who tends to hover, helicopter rotor blades at full speed?

I used to hover a lot when Luca was younger. He is four and half now, so I hover a bit less. Parents can spot it a mile off. I would be the one parent who’d stand in the play area while the other moms would drink wine and eat in relative peace and quiet. A knowing wink or nod: Do you mind keeping an eye? You’re already there. And I would – because at the end I prefer keeping an eye on my own child. Yip, even at the Spur.

Free-range or helicopter parent?

It is relatively easy to nip mini meltdowns in the bud if you have an eye on what’s happening. Watch for long enough and you can usually tell if a situation has the potential to escalate. That is when I usually go in, mostly at eye-level (on my knees) and, shock horror, have a reasonable conversation.

My usual approach is to speak to my son first and find out exactly what the issue is. Or to call him aside – usually within earshot of the potential offender – and say to please be careful, for such and such a reason. Most times the presence of an adult or the sense that someone is watching tends to calm things down somewhat. It is seldom that it doesn’t.

On the odd occasion when it does, I have learned to pick my battles, rather just step way and extricate my child from a potentially poisonous confrontation. Yes there is a time to stand up for yourself, and your child, but there is also a time when you back down and walk away.

“I am a wolf mom”

I wouldn’t want my child seeing me scream like a banshee at a complete stranger (God knows he gets that at home for free!). Or worse.

What I do want my child to learn is to pick his battles. By all means stand up for yourself, but don’t become a bully in the process. Being overly aggressive won’t calm an explosive situation. And once it’s blown up, the way back is a long one.

And most of the time, the big losers are the children involved.

Tips for Deworming Children

Deworming your family has become a lot easier and more affordable, but staying free of these pesky parasites is the real challenge. Here are eight ways to protect your family from getting infected:
1. Keep children’s fingernails short and clean to keep dirt containing worm eggs from getting lodged under their nails.
2. Stop your pets from giving worms to the family by putting them on a parasite control programme from your vet.
3. Wash your hands before handling food.
4. Wash all fruit, salads and vegetables before use.
5. Rinse all meats before preparing them for cooking.
6. Make sure your children wash their hands with soap and clean water after using the toilet.
7. Do not drink water that may be dirty.
8. Wear shoes to stop worms entering through the feet.

Pre-School and Aftercare – Weekly Menu



  • 08h00 – Breakfast
  • 10h00 – Own Snack from home
  • 12h30 – Hot Meal – Chicken A LA King & Fruit
  • 15h00 – Juice, Biscuits & Fruit


  • 08h00 – Breakfast
  • 10h00 – Own Snack from home
  • 12h30 – Sandwiches with either Jam, Peanut butter or both depending on what child likes.
  • 15h00 – Juice, Biscuits & Fruit 


  • 08h00 – Breakfast
  • 10h00 – Own Snack from home
  • 12h30 – Hot meal – Macaroni with Mince & Fruit
  • 15h00 – Juice, Biscuits & Fruit


  • 08h00 – Breakfast
  • 10h00 – Own Snack from home
  • 12h30 – Pap & Boerewors
  • 15h00 – Juice, Biscuits & Fruit


  • 08h00 – Breakfast
  • 10h00 – Own Snack from home
  • 12h30 – Hotdogs or Boerewors roll & Fruit
  • 15h00 – Juice, Biscuits & Fruit

Aftercare meals:

The same meal is given to the Aftercare that is given to the Pre School at 12h30 daily. The Pre School learners eat when they arrive from school.

How to Treat a Burn

burn treatment

The type of treatment a burn victim receives depends on the degree of the burn and how he/she got it.

If you judge the burn to be serious, then it is imperative that you either take the victim to the hospital yourself or that you call your emergency number.
While you wait for the paramedics to arrive, there is some burn treatment that you can administer.

Emergency burn treatment consists of the following steps:

  • Remove clothing from the injured area. If any clothing sticks or adheres to the skin, simply cut around it and leave it in place for the paramedics to deal with.
  • Keep the patient covered since there is a tendency for the victim to get the chills which could eventually lead to shock.
  • Dressing or bandages for burns come in various forms (cotton gauze or synthetic bandages) and which kind to use depends on the type of burn wound.
  • They have three purposes:
  • Protect against infection.
  • Reduce the loss of heat.
  • Provide some comfort.
  • Other things to remember regarding burn treatment:
  • Dressings/bandages should be grease and oil free.
  • Do not break any blisters intentionally. When a blister opens on its own, pat antibiotic ointment on it and cover with a dressing.
  • Any bandage applied should be loose so as to prevent any pressure on the burned surface and to allow for any swelling which may occur.
  • Remove any jewelry from a burned area.
  • Do not put ice on the burn because it will damage the skin and can lead to frostbite.

Fire Hazards in the Home

The National Fire Protection Association reports 85% of fire deaths occur in the home, making fire prevention a top priority in every home. Here is a list of some of the less obvious tips for fire prevention, based on the most common causes of fires:
Cooking is the number one cause of home fires.

  • NEVER use water to extinguish a grease fire.
  • Keep appliances clean, and wipe surfaces after spills. Clean stove surfaces and ovens regularly.
  • Wear tight-fitting sleeves, or roll them up when cooking
  • Keep flammable objects, including pot holders, dish towels and curtains, at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and all other solid-fueled heating equipment needs to be inspected annually by a professional and cleaned accordingly.
  • Assure microwaves have enough room to breathe, that all the vents are cleared of obstructions.
  • If there is a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave. Make sure to have the microwave oven serviced before you use it again.
  • If there is an oven fire, keep the door closed and turn off the heat. If the fire doesn’t go out immediately, call the fire department.
  • A grease fire occurs when oil or greasy foods are heated and ignite. The simplest way to fight a grease fire is to carefully slide a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner, don’t move the pan, and keep the lid on until the pan cools completely. Baking Soda may also be used to suffocate the fire.
  • NEVER PUT WATER ON A GREASE FIRE. Water causes the grease to splatter and the fire to spread. Also, NEVER attempt to take a grease fire outdoors. It will be too hot to carry and you will drop it, causing a major house fire.

Heating Equipment

  • Heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the winter months of May, June and July, and is the second-leading cause of home fires year-round.
  • When buying heaters, look for devices with automatic shutoff features.
  • Be sure any gas-fueled heating device is installed with proper attention to ventilation, and never put unvented gas space heaters in bedrooms or bathrooms. Liquefied Petroleum (LP) gas heaters with self-contained fuel supplies are prohibited for home use.
  • Never leave space heaters on when you leave the room.
  • Space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Don’t use extension cords with space heaters. The high amount of current they require could melt the cord and start a fire.
  • When lighting a gas space heater, strike your match first, then turn on the gas.
  • Never use a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater.