Little Ones’ Check Ups: A Thank You To All Nurses At All Our Clinics:
Little Ones’ Check Ups: A Thank You To All Nurses At All Our Clinics:
by Puseletso Vikwane.
A healthy baby is a happy baby. It is so heartbreaking when your little one is not doing so well. When my little guy was born, the nurses gave me a booklet titled Road to Health, a publication to keep record of the child’s health as they develop. After talking to the nurse at the clinic, I realised just how important it is to bring a child in for their check-up on the dates the nurses ask that the child be brought in.
It is very important that we take our children for their checkups at the clinic. The nurses were telling me that on some occasions when the child reaches a particular age, they have to be taken for a check-up so they may get vaccinated or immunised, get droplets to drink, get multivitamins, and get weighed. This was all new to me! Every check-up is important; the injections (immunisations) protect the child from getting diseases. The clinic gave me a flyer that said the diseases the immunisations protect my child from are Tuberculosis, Polio, Rotavirus Gastroenteritis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough, Haemophilus Influenzae type B, Hepatitis B, Pneumococcal Infection, and Measles. Wow! I did not even know what some of these diseases were – I was a bit scared but knowing I was protecting him by taking him to the clinic when the nurses said, also gave me the feeling of being a good parent. The vitamins make sure the child gets all the needed nutrients so they may be strong and healthy. Even the child coming in for a check up just to be weighed is necessary, the nurses get to see if the child is gaining weight accordingly or if they are gaining or losing too much weight
The nurses told me that some parents only bring their children for a check-up when they have to get injected and skip all the other check-ups where the child was supposed to be given vitamins or get weighed. They think that the injection is the only important thing for the child from the check-ups and that taking the child just to be weighed is not important at all. Other parents that are really inexperienced don’t even bring their children for the injection; they simply skip the check-ups altogether and only take the child to the clinic/doctor when the child is really sick. This is a tragedy waiting to happen.
The nurses told me that taking a child for their check-ups accordingly is beneficial for both the child and the parent since the parent will be at ease knowing that their child is thriving or they will know that their child is lacking and the parent can then work towards getting their child back to health.
When taking a child for their check-up, if the nurses find that the child is not doing so well, they ask about how the child plays, eats, and such so that they may advise you on what to do to get the child to good health and they also give you some medication if need be. So to parents that think it is not important to take their children for these check-ups – think again because you are seriously mistaken! By taking your child for their check-ups you are saving your child’s life and also, you are saving yourself the headache of dealing with a sick child suffering from an illness that could have been avoided had you taken your child to the clinic. The check-ups are completely free at governmental clinics. Free!
The Road to Health booklet for children is also very informative on how to take care of your child when they are sick and it also has suggestions on what to give the child when ill. It has all the danger signs that you should look out for in your child when they are coming down with something serious that needs to be checked out at the clinic and it also informs parents of the minor symptoms and illnesses that a parent can take care of at home. What I really appreciated is that the nurses do not just give the parent the booklet, the nurses also ask parents simple questions about what is in the booklet; they want to make sure that we actually do take the time to read the booklet and that we also understand what is being said in it.
I have been taking my son for all his check-ups since he was born. The immunisations were done when he was a newborn; at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of age; at 9 and 18 months; and in the future, he will have two more immunisations when he turns 6 and 12 years old. But there are also the regular check-ups and I must admit that sometimes when I take him for his check-up just to get weighed and I learn he is all good and thriving, I too can get lazy to come back for his next weighing. However, as the weigh-in day draws nearer, I pull myself together and take him because I know it’s for his benefit (and mine!) that I take him.
My little guy doesn’t like going for his check-ups at all! Whenever we enter the gate at the clinic, he pulls me wanting us to go back. He is scared of the injections and never seems to forget about the last needle even if it was months before. He is too young to recall that some clinic visits have only been for his vitamins, droplets, and weighing and not the injection. Once we are inside the clinic and he meets the other children, he relaxes a little and plays with them. Like me, he also loves the nurses and is always talking to them even when they are busy with other children and are not quite ready yet to pay attention to him. When it is his turn to get checked, he gets nervous and the nurses always have to pretend to check me first so he may relax and be comfortable, then he will get checked with no fussing since he saw that it didn’t hurt his Mama when the nurse checked her. I really appreciate the nurses!
The responsibilities of being a parent never end. Some parents don’t take the responsibility of children’s check-ups seriously because of their lack of knowledge and understanding. All health care workers are there for us and are willing to help guide us with our children. Taking our children for every check-up is very important for the wellbeing of our children.
South Africa’s Department of Health has a lot of useful information about immunisations for children: www.health.gov.za/index.php/component/phocadownload/category/165
About the Blogger…
Puseletso Vikwane is a first time mother to a 2 year old baby boy Kaboentle, an aunt to a 2-year-6-month old baby girl, and an older sister to a teenager. She is writing about children because she is passionate about the young and their development. She is also blogging for us because she and her son are big fans of Takalani Sesame. Every time the Muppets sing and dance, Kaboentle gets very excited and stands to sing and dance along with them. Kaboentle is intrigued by the loud, colourful characters. Puseletso briefly studied psychology and has taken time off. She plans to become a qualified child psychologist with a PhD, working with mentally challenged and physically disabled children.
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