Posted in Blog posts, Press releases

Share your child’s drawings with BIC SA to win a BIC Stationery hamper.

There have been multiple studies conducted to show that creativity and well-being are positively linked, and for children in particular, that art and creativity help their development in various ways .

The team at BIC Stationery recently chatted to Psychologist Bernice Castle to gain some insights on this. She shared the following thoughts:

– Art can be a powerful tool among children and adults alike. If children engage in hands-on art activities, they learn much better in all disciplines.

– Art helps children apply their gross and fine motor skills to something meaningful and tap into their problem-solving skills through visual cognitive responses.

– Art has been proven to stimulate imagination, improve observation skills, boost self-esteem, provide a sense of accomplishment and reduce stress.

– Art creates opportunities for them to communicate how they see and experience the world and allows them to give expression to their feelings about the situations they encounter in their daily lives.

BIC provides numerous FREE RESOURCES for parents and educators to spark creativity and inspiration, the most recent of which is a series of weekly tutorials available at www.facebook.com/BICSA.

Parents are encouraged to share their child’s drawings on the BIC SA facebook page between now and 22 November for a chance to win a BIC Stationery hamper.

Many more resources are available at https://bickids.com/en

Posted in Blog posts

Chicco gel pack doudou

Hamish loved his little sleepytime blanket as a baby and recently I was looking for one as a great baby shower gift for a new mom.

I came across this adorable gel pack doudou which has 4 characters – the giraffe, bear, croc and fox.

These cute little characters help to comfort your baby naturally and you can heat it in the microwave or cool in freezer.

They contain a non toxic gel and as well as letting your little one snuggle with their plush new friend, they can also be used for:

  • Insect bites
  • Fever
  • Stomach ache
  • Relieving the soreness from sunbathing

Whilst the doudou wont cure the ailment it will bring a degree of calmness and comfort.

The plush doudou can is made from luxury plush in Belgium, which is the Nattou standard.
They are for sale at Takealot and are R249.
Posted in Blog posts, Press releases

Child Growth Awareness How an app can help you monitor child’s growth

How an app can help you monitor child’s growth

On the 20th September 2020, organisations united globally to promote the educational initiative of International Children’s Growth Awareness[1].

The goal is to share and support the key message of the campaign in order to inform parents about the importance of annual and regular growth checks for their children1.

Children’s Growth Awareness Week was also commemorated in September between 13 – 19 September, 2020

Growth hormone deficiency

The growth of a child is a significant indication of the child’s health and irregular growth can be an early warning sign of medical problems.1

These kinds of medical problems first show themselves in a child’s irregular growth pattern.

1 Growth hormone deficiency has been identified in about 1 in every 3,800 children.2
Therefore, it is important for parents to understand the significance of regularly checking their child’s growth development. This can be done during visits to your healthcare practitioner.

For additional support and tracking, an easy to download growth app was launched this September 2020, in order to help parents to easily track their child’s growth.

“Growth is one of the fundamental differences between child and adult health care. Physical growth is an indicator and predictor of both present and future health. Among the numerous measures of growth, height and weight are perhaps the most important measures in childhood. While weight may change in adult life, height changes from conception to shortly after the end of puberty.” Says Dr Kuben Pillay, a Paediatric Endocrinologist from Durban.

Human growth hormone is a chemical messenger that is vital for normal growth and development.3Growth hormone is responsible for making us grow and in our bodies, growth hormone is produced naturally.
When a child is diagnosed as growth hormone deficient, it means his or her pituitary gland is not producing enough growth hormone.4 This could be due to hereditary or genetic conditions. Without enough growth hormone, a child does not grow the way he or she should, to reach his genetic potential or height and to attain well-being.
According to Dr Pillay “Changes in patterns of growth may occur during any of 3 different growth phases through childhood and may be due to numerous different causes.

These phases are the period between conception and the end of the first year of life (the infant phase), from approximately 1 year of age until the start of puberty (child phase) and between the start and end of puberty.

There are different causes that may change growth in these phases and thus, the timing of the change in growth may offer important clues to the underlying cause. For example, nutrition both in the womb and after delivery may result in changes in patterns of growth during the infant phase.

Congenital abnormalities (particularly bone abnormalities) and genetic disorders may also be causes.

During the child phase many more possibilities may influence growth including genetic disorders (e.g. Turner syndrome), severe chronic disease (heart disease, severe asthma, kidney, etc.), severe malnutrition and hormonal disorders. Growth in puberty is due to effects of the hormones of puberty viz. testosterone in boys and oestrogen in girls.”

How to measure growth and treat a possible growth hormone deficiency

· The typical growth of a child, which would be considered normal, is as follows:4
· From birth, infants grow about 20 cm in the first year of life
· From 1 to 2 years of age, babies and toddlers grow about 10 to 13 cm
· From 2 to 3 years of age, toddlers grow at a rate of about 7.5 to 10 cm
· From age 3 years to puberty, growth is stable at around 5 to 6 cm per year until puberty
Most of a child’s growth occurs before puberty, but the pubertal growth spurt accounts for more than 20% of adult height.4
When puberty occurs, there is a fast phase of growth.

With this guide, parents can easily notice whether their child reaches the growth requirements.

If, however, your child does not meet the growth requirements, he or she might need to consult with a healthcare professional, undergo tests and possibly undergo growth hormone therapy.

Growth hormones are also vital for the healthy development of essentially all tissues in the body, including muscle and bone.3 It is important that children who are growth hormone deficient are diagnosed and treated as early as possible in order to aid their bones in growing and developing at a normal pace.

Children with severe growth hormone deficiency show increased body fat, subnormal bone mineral density, and reduced lean body mass and could potentially develop lipid abnormalities.5 Once a child is tested for growth hormone deficiency related disorders such as short stature, a methodical approach is necessary.6 An evaluation of growth failure is needed and if there is no evidence suggesting growth hormone deficiency, then other tests are done.

If there are abnormalities suggesting growth hormone deficiency, then growth hormone stimulation tests and an MRI of the brain could be suggested.6
If a child does not undergo treatment once diagnosed with growth deficiency, he or she might not attain a normal height etc., when becoming an adult.7 Once a child is on a treatment plan, strict adherence is important to achieve the maximal benefits of growth hormone therapy.

Early initiation of growth hormone treatment in children with isolated growth hormone deficiency improves their chance of achieving their genetic height potential.8 Once a diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency has been made, it is recommended that treatment with GH is initiated as soon as possible.8

The first year is a crucial indicator.8Children who are on hormone treatment typically grow more over the first year of treatment, and further over the next 2 years.9

“Growth hormone continues to play an important metabolic role in adulthood long after the completion of linear growth, so growth hormone may become a lifelong therapy for children with childhood growth hormone deficiency whose condition persists into adulthood,” says Professor Thandrayen, Paediatric Endocrinologist at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

If effective, therapy should be continued for as long as there is a clinical benefit (defined as ongoing catch-up growth or maintenance of a normal growth velocity).5

The Growth Journey App

To aid parents in checking their children’s growth, Novo Nordisk has launched an app for growth monitoring in September 2020 called the Growth Journey App.

The Growth Journey App is a free growth tracking app that uses a phone’s camera to help you track a child’s growth regularly.10

Parents can easily track their child’s growth as the app automatically measures a child’s height and records it in the growth book with a visual record of all the measurements. It also shows the child’s growth over time and compares it to those of other children in his or her age group.

The aim for the launch of this app is to enhance awareness regarding growth and short stature, remove obstacles for diagnosis and support early referral to specialists, enhance compliance on treatment and loyalty for existing patients and to establish initial screening of patients.

This innovative digital solution is intended to provide simplicity and empower parents to take their children’s growth journey in their hands.

The app is available on Play Store on Android and iPhone at no cost to download.

It is important for parents to know what their child’s growth rate is and what it should be at any age.

If a child is not growing as he or she should, it could be the first sign of a possible medical condition.1

Parents should consult with their doctor for more details. It is impossible to manage what cannot be measured; therefore, it is crucial that children are measured frequently.7 This is especially important when children visit their health care providers and parents can now also monitor their child’s growth through the Growth Journey App.

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company that helps people with diabetes, obesity, haemophilia, growth disorders and other serious chronic disorders.

Novo Nordisk is headquartered in Denmark, and the South African affiliate was established in 1959 and currently employs 135 people who work within the South African borders only.

References:
1. International Society of Endocrinology. 2019. 20th September – the International Children’s Growth Awareness Day. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.isendo.org/20th-september-the-international-childrens-growth-awareness-day/ [Accessed 1 September 2020].
2. You & Your Hormones. 2019. Childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.yourhormones.info/endocrine-conditions/childhood-onset-growth-hormone-deficiency/ [Accessed 1 September 2020].
3. Utiger RD. Growth Hormone.Encyclopaedia Britannica; April 2018.https://www.britannica.com/science/growth-hormone. Accessed 21 August 2020.
4. Rosenbloom AL. Physiology of growth. Ann Nestlé [Engl] 2007;65:97-108.
5. Segal D, on behalf of the Paediatric and Adolescent Endocrine and Diabetes Society of South Africa. Guideline for using growth hormone in paediatric patients in South Africa: Treatment of growth hormone deficiency and other growth disorders. SAMJ 2009; 99:185-195. http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/3228/2295[Accessed 1 September 2020]
6. Laboratory approach to disorders of Growth Hormone secretion. Dr S Mahabeer. 2018. Page 1. Lancet Laboratories.
7. Cedars-Sinai. 2020. Growth Hormone Deficiency in Children. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions—pediatrics/g/growth-hormone-deficiency-in-children.html [Accessed 1 September 2020].
8. NCBI. Early growth hormone treatment start in childhood growth hormone deficiency improves near adult height: analysis from NordiNet® International Outcome Study. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5633042/ [Accessed 1 September 2020]
9. Growth Hormone Therapy. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/growth-disorders/growth-hormone-therapy [Accessed 1 September 2020].
10. https://www.novonordisk.co.in/patients/growth-journey-.html/ [Accessed 1 September 2020]

Posted in Blog posts, Press releases

Playstation by Rush :- a no-fuss adventure filled party venue

Party time for your kids – hands free

If you have a child’s birthday approaching and are finding the prospect of organising it and the ‘to do’ list too overwhelming, there are loads of child-friendly venues that host kiddies parties.

One of the newest on the block in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs is Playstation by Rush – an indoor adventure park for children aged 2 to 13.

Playstation has a dedicated event organiser and also allocates a party host to make sure things run smoothly and the kids have the best time.

Fuss-free fun

Playstation has two private party rooms that can accommodate from 5 (minimum) to 20.

It’s about more than just good food, cake and fun. It’s about family and friends sharing special moments without having the worry of organising the party!

It’s simply a case of showing up and enjoying the occasion.

There are three party plan options, either catered or self-catered.

This includes two hours of play, party packs for the little guests and a gift for the guest of honour.

The team sort out everything from the setup to the fun and catering. And of course they clean up afterward. No mess, no fuss, for you!

Entertainment galore

And to keep the kiddies busy there is loads of action and something for everyone.

The adventure maze is a world of challenging levels, swing bridges and lots of nooks and crannies.

There’s a 4m climbing wall and a 40m bike track – you can bring your child’s own bike or borrow one from the park so they can race around and try to beat the clock.

For younger children there’s the little kids’ city and mini-slides. But one of the highlights, which even adults enjoy, are the super 6m long slides, definitely for the brave hearted!

For more information on the party plan options available from Playstation go to www.playstation.rushsa.co.za

Posted in guest blogs

Things to discuss with your children before getting a pet dog by Bev Wood from Through Bev’s Eyes

I recently read about my nephews new puppy that they found and I asked my sister, Through Bev’s Eyes,to write a short piece about the boy’s experience and the things we, as parents need to discuss with our children before getting a pet dog.

A family who loves pets

I feel that the balance of a happy home consists of the love between children and pets and because of this there have always been a wide assortment of pets in our home.

We also always have a stray or sick animal, that the boys may have found along their travels, housed in our home.

My youngest two sons, who are fourteen and twelve, have developed such a special bond and love for any animal.

Their dreams and goals as they grow older is to rescue, help and work with animals together .I must say this is very heart warming for me as a mother to see and hear as I share their love of nature.

A dog is found

A few weeks ago my sons were on an adventure walk and found a lost puppy on the train tracks. The poor little dog was so scared and starving. Naturally, their first instinct was to bring the dog home .

Thinking it a stray and knowing this mom also has a soft heart for animals,they knew I would allow it to stay.

In the week that followed they took the full responsibility to look after and walk the dog daily.

On one of the walks the neighbour of the lost dog noticed the dog and took the dog to it’s owner. The kids came home with broken hearts .

They had lost a fur friend .

But no good deed goes unpunished

Seeing them be as responsible as they were, I have agreed to get them a puppy.

The only condition is that they are fully responsible for the dog.

So many adults and children want pets, get them and a few weeks later are bored or irritated with their new pets.

These pets then lands up as the parents responsibility or are given to new homes or animal shelters.

I am sure most parents will agree that at 12 and 14 these boys are now big enough to take full responsibility for any wors they want.

But pets are a huge responsibility

As a family we have discussed that puppies are a huge responsibity and they cost money, also not forgetting all the responsibility and routines that go with having a new puppy.

Here is a list of topics we discussed and I had them think about :

  • Where the pet is going to sleep and stay once it arrives .
  • Is the garden area is safe
  • When the pet is let out where will it sleep
  • and what items are needed for the pet to sleep ….remembering it must have it’s own bed not theirs .
  • Meals : pets require curtain foods and how many meals they need to have per day and the sizes of each portion rembering the wet to the dry .
  • Excersise: all pets need to be active, so they need to play with the pet and have scheduled times to walk the pet in a safe environment .
  • Training : this includes toys for the pet so they don’t chew up everything in the house
  • Hygiene : extra sanitizing especially now with covid
  • Cleaning:how to remove the pet mess and where to dump it once picked up. Also how to keep the animal clean.

The cost of a pet

As I really want to emphasize the cost of a pet and I was impressed when both boys declared that their aim is continue to do odd jobs for our friendly neighbours to earn pocket money to look after their new fur friend.

We have since found a new puppy to join our family and the boys have just three more weeks until they meet their special new friend.

They are so excited and the hours just aren’t going fast enough .

Beverly Wood is the mom of 4 sons, animal lover and coffee addict currently living in Durban and enjoying the ups and downs of being a #boymom

Posted in Blog posts, Crafts

4 ways to play with your cereal box

Whilst shopping this weekend we treated Hamish to one of his favourite Kellogs froot loop cereals.

Thanks to consumerism we can now buy these boxes with baby shark or a gorgeous mermaid at twice the price.

None the less I love that these cereal boxes often contain kids activities so that the card of the box can be reused.

Last weekend we had a baby shark themed box and made some fun baby shark puppets

and this week there was a lovely mermaid paper doll on the back.

After cutting out the printed mermaid , I looked at how else we could use our cereal box to encourage learning through play.

Here are the ways in which we used our cereal box to play.

1. Make a puzzle

We cut the front image panel off of the cereal box and cut it into a puzzle.

This is especially great for younger kids to practice building their own puzzles.

You can start with 2 pieces and work your way up to your childs puzzle building ability.

2. Letter hunt

We are currently learning letters and to read so it was great fun to have Hamish search for specific letters on the box.

You could do the same with words or shapes.

Or ask your child to find curvy letters, letters with tails, letters with straight lines.

See who can find the letters of their name the fastest, etc.

3. Eye spy

This age old game can be played only using the cereal box image.

For younger children try eye spy a colour or a shape instead of the letter of a word.

4. Cut and create

Give your children scissors, glue and paper. Let them cut out the box and create a new picture onto the paper.

Most importantly, have fun.

Posted in Blog posts

My 4 year old’s bathroom essentials list

I shared this morning how Hamish is turning 4 years old in 4 days time.

As his mom I couldn’t be prouder of the little boy he is growing into but at the same time I wish I had a magic wand to keep him little forever.

With him growing comes a new found confidence and the development of his personality. He no longer only likes what we like for him but has interests and likes/ dislikes of his own.

Fostering independence

Knowing this we often give him choices as to what we buy for him, what he eats and what products he uses.

When we go shopping he has a large input into the type of products he wants to use. ( Granted many are influenced by a certain favourite tv show)

Fostering a sense of independance, value and respect is important as is teaching a child to make decisions and consider options .

Bathroom essentials ….

Here is his list of must have items :

🧼 Paw patrol towel from The character group
🧼 The crazy store bath fuzzy sponge
🧼 Aquafresh kids toothpaste
🧼 Dischem_pharmacies dinosaur toothbrush with cover
🧼 Sanex kids body wash
🧼 Organics kids shampoo
🧼 Paw patrol bubblebath from Clicks

What are your kids must have bathroom essentials ?

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored

Posted in Blog posts, Brands we love

Meet the brand – la Donne Spa

Two years ago I was privileged to virtually meet Donna through a business networking opportunity.

Two things stood out …. her passion and her kindness.

Today on the meet your brand series meet Donna from LA_DONNE_SPA

Tell us a bit about your brand

My Story
After developing an interest in beauty at a young age I studied Beauty Therapy at Thalia Shaer International, I have been part of the industry since 2000 when I obtained my SAAHSP (national diploma) and CIDESCO (international diploma)
Having had my 1st beauty salon at 21yrs old, to then doing treatments/ massaging in my spare time while branching into the corporate world (which is not for me lol )……
La Donne opened 3 May 2014 and has just kept growing and growing from strength to strength…introducing amazing products and treatments. Making special bond’s with peoe I meet. In this career, you never stop learning new things so you need to be ambitious in your learning.”

What was your inspiration to start your business.

At first when I was younger lol it was the ‘Beauty’ behind it all. Getting to do nails, massaging, make up, skin care.. How fun right? :).. But as time went on yes those things I still loved but it was the interaction with people.

Their need to be heard, Their stories, Their heartache, Their dreams, Their up and downs. I connect with people on another level making them feel comfortable to trust me.

Making a Safe Space for them to let go. Beauty “THERAPY” in a whole new light. I have a passion to help people.

What is your vision/ mission with your brand

MY vision in starting LA DONNE SPA was to offer a service to my clients that not only exceeded excellence in the treatments they receive and the ambiance; But in a way that everyone can be pampered.
Creating a Safe Haven for all, uplifting others, helping them to see their worth and gifts.
There is a another whole new concept/ VISION that I have that is in motion but can’t talk about it just yet. It’s a secret for now but trust me it is going to be AMAZING. World changing.

What is your favourite product in your range and why?

Definitely massage..
From Indian Head Masaage, Reflexology, Full Body Massage to concentrating on problematic areas.
It’s in the touch, I feel what energies the person is giving off, and what ‘state’ the muscles are in and from this I know how and where to heal.

Tell us a bit about yourself- the person behind the brand.

I am a divorced single Mom to my wonderful son Tristan who will be 12 on the 30 June 2020. He is my life, my world and one of my reasons for pushing through daily on making my dreams/goals come true.
He is an empath like me. We have such a deep love for ALL ANIMALS and such empathy for humans/souls.

I like to try make at least 1 person smile a day 😁. I love Italian food, I love social gatherings with family and friends (thanks to Covid-19 not happening right now lol)
Me time: day spent in pj’s reading a good book or watching movies. Off social media.
I enjoy taking my husky on her walks or should I say she enjoys walking me.
I have just done an online course and have been Certified in Pedeology and Skin Science.
Busy with another online course for helping me grow.

What is your favourite quote

“When love, skill and passion work together expect a Divine experience” ..DJ

What message would you give a brand just starting out.

I would say follow your passion; dream it, live it, become it.. The more you focus on the ‘good’ the ‘positive’ the more it will just flow and fall into place. Trust the process.
You will have days where you feel like you have failed, it’s okay. Feel it deal with that emotion.
The next day get back up, dust yourself off and ‘Slay the Day’. You have got this.

Posted in Blog posts, Press releases

Breathe new life into your home theatre with Denon AVR-X3600H – available through Homemation

We are spending more time at home than ever before and home theatres have taken centre stage.

A home theatre system isn’t complete without an AVR (AV Receiver). The AVR is the hub of your system as it controls and drives your home theatre experience. Your AVR seamlessly runs a host of tasks enhancing the experience for you.

Denon, available exclusively through the Homemation network, has over 100 years of research and development behind them and many more ahead!

This premium brand is constantly innovating and comes highly recommended. If looking for a high-power theatre immersion, the new Denon AVR-X3600H is the solution.

Reasons to upgrade to a new Denon AVR-X3600H:

  • Upgrade to blockbusting 3D sound. Sound moves over you in three dimensions: placing you at the centre of the action.
  • Immerse yourself in multi-dimensional audio with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS Virtual: X and IMAX Enhanced.
  • Stream your favourite music from anywhere and everywhere around your home with HEOS Built-in technology, for music in every room.
  • Upgrade your picture. With up to 8 HDMI inputs, the Denon AVR can handle all your digital video sources, from satellite and cable receivers to computers and game systems. It is geared up for 4K Ultra HD, giving you more detail, better colour rendering and improved contrast. The newest TV standards are handled by the advanced video processing to bring you even more of the picture, for a much more involving experience.
  • Upgrade your experience as it is easy to setup and use. You will be in complete control: the Denon AVR-X3600H works with the latest voice assistants like the lovely Alexa.

The Denon AVR’s also offer Audyssey Room correction to help you get the best setup and calibration of your system.

AVRs perform a host of essential functions, including decoding your DVD’s surround sound formats, driving your loudspeakers, and switching between audio and video components.

If you want high-quality surround sound, you need a Denon AVR.

Retails for : R 29 990

Homemation is a specialist supplier of premium branded audiovisual, home automation and home theatre products. The brands in their stable offer some of the most advanced and sought-after home automation, AV and sound technology in the world. Homemation has the exclusive distribution, in Africa, of global leading brands such as Control4, Definitive Technology, Denon, Heos, Klipsch, Monitor Audio, Polk Audio, Steinway Lyngdorf, Stewart Filmscreen, SVS, Lutron, Roksan and Michi.

Call Homemation on 011-781 8887 for your nearest reseller, or visit www.homemation.co.za or www.control4.co.za

Posted in Blog posts

The double rainbow

Yesterday, after the worst day ever, I sat editing some of the images I had taken during the day.One of the images looked like Hamish was running under a double rainbow.

Now, to me the rainbow is a sign of hope and I wondered what it meant to see two rainbows.

Double rainbow

According to The Mind Fool,
In a spiritual perspective, a double rainbow is all about new beginnings and transformation.I discovered that when a double rainbow appears in your life it is presenting you with an opportunity for growth, self- discovery, and evolution.Bringing a magical energy into your world, the energies of peace & prosperity, abundance, sacredness and success.

Extraordinary

There is something extraordinary about having a double rainbow appear in your life.Spiritually, the first rainbow represents the material world, physical reality or manifestation of some sort on the earth plane.On the other hand, the second rainbow is symbolic of spirit, another dimension of consciousness and a more subtle way of being.The two rainbows are the merging and balance of ‘Heaven and Earth;’ material and spiritual.

Ancient beliefs

We see this when we look at ancient systems and cultures.In Norse Mythology, the double rainbow is seen to represent heaven and earth; acting as a bridge between two worlds.In Eastern cultures too, the double rainbow is believed as a sign of good fortune, luck, and prosperity.

Conclusion

And so, I do believe it was a sign of hope.A sign of spiritual calming and of transformation as we adjust and settle to our new lifestyle.