13 September is the birthday of one of the world’s most famous children’s author – Roald Dahl. Celebrated every year since 2006, it’s a day for fun literacy-based activities! 1. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Charlie & The Chocolate Factory is probably the most well-known book by Roald Dahl. Have some edible fun inspired by Willy Wonka – make your own Wonka bar or lickable … Continue reading Let’s Celebrate: Roald Dahl Day
The ‘Great Mask Debate’ is upon us. Wearing, or not wearing, a mask is now a political statement. And all I want to do is shout JUST WEAR THE MASK! But I won’t, this post is dedicated to the people who claim that wearing a mask interferes with their perfect breathing systems. Today I am going to ‘teach’ you to know the signs of breathing difficulty. Because if you don’t wear the mask, you or a loved one may end up catching Covid19. And breathing difficulty is one of the more serious symptoms.
What do you know about breathing difficulty? You’re not a doctor!
Yup, I’m not a doctor. I’m not a medical profession of any sort and I would never claim to be. You should always seek medical advice when you have concerns, I’m just sharing a piece of critical information that I received over 7.5 years ago that could save a life.
7.5 years ago, baby W was born at 28 weeks gestation. He was resuscitated, intubated and incubated almost immediately. When it was time to take him home from the NICU, I had to do a crash course in baby first aid, on what was a laughably large baby CPR doll. What I learned came in handy as I soon discovered W had a penchant for rapid deterioration after catching a virus, resulting in breathing difficulties and many trips to A&E. He got a reputation for being my ‘poorly/sick’ child as he was extremely vulnerable to any viral infection.
Knowing the signs
Fast forward a few years to 2016, and we were sat in A&E again waiting for some bloods. W had picked up a virus when visiting my mum in hospital. After a few hours of observation we were sent home and my mum lost her battle with cancer 24 hours later. It had been less than 2 weeks since mum has passed away and B was inconsolable. He had been very attached to her and at 1 years old, didn’t really seem to understand that she wasn’t coming back.
He was a little warm, but it was summer. The thermometer showed a normal temperature. I checked for rashes and his skin was clear. He had been crying since morning and it was now bedtime. I wasn’t convinced he was just having a grumpy day.
Suddenly, I remembered the signs of breathing difficulty and I checked him over. Sure enough, he was struggling. I called the ambulance and while we waited he stopped breathing. It was terrifying, we jumped into the ambulance and he was blue lighted to the children’s hospital. He had pneumonia and was hospitalised for 3 days. They told me how lucky we were that I hadn’t waited until the morning, he probably wouldn’t have made it. But, I know that I wouldn’t have called the ambulance if I hadn’t checked for the signs of breathing difficulty. And I wouldn’t have checked for them if I didn’t know what they were.
Know the signs:
- Retractions: this was the major sign for me. I’ve included a video below to show exactly what it looks like. I can only describe as their skin being almost sucked in as they strain to get enough oxygen. You can clearly see the muscles around their ribs and neck working hard.
- Colour changes: while we were waiting for the ambulance B started looking blue around the month and his skin turned grey.
- Breathing rate: he was taking short rapid breaths, that had increased in frequency compared to normal breathing rate.
You can find more signs listed here.
Of course, I would prefer everybody wore a mask to help protect people like my children or my mum. As a result of W’s prematurity and B’s pneumonia, they both suffer a bit more with common viruses than other children their age. We were on first name basis with most of the staff at our local A&E, and they’ve been put on oxygen more times than I can count. Pneumonia is one of the most serious side effects of Covid19, which is why I wanted to share our experience with you today. I hope you find the information above and below useful. Stay safe!
Learn First Aid for Babies and Children with the British Red Cross.
This educational video showing respiratory distress in an infant.
NHS 111, if you have any concerns about somebody aged 5 or older.Continue reading “Know the signs of breathing difficulty”
You’re probably wondering why I’m giving you 10 reasons not to have a child. I have two. That’s exactly why I’m qualified to tell you 10 reasons NOT to have a child! Your bank account will thank you Child-free holidays Life is a series of never-ending questions They need constant entertaining You can be the cool aunt/uncle You need to feed them, everyday They’re not … Continue reading 10 Reasons Not To Have A Child
I love writing lists. We ticked a few things off W’s ‘Starting School Bucket List’ back in 2017! After 3 years of home education, international nursery settings and flexischooling the boys will be attending a bilingual (Arabic/French) school from September! Coupled with nearly four months stuck inside as part of Morocco’s coronavirus lockdown measures. I thought a Summer 2020 bucket list would be a great … Continue reading Bucket List: Summer 2020
You’re probably asking yourself “Are there really 20 reasons to home educate?” and my answer to you is no, there are more! Home Education was on my radar since I was a teen, I was determined to home educate my future children. Unfortunately, life didn’t turn out as I expected. Being a single parent I felt forced to put W into primary school which was … Continue reading 20 reasons to home educate your kids (and 5 reasons not to)
I don’t know about you, but my brain has turned to mush over lockdown. With Covid19 not looking to go anywhere and any international travel plans having to be postponed, I’m looking at a staycation and simple activities to keep the children busy. These 5 summer learning activities do just that and as each focuses on a different area of learning, you don’t need to … Continue reading 5 Summer Learning Activities for Children
I wrote a book! I can’t stop saying that. It might only be a short ebook aimed at parents to read to their children BUT I wrote it. Little Londoners started as a way to show people there’s more to life in London than concrete and commuters. In the last 2 years we have been evolving into something else, expedited by our move to Marrakech. … Continue reading I wrote a book!
Parenting a sensitive child is no easy feat, trust me. I have one… it can be frustrating, so here are 7 strategies for parenting a sensitive child. Continue reading 7 Strategies for Parenting a Sensitive Child
Respectability politics can negatively impact the parenting experience for Parents of African Descent or for Parents with Children of African Descent. Continue reading Respectability Politics aka The Lies We Tell Ourselves