Toilet Training Advice!

Submitted by Doctors on Sat, 03/09/2013 - 18:53
Children toilet train at a variety of different ages and may be ready to train at different stages.  Some train before 2 years  of age others aren't ready until shortly before school starts.  Don't feel pressured by friends and relatives because they say that  their child trained at 15 months!  Here are some tips for toilet training that I have developed over the years:
  • Make sure your child seems ready and willing.  If he or she isnt ready, is fearful or resistant it won't go well .   
  • Off bottles please. We want your child to see him/herself as a big boy/girl who does big boy/girl things like toilet training.
  • Keep things soft !  If the bowels are hard and infrequent or painful your child will tend to hold and resist.  Why should he/she  willingly sit, strain and work hard anyway!!   Prepare your child ahead of time by having him/her on a diet that promotes soft, frequent and somewhat urgent or explosive stools.  It will increase your chance of "getting lucky' when he/ she sits. 
  • Frequently ask your child if  he or she wants to sit .  Don't just wait for your child to ask to go   Try to recognize his or her signals  and get him or her there when he or she seems ready.  Remember if he or she says no at the time its okay!
  • He or she is the boss - you are the helper.  If he / she doesnt want to go its ok!   You can  take, recommend and advise but your child has to decide whether or not to actually go. 
  • Use room changes.   If your child is busy playing or otherwise occupied he / she may not want to sit at that time.  But when he or she is changing rooms - going upstairs , going from the kitchen to the den, going inside or outside  he or she is likely passing a washroom at that time and isnt already busy, its a good time to suggest he or she sits then toilets, toilet seat inserts, potties are all ok and what is best is where your child feels most comfortable.  
  • Trying things  out before attempting toilet training is often helpful.  Some children find "facing backwards" on the toilet may feel more supportive.   
  • Boys should start toilet training by sitting  on the toilet for both urine and bowel movements, by sitting for pee it will increase his chance of "getting lucky" and having a bowel movement as well during training.
  • I believe that the diaper should continue  be worn instead of underwear  until he or she is toilet trained for both bowel and bladder.  Some children start wearing underwear when they are trained for urine only, this often leads to withholding stools  and severe constipation which is difficult to treat.   The underwear is an excellent incentive for the child to become a big boy or girl  and receive underwear  only when he or she is trained both ways.
  • Have your child toilet after a sibling or parent -  "now it's your turn"  may help if things dont go well consider putting away the toilet training for a while and try again when your child is more willing or ready.    

Travel advice

Submitted by Doctors on Sun, 03/03/2013 - 19:24

Those of you who are going away may consider the following important travel recommendations:

Make sure your regular vaccinations are up to date including flu shots  during influenza season.

Additional vaccines for travel may include Hepatitis A and or B,   Dukoral for travellers diarrhea, Typhoid vaccine and Yellow Fever vaccine.   We can help advise you.  

For areas such as Southeast Asia,  Indian subcontinent,  Africa, South America  and Domenican Republic Malaria prevention may be needed.  Please book an apppointment for travel advise. 

Insect precautions are often important and  include repellants to apply during typical insect biting periods such as dawn and dusk and clothing such as hats, sleeves, long pants and socks to make  less  available surface area to get bitten.

While many resorts have advanced water filtration and purfication systems it is still important to consider that foods may be washed with non purified water.  A good thing to remember are safer foods may be those that are Cooked, Boiled or Peeled.

For severe diarrehea and vomiting, infants and younger children should travel with an Oral Rehydration Solution available in powdered forms such as Pediatric Electrolyte Solution or Gastrolyte available in most pharmacies.  

Take Tylenol/Tempra or Advil / Motrin for fever reduction, headaches etc.    Take a good first aid kit with bandaids, topical antibiotic cream.   

Bring all of your  usual medicines including asthma medicines, allergy medicines and make sure that you have enough supply of all of your medicine that you are supposed to take daily , make sure that they have not expired and that puffers for asthma are full and able to be used. 

Take Sunscreen and sun protective clothing.  Young infants under 6 months  should not use sunscreen and should be shaded from the sun.

A good website for travellers health listing most destinations is:

For further travel information, vaccination and prescriptions please book an appointment in our office and indicate that your visit is for travel advice.

Bad night time cough? Try Honey!

Submitted by Doctors on Sun, 02/17/2013 - 07:54
A recent study showed significant improvements in children greater than 1  year of age when given 10gm of  honey 30 minutes before bed.  Positive effects were seen related  to cough frequency, bothersomeness of the cough , parent's sleep, cough severity, and childs sleep. Effects were attributed to potential antioxidant properties of honey.    Cough and cold preparations are discouraged for children due to potential harmful side effects as well as lack of efficacy.   It is nice that something simple without harmful effects can help night time cough.   It's important to note that not all coughs can be treated this way and if your childs cough is unusually severe, associated with irritability,  wheezing, shortness of breath or fever  than your child should be properly checked.     

Health issues website for just for kids!

Submitted by Doctors on Sat, 02/16/2013 - 18:02
Check out this website developed by Sick Kids .  It is "just for kids" and has many health related topics that they will find fun and easy to navigate.