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D U R B A N ’ S

b e s t

g u i d e

f o r

p a r e n t s

for the love of the game is competition taking the fun out of sport?

sticks & stones

the dangerous nature of starting rumours

be inspired

back to

a fresh batch of

baker’s day recipes



we’ve turned celebrate with us

top of

the class

how to be a good class rep

February 2014





Hunter House P U B L I S H I N G

welcome back

Publisher Lisa Mc Namara •

Editorial Managing Editor Marina Zietsman • Features Editor Cassandra Shaw •

I hope you feel rejuvenated after the holidays and are ready to tackle the New Year with gusto. For those of you with children going to big school for the first time, this is a watershed moment that I’m sure you’ll remember for years to come. But it’s a big deal no matter what grade your child is heading to, because education is so important. Have you chosen the right school for your child? Does he have too much on his plate? How do you plan to get involved in his school and in supporting him throughout the year? If we want our children to succeed and to achieve their full

Resource Editor Tamlyn Vincent • Editorial Assistant Lucille Kemp • Copy Editor Debbie Hathway

Art Designers Nikki-leigh Piper • Mariette Barkhuizen • Mark Vincer •

Advertising Lisa Mc Namara •

Client Relations Lisa Waterloo •


Nicolene Baldy •

Accounts Nicolene Baldy • Tel: 021 465 6093 • Fax: 021 462 2680

If you love the magazine you’ll love our website. Visit us at

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Durban’s Child magazine TM is published monthly by Hunter House Publishing, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. Office address: 1st Floor, MB House, 641 Peter Mokaba Road, Overport, 4091. Tel: 031 209 2200, fax: 031 207 3429, email: Annual subscriptions (for 11 issues) cost R165, including VAT and postage inside SA. Printed by Paarl Web. Copyright subsists in all work published in Durban’s Child magazine TM . We welcome submissions but retain the unrestricted right to change any received copy. We are under no obligation to return unsolicited copy. The magazine, or part thereof, may not be reproduced or adapted without the prior written permission of the publisher. We take care to ensure our articles, and other editorial content, are accurate and balanced, but cannot accept responsibility for loss, damage or inconvenience that may arise from reading them.

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potential, we need to be there for them every day. I hope you’ll find inspiration in Child magazine, and ways to grow a love of learning in your child. Have a wonderful Feb.

This issue marks our 10-year anniversary. Thanks for your support. It’s been truly rewarding to walk beside fellow parents. Here’s to the future – ours and yours.

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February 2014


contents february 2014

18 upfront


3 a note from lisa

7 upfront with paul Paul Kerton

6 over to you readers respond


cautions us against too much sun exposure, but warns us not to be too pedantic about it

9 pregnancy news – when to cut the cord delaying the cutting of

14 active for life pushing young children to excel in sport is not in their best interest. By Marc de Chazal

16 the buzz around caffeine should children consume even a tiny amount of caffeine? Vanessa Papas brings the facts

17 learning digitally Cassandra Shaw attended the Google in Education South Africa Summit and shares what she’s learnt

the cord can be beneficial for your newborn. By Lucille Kemp

10 best for baby – nursemaid’s elbow Anél Lewis explains what signs to look out for

12 dealing with difference Growth Hormone Deficiency can be successfully dealt with, says Glynis Horning

22 resource – baker’s day made easy get creative with these colourful ideas. Compiled by Simone Jeffery

18 it’s not “just a rumour” telling tales about others can be hurtful and dangerous, says Gary Koen

20 are you up to it? being a class rep is not always an easy task, but it can be rewarding, says Christina Castle

24 what’s on in february 30 finishing touch with a shock, Cassandra Shaw realises she’s turning into her mother

31 a good read for the whole family


classified ads

8 “game-boy back” Tamlyn Vincent

27 family marketplace

looks at the physical damage too much gaming can cause

29 let’s party

this month’s cover images are supplied by:


February 2014


Cape Town



St Mary’s School

St Mary’s School

Saheti School

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February 2014



over to you

a little miracle I would just like to let you know that I love Child magazine – from the advertisements, and all the information to the great articles. The photos you choose for your front covers are also always gorgeous. I would like to share our amazing story about my beautiful miracle grandchild. Her mom, Leanda, who has severe epilepsy, fell pregnant. Three doctors advised her to have an abortion, but she decided to have her baby and gave birth to a perfect little girl. It wasn’t an easy decision, but Seanna is going on four now and is as clever, bright and beautiful as can be. Charmaine Talbot

sun scare We’ve spent the December holidays in the Southern Cape, and I was really shocked to see the lack of “sun culture” many parents actually follow. Regardless of skin colour (I’m coloured myself), I’ve learnt that you don’t spend time in the sun during the hottest part of the day, and that you have to apply and reapply sunscreen regularly. Holiday-makers just don’t seem to take this advice seriously. Families that I’ve

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February 2014

Let us know what’s on your mind. Send your letters or comments to or PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010.

encountered on the beach with little children, early in the morning, will still be there late afternoon, tanned crimson, oblivious to the dangers of sunburn. It was especially the children that worried me. They would play in the shallow waters with mom, and on many occasions I did not see the re-application of sunscreen, even after having a rubdown with a towel. Am I the only sun paranoid person? Alana Hill Childmag says Ensuring that your child is protected against the negative effects of the sun is extremely important. See the link below. Check out and click on “7 skin types and the sun” for a more informative guide.

giving my marriage a second chance Thank you very much for the October 2013 issue of Child magazine, which carried a very insightful and informative article dealing with divorce (“divorce dilemma”

by Gary Koen). I had been contemplating divorce and after reading the article my mindset changed for the better. I am working towards a better family environment, not only for myself, but also for my children. The article provoked an open-minded thought process in me and gave me an angle that I had never thought to explore. I definitely agree that more often than not, when the fight starts between two parents, they do not have regard for, or tend to forget about, their children’s feelings. I was on that path and was burdening my children with my problems, instead of guiding them through life’s challenges. Thank you very much for the article. I am now more inclined to make it work than to break up. Anonymous subscribe to our newsletter and win Our wins have moved online. Please subscribe to our newsletter and enter our weekly competitions. To subscribe, visit

We reserve the right to edit and shorten submitted letters. The opinions reflected here are those of our readers and are not necessarily held by Hunter House Publishing.

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upfront with paul

factoring in the sun The sun can burn, cause skin damage and sometimes even embarrassment, but it also has its benefits. PAUL KERTON explains.



rowing up in England there was little chance of getting badly sunburnt or developing skin cancer, or even so much as a heat rash since the sun deigned to shine so infrequently, its influence was negligible. And boys never went out without their vests on. The other thing was that sunbeds, Mediterranean holidays, easyJet and multi-factor lotions and potions hadn’t been invented or exploited, or were limited to but a few. Not so in sunny South Africa where the sun is an intensely different story. The African sun has been burning holes in people’s skin since time began and it is wise to heed the health warnings, especially where our children are concerned; even on the cloudiest of days. One minor wardrobe malfunction when dressing your child, or lackluster concentration when lathering on sun cream can be very costly. Allow the sun’s laser rays to break through the factor 30 and you have a very grumpy, unhappy bunny on your hands – and rightly so.

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Saskia, Paul and Sabina

Once at Sun City for the Nedbank Golf Challenge I walked all day in 34°C, but while I’d covered my body I’d forgotten to put any x-factor protection on my feet. I wore those ridiculous sandals with paisleyesque swirls cut into the leather (don’t ask, biggest sartorial mistake of my life). Hours later, while everybody was jollying in the bar, I was covering my unbearably sore, bright pink paisley tattoos, stinging and itching like a thousand spider bites. It’s easy to forget the sun cream and think that once one layer has been applied

on the beach at 9am, there is no need to apply another coat until 9am the following morning. This is particularly serious when children are going on a playdate or a school trip; despite the best efforts of host parents and teachers, there is always one poor child who comes home lobster-like, minus a few layers of flesh. There is a limit to this protection though. You see children who are covered from head to toe in a white, thick paste as mom or dad’s over enthusiasm has run away with them. The body does need some sun

to penetrate the skin for a crucial dose of natural vitamin D. Lately the World Health Organization noted that the overprotective Western World has started developing rickets and backtracked slightly on its solar scaremongering, advocating that parents hold off applying cream for 10 minutes so that the child’s body can reap the benefits. An even tan remains a style badge of honour and makes everybody look good – like the clever lighting over the vegetable shelves in the grocery store; white teeth and the whites of the eyes look infinitely whiter, and the “healthy glow” is deemed very sexy. It wasn’t always as fashionable. In Victorian times the aristocracy looked down on people with tans as peasants and farm workers, while they camped in their ivory towers to preserve their pale, almost transparent skin, which was then deemed sexy. Me? I’m off to catch a few rays and fill up on vitamin D. Well, I am English and it is midday. Follow Paul on Twitter: @fabdad1

February 2014



“game-boy back” The long hours spent gaming are taking their toll on children’s

herever you go, you see them – restaurants, the doctor’s rooms, even on the couch at home. Children sitting hunched over some new gadget, or the latest console, pounding away as they fire little birds at laughing piggies. But the time children spend playing computer games is putting their bodies under strain. Liska Thom, a physiotherapist in Durban, says that children spend long hours in a stationary position, often with poor posture. This causes an imbalance between muscles, which can’t hold the joints in place. The soft tissue and joints strain, become inflamed and start to hurt. Over time, bones may also fuse in the incorrect position, causing curvature of the spine. Repeating actions when playing games doesn’t help either. Repetitive use of the same body part can result in an overuse or repetitive strain injury, says Joburg-based paediatric orthopaedic surgeon Dr Greg Firth. The resulting injuries have taken on names like “Game-boy back”, “Nintendonitis” and “Playstation thumb”.

damage done Repetitive strain injuries are a group of injuries caused by prolonged repetitive movement and are often found in fingers, hands, arms, shoulders and necks, says Cape Town chiropractor Dr Per Rehn. Carpal tunnel syndrome


February 2014

is a common example, where pressure on a nerve in the wrist causes numbness, pain or even loss of movement in the hand. Arm muscles can also be strained from using a computer mouse, thumbs from using Game Boys or phones, and upper and lower back muscles from poor posture. Look out for tenderness, pain or throbbing in muscles or joints. Other symptoms could include tingling, numbness, stiffness or weakness in the affected area. “The repetitive strain on the joints over time can be quite substantial,” notes Thom, adding that children are likely to carry these injuries with them into adulthood, when they will experience more chronic back, neck and shoulder problems. These problems are also becoming more common. The technology is readily available, and with cellphones and tablets, increasingly mobile. While more research needs to be done in South Africa, Rehn believes that these injuries will become more of a problem in the future.

time out You can’t pretend the technology isn’t there, says Rehn, but you can limit children’s gaming time and encourage them to sit properly, and play outside. If children are experiencing pain or discomfort, have them take a break, as problems should resolve if they stop playing, says Firth. If the pain doesn’t clear up, see a physiotherapist or doctor.

game plan • Encourage good posture when sitting at tables, desks or on the couch, ensuring backs are supported. • Get children to lie on their tummies and prop themselves up on their elbows while playing games. • Encourage regular breaks, exercise and stretching. • Stretch hands and fingers: – Make a fist, hold and release, pushing your fingers out. – Grip and release a soft ball several times with each hand. – Place your hand, palm down, on a table. Lift and drop fingers one at a time. • Stretch shoulders, neck and back: – Roll shoulders forwards, then backwards.  – Standing straight with legs slightly apart, stretch one arm up and overhead, while bending the spine sideways. Repeat with the other arm. – Slowly roll the neck from side to side, first with your neck tilted forward and then backward. For more stretches visit our website at childmag.

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bodies. TAMLYN VINCENT explores some solutions.

pregnancy news

when to cut the cord


During childbirth, delaying the clamping of the cord even for a minute can give the placenta more time to pass on its goodness to your premature baby. By LUCILLE KEMP defined

pregnant Alys Suter first came across the idea of delayed cord clamping while chatting to Sister Susan Lees, her antenatal class instructor. Lees, who has practiced as a midwife for over 18 years in hospitals and private birthing units, has seen the benefits of reverting back to a time when we interfered less with childbirth.

The WHO defines the process as follows, “In the womb, the baby’s blood flows through the umbilical cord to and from the baby, and the placenta brings oxygen and nutrition to the baby from the mother’s blood. If the umbilical cord is left unclamped for a short time after the birth, some of the blood from the placenta passes to the baby to increase the baby’s blood volume and help the flow of blood to the baby’s important organs, including the lungs.”


the latest on delaying The World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement in August 2012 saying, “For many years now, standard care during the delivery of the placenta has been to clamp the cord immediately at birth.” The WHO review looks at delaying cord clamping to allow more placental transfusion compared with immediate cord clamping. Lees sees delayed cord clamping as, “allowing a natural process when the doctor leaves the umbilical cord to pulsate for a couple of minutes, upon delivery, in order to supplement the iron levels of a premature baby. Midwives in private practice have been using this method for 15 years, though it’s not yet mainstream practice.” Alys’ son, Ethan, came almost two months premature, but had Alys had the time to create a birthing plan she says she would have elected to delay cord clamping. During her time with moms, Lees advises that they request a delay in cord clamping, when creating their birthing plan, if they so wish.

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life-giving cells low

The WHO has endorsed delayed cord clamping after reviewing studies with 738 babies born prematurely, between 24 and 36 weeks gestation, by caesarean section or vaginal birth. “Clamping the cord after a delay of at least 30 seconds and at the most 180 seconds, showed that fewer babies needed transfusions due to anaemia compared to those whose cords were clamped within a few seconds. Also, the risk of bleeding in the brain (intraventricular haemorrhage) and severe infection in the bowel (necrotizing enterocolitis) were reduced.”

Anaemia is a common condition in premature babies due to a decrease in the number of circulating red blood cells, containing haemoglobin, which carry oxygen to each cell of the body. This is where delayed cord clamping can be beneficial as, according to Lees, “premature babies can receive an extra 70ml to 100ml of blood”. One or more of the following signs may indicate that your baby has anaemia, so keep a lookout if you feel that something is amiss: • pale skin colour; • a fast rate of breathing or difficulty breathing when at rest; • decreased activity or too sleepy; • a high heart rate (tachycardia) when at rest; • tiredness with feeding or poor feeding habits; and • slow weight gain.

February 2014


best for baby

nursemaid’s elbow ANÉL LEWIS got a shock when she came home and found her child in pain. She tells us more about nursemaid’s elbow and how to handle it.


February 2014

When I replied that I had been at work and that my nanny had called me about the incident, he said he was sure that Conor had nursemaid’s elbow, a common injury seen in toddlers – especially children looked after by nannies or caregivers. He explained that a child’s elbow may become dislocated if their arms are yanked or

serious injury, the doctor agreed to send Conor for X-rays to see if there was a fracture or break. In retrospect, I wish I had trusted the doctor’s instincts. Conor had to endure several sets of X-rays, which caused excruciating pain, as the radiographer twisted and flexed his arm and wrist into different positions.

I understood that it could have happened while any of us were looking after him. pulled. I was horrified by the suggestion that Conor may not have fallen after all, but that his arm may have been injured by being pulled roughly. Had the person I trusted to look after my child possibly caused his injury, and then covered it up? As I didn’t want to rule out the possibility that he may have fallen and sustained a

While we were waiting for the results, an orthopeadic surgeon at Life Claremont Hospital in Cape Town, Dr Clive White, happened to walk past. He immediately asked me if I had done the “reduction manoeuvre” yet. “The what,” I asked? He then explained that as Conor’s arm was hanging limply by his side, and there was

no sign of swelling, it was likely that his elbow had been pulled out of joint. White then pulled Conor’s wrist and arm so that the elbow could “pop” back into place. It was over within seconds, and Conor did not appear to be in too much pain. In fact, by the time we had walked to my car outside the hospital, he was using his arm again. He had been given a painkiller when we arrived in the emergency room, but there was no need for follow-up medication.

the medical lowdown White explains that nursemaid’s elbow is a slip of the radial head, one of the bones in the elbow joint, under the ligament that holds it in place. “It is caused by a longitudinal pull on a straight arm – commonly a sharp tug.” It can occur in children from six months to six years of age, but is most common between the ages of two and three when the ligaments are still relatively loose, making it easier

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got the call at about 2pm. It was my nanny saying that Conor had fallen and injured his arm. I rushed home to find my 16-month old son pale and in pain. His left arm hung limply at his side and, although he was not crying, he was experiencing discomfort. My nanny explained that Conor had been playing with his cars when he fell down two steps, and landed on his arm. I was worried that he may have fractured his wrist or broken his arm. But as he wasn’t continuously crying and there was no sign of a bruise or swelling, my husband and I decided to wait until the morning before taking him to the doctor. Conor seemed fine, as long as we didn’t touch his arm. But the following morning he still refused to use his injured arm and screamed when I tried to move it to dress him. Time for the emergency room… The first thing the doctor on duty asked, when I explained about Conor’s tumble, was whether I had seen him fall.

other injuries to look out for

for the elbow to move out of place. The injury is also twice as likely to happen to girls than boys. If it’s happened once, there’s a 30% chance it will occur again in the same elbow.

signs, causes and treatment The most obvious sign is pseudoparalysis, when the child can’t use the arm, and it hangs limply by their side. This often terrifies parents, says White. There are usually no signs of swelling, warmth or bruising. A diagnosis is based on history and an examination of the arm to rule out the possibility of more serious injuries. While usually caused by a sharp tug or pull on the arm, it can also happen during a moment of fun. If you swing your child while holding their wrists or arms, the elbow could easily pop out of its socket. The injury can also occur during a fall, or when a child rolls over.

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The reduction, or replacement of the elbow in its socket, is done while your child is awake. “The pain is not severe enough to warrant an anaesthetic risk,” says White. The elbow may also occasionally slip back into place spontaneously. Surgery is only required in very rare cases when the arm does not pop back easily.

education as prevention Initially I was furious with my nanny for possibly injuring Conor. I was also reluctant to leave him in her care again. But, after reading more about the condition, I understood that it could have happened

while any of us were looking after him – when Craig was swinging Conor, or when I pulled him quickly to avoid a strong wave at the beach. Without having actually seen what happened, I could not say for sure who had been at fault. So, once I calmed down, I explained to my nanny that we all needed to be more cautious. Instead of yanking them by their arms or wrists, we had to lift up the children under their arms. As Conor is now at a greater risk of dislocating his elbow again, I made it very clear that we have to be extra careful with him.

Abusive head trauma or shaken baby syndrome is caused by dropping, throwing or shaking a child, or from hitting the child’s head. It can also be caused by unintentionally fast movement. The injury is most commonly seen in babies between the ages of three and eight months, but can occur in children as old as five years. It usually happens when frustrated caregivers or parents violently shake the child. The extreme movement causes the child’s brain to move in the skull, damaging nerves and blood vessels. It may cause brain damage or even death. Rough play and gentle falls should not cause this type of injury, but the golden rule is to never shake a baby or child. Also, throwing your child into the air may strain your child’s neck, especially if she is younger than six months. Rather lift your baby into the air, or bounce her gently on your knee with controlled movements.

February 2014


dealing with difference

a growing

problem Growth is a good indicator of children’s health, but some grow slower than others. When should you worry – and what can

aariq Meth was a small baby and sickly from the start, constantly fighting bronchitis. “Doctors at our local state hospital weren’t concerned and I kept expecting he’d grow,” sighs his mother, 37-year-old Joburg credit controller Nashieta Jacobs. “But at four he came to just above my knee – my niece, who’s a year younger, was taller.” Nashieta took Taariq to a GP, who confirmed that he was undersized. She was referred to various specialists and eventually a paediatric endocrinologist – a doctor specialising in children with growth and hormone problems. “She immediately ordered him into hospital for tests. It turns out my son had something called panhypopituitarism – his pituitary gland produced no hormones. He was


February 2014

put on thyroid hormone, steroids and daily growth hormone injections.” Today Taariq is a healthy 11 year old of normal height for his age. “I’m 1,56m and he’s almost as tall,” laughs Nashieta. He’s an active boy and in the top five of his class, academically. “It worries me that he came close to not being assessed early enough for treatment to be effective,” she says. “Moms need to be aware of the problem.”

finding a cause A growth problem can occur at any age and have any number of causes, from genetic (familial) to malnutrition, certain syndromes (Prader-Willi and Turner), skeletal disorders, head injuries, chronic medical conditions (kidney, heart, lung and intestinal diseases), magazine durban




serious illnesses (meningitis, encephalitis and brain tumours) and an underactive thyroid. “Most children don’t have a serious problem with growth and will eventually reach a height that’s similar to their parents,” says Dr Yasmeen Ganie, a paediatric endocrinologist at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban. But some have Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) and need treatment. GHD stems from problems with the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, and can be hard to diagnose as the gland produces Growth Hormone (GH) in spurts. “Testing is done only once other causes of poor growth have been excluded,” says Ganie. The endocrinologist conducts baseline tests followed by GH stimulation tests that may require the child to be hospitalised overnight. “The earlier GH treatment is begun, the closer to the child’s adult height potential they will achieve,” says Dr Michelle Carrihill, a paediatric endocrinologist at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town.

injecting hope GHD is treated with daily injections until the growth areas of the bones close. “In severe deficiency, treatment may continue into adulthood at a lower dose,” says Ganie. Parents are taught to give the shots, and once they’re older, the children themselves. “Taariq’s used injections; they’re not painful,” says Nelisha. A more frightening aspect can be cost, although Carrihill reports that it has become “relatively cheaper” in South Africa as the cost price to the patient has not increased relative to inflation. Cost depends on how much GH the child needs and how long they are on it. Only certain medical aid plans cover treatment.

GH was originally derived from the pituitary glands of autopsied bodies, but has been synthesised since 1985. Side effects are rare when it’s used as directed, but may include headaches, muscle and joint aches, slippage of hip bones and water retention. GH treatment may also expose diabetes, says Carrihill, and if the child is harbouring a GH-sensitive cancer, GH therapy could accelerate its growth. “Long-term surveillance for cancer is needed,” says Ganie. If diagnosis is made early enough and a child responds well, they can grow to their normal or near-normal adult height potential, say both doctors, but it’s important to have realistic expectations. GH can’t override genetic potential, and if both parents are short, the child will probably be short too. (To estimate their adult height, average your height and your partner’s, then add 7cm for a boy or subtract 7cm for a girl.) Results can be noticeable after just three months as growth is initially faster than normal, but it slows – though not to what it would have been without treatment. Three times more boys are presented for assessment of short stature than girls, although there’s no such ratio between genders with respect to the actual incidence of GH deficiency, Carrihill says. This statistic may reflect social bias, as parents of short boys are more likely to go for help. Although a slowing of growth can be noticed from around age two, it’s usually diagnosed when children start school and their height is compared to others their age, or at puberty when short boys can become self-conscious, or be teased or bullied. “That’s what I feared for Taariq,” says Nashieta. “Now he doesn’t have to worry.”

when to act All children need to be measured twice a year and their growth plotted on growth charts. Ask your GP about seeing a paediatrician or paediatric endocrinologist when your child: • is shorter than most others of the same age and the same gender; • has a face that looks younger than his peers, a chubby build and prominent forehead with small hands and feet; and/or • has delayed puberty (lack of breast development by 13 years in girls, lack of testicular enlargement by 14 in boys).

assessing the problem: They will: • ask about the heights of other family members; • ask about pregnancy, labour, delivery and postnatal complications; • consider the child’s weight and height measurements since birth; • ask about their general health and nutrition, past illnesses, injuries and stresses; • do a thorough physical examination; • X-ray a hand and wrist to check bone development against their height and age; • take blood to test for thyroid hormone deficiency and kidney, bone, or gastrointestinal diseases; and • possibly do an MRI of the head to check the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. If results suggest a growth problem, your child will be tested for GHD. For more information contact the Society for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes of SA (SEMDSA): 011 202 0516 or visit

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February 2014



active for life Pushing our children into competitive sport, at a young age, may not be in their best interests. MARC DE CHAZAL explains.

fear factor Children lose interest in sport because of fear, says sport psychologist Clinton Gahwiler. “They either fear failure or they fear


February 2014

success, which can result in less enjoyment from sport and also various performance issues,” he says. “Unfortunately, the way we perceive success and achievement in society teaches children to link their sense of self-worth to other people.” Overly zealous parents and teachers are largely to blame for this pressure. “Many parents are far too wrapped up in their children’s sporting success and young children are ill-equipped to deal with the pressure,” says Keegan. “That’s

unhealthy, but it’s a small thing compared to our children’s loss of the joy of just playing a game and the delight of running, jumping and hitting things. Competitive sport in primary school robs children of playing for the sake of playing. If children are conditioned to believe that the ‘real’ reason for fitness and athletic skills is to win something, then why would anyone but the winners want to be fit or athletic?” If a child is playing two to three hours of specialised sport at a young age, there

Children in early primary school don’t have the skills or the fitness to cope with highly competitive sport.

is a good chance they will suffer overuse injuries. But the real problem, according to Noakes, is that parents are pushing their children to achieve through them. “You don’t find many Springboks forcing their children to play a particular sport,” he says. “It’s usually the father who never made it. And any school trying to discover the next Naas Botha at the age of six is doing it all wrong. The children who are heralded as future Springboks at the age of 13 hardly ever make it to the top.”

break a leg The psychological and emotional impact of pushing children into competitive sport too young can be detrimental, but so too are physical injuries to a developing child’s growth plates. These injuries can cause long-term or even permanent damage. Growth plates are areas of developing cartilage tissue near the ends of long bones. The growth plate regulates and helps determine the length and shape of the mature bone. “Sports that involve throwing may result in overuse injuries to growth plates,” points out Dr Lyall Ashberg, a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon practicing in Cape Town. “Cartilage in a child’s elbow can be permanently damaged as a result. Knees are another area commonly injured, which can lead to Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD). This is caused from overuse and results in inflammation of the bone, cartilage, and/or tendon at the top of the shinbone, where the tendon from the kneecap attaches. OSD usually goes away by the age of 18 or when a teenager’s bones mature. Until then, only the symptoms need treatment. Rest and stretching is the key to pain relief,” he says. Ashberg has also treated overuse injuries to wrists, especially in girls doing gymnastics at a competitive level, many of whom had to be removed from the sport because of their injuries. Young girls who play soccer intensely may also suffer from ligament injuries caused by the rapid deceleration movements required by the sport, he says. magazine durban



here are very good reasons to get children off the couch. Embracing an active lifestyle from a young age will benefit them throughout their lives and help them to avoid the many health risks of a sedentary existence, such as obesity and diabetes. If we push too hard, however, we may just be contributing to the problem of inactivity instead. Susan Keegan, the director of The Vine School in Lansdowne, Cape Town, believes that children are being pushed to perform and to specialise in one sport long before they are ready. “Although this may lead to short-term gain for a few children, the vast majority do not benefit and the overall impact is detrimental,” she says. “It seems that we’ve forgotten that school is a place where you learn. It’s a place of preparation, not performance. Once you have learnt skills and gained confidence based on real competence, you are better prepared for the stress of performance and competition. Children drop out because they are expected to perform when they are not yet physically or mentally ready; and they lose interest, not only in sport, but in physical activity. They’d rather play computer games, where they can try, fail and try again. The result is poor levels of physical fitness, which also manifests in learning difficulties.” Prof Tim Noakes of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) believes that the major injury children suffer from is not physical, but the loss of desire to play sport. Noakes is not opposed to children playing competitive sport, but he advises teachers and parents to introduce competition appropriately. “Children need to learn the basic skills first; then they need to get fit before they start to compete. But we just go straight to competition. Children in early primary school don’t have the skills or the fitness to cope with highly competitive sport,” he says.

physical literacy “Children need to develop an ageappropriate physical literacy before they can progress to playing sports such as cricket and rugby,” says Noakes, referencing the Canadian Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model. According to Noakes, the South African Department of Sport and Recreation has endorsed this model for schools countrywide. Canadian Sport for Life, the movement behind LTAD, defines physical literacy as the concept that children must learn to move properly when they are in preschool and primary school. The idea is that if children are given the opportunity to do the right physical activities at the right time in their development, more of them will enjoy getting active and will stay active throughout their lives. Research shows that many children simply drop out of sport because they don’t have the necessary skills to play. Those who do excel have learnt the fundamental skills such as running, jumping, throwing and catching from the time they were toddlers. It’s just not true that some children are born brilliant athletes, as scientific research has shown that one needs 10 000 hours of practice to become an expert. This doesn’t mean, however, that children should be lacing up their rugby boots as soon as they learn to walk. Movement skills need to be learnt before sport skills. In the LTAD model, girls should only begin specialised training after the age of 11 and boys at 12. Real competition should only start for girls when they’re 15 and boys when they’re 16, and this all depends on the essential physical literacy path that begins during the first 6 years of life.

everyone wins So, what is the role of parents to ensure that children actually enjoy being active with better chances to become the next Usain Bolt? Canadian Sport for Life encourages us to support our child’s activities, and not to be a 24-hour coach. Our role is to assist with transportation, to provide good magazine durban

nutrition, rest and a balanced lifestyle. We should also seek to understand their reasons for playing a sport and not be demanding about results. Noakes admits that he hasn’t really solved the dilemma of competition at school level for himself. “I believe in the value of the LTAD model and the need for children to develop physical literacy before they begin to compete. I also think we focus too much on competing for the school. But then again, the reason we have such good rugby players is because of the competitive structures in our schools,” he says. “The problem with pushing so hard to produce good rugby players is that we end up with 200 specialist players in the country and 50 000 other players with nowhere else to go because they only learnt to play rugby well. How many flankers out there who didn’t make it professionally could have rowed in the Olympics? Many cricket players could also have been great tennis players or golfers. And so many black children are only exposed to soccer. Imagine the potential there?” The Vine School focuses on maximum participation, skills training, physical fitness and sheer enjoyment, says Keegan. “Physical education is built into the school day, so every child has a minimum of two sessions a week of running, jumping, balancing, skipping, swimming, and catching, throwing and hitting balls,” she says. “All our staff members spend almost every break with the children, so informal cricket and soccer matches happen during break time under supervision of teachers who play with them. We have a small extramural programme, which includes soccer, netball and cross-country running, but the emphasis is on doing your best, not beating someone else. We’re not opposed to competition; there are few things that improve your skills as much as when you compete against a worthy opponent. But to handle competition well you need a certain level of emotional maturity, which is still very fragile in primary school children.” February 2014



the buzz around


While caffeine is usually safe for adults in moderate amounts, even low amounts can have negative side-effects for children. By VANESSA PAPAS

equivalent to five cups of coffee). “While caffeine has been given to infants if they have trouble remembering to breathe, and occasionally it has been used for some people suffering from headaches, beyond that, it has no real benefit or medical use and should be excluded where possible from your child’s diet. Even products with a low level of caffeine can be detrimental to your child’s health and lead to caffeine dependence,” he says. The most common symptoms after caffeine withdrawal,

Many products now give warnings where the caffeine content is high.

caffeine and our children Caffeine is a drug that is naturally produced in the leaves and seeds of many plants. It’s also produced artificially and added to certain foods. Typically used for its ability to arouse the central nervous system, caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, palpitations, and influence moods, result in restless sleep and insomnia, and change how attentive a child is. “Although recognised as ‘safe’ by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the safety of caffeine use among children is under-researched and poorly understood,” says paediatrician and researcher Dr Deepak Patel. He adds that caffeine is the most commonly used psycho-stimulant in the world and that children and teenagers are the fastest growing population of caffeine users with an increase of 70% over the past 30 years. This rise is mostly associated with the development of caffeine energy drinks marketed primarily to children. Energy drinks like these not only have extremely high amounts of sugar, but they also contain caffeine levels ranging from 50mg to 500mg (which is

even at low doses of 100mg, include decreased alertness, increased fatigue and drowsiness, irritability, headaches, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, depressed moods and decreased activity levels, explains Patel. “These symptoms are, however, typically mild to moderate in severity, and usually short-lived. While caffeine addiction in children is not a common problem, parents don’t easily seek professional advice because they don’t really see it as ‘substance abuse’,” he says.

limits, effects and recommended healthy alternatives Gauteng dietician Helen de Beer recommends children consume less than 100mg of caffeine a day or 2,5mg per kilogram of body weight. “There are no set guidelines by the FDA on caffeine consumption in children, but the amount a child weighs influences the dose response. A child weighing around 30kg would be

which is needed to grow strong, healthy bones. Caffeine also has a slight diuretic effect, which causes the body to lose water through urination, but evidence is mixed that the amount of caffeine taken could actually cause dehydration.” Learning how to read nutrition labels is key in identifying whether a product contains caffeine. “Many products now give warnings where the caffeine content is high,” adds De Beer. “Reducing caffeine intake can be achieved through opting for Rooibos or decaffeinated herbal teas. Choose water as your child’s primary source of fluid intake instead of high-sugar and caffeinated beverage options. A mug of warm milk could be used to replace hot chocolate. Chocolate, which also contains caffeine, should not be given on a regular basis and rather only in limited amounts (one to two blocks). Coffee, particularly filtered coffee and espresso, should be completely avoided.”

good to know

how much is too much?

• Caffeine will have more severe adverse effects in children who suffer from

Based on average body weight, the maximum daily caffeine intake for children is 45mg for children aged four to six; 62,5mg for children aged seven to nine and 85mg for children aged 10 to 12. Below is a list of foods and beverages and their caffeine levels. • Coffee 237ml: 60–80mg • Decaffeinated coffee 237ml: 1–5mg • Black tea 237ml: 30–100mg

seizures, diabetes, cardiac abnormalities, mood and behavioural disturbances and if they are taking certain medications. • Because children have lower body weights than adults, even small amounts of caffeine can have very intense effects. • S everal studies have shown that caffeine interferes with calcium absorption, raising the risk of the brittle-bone disease, osteoporosis, in your child’s future. • Caffeine is not stored in the body, but its effects can be felt for up to six hours. • Certain pain medication syrups for children contain high levels of caffeine.


able to handle around 60mg of caffeine within a 24-hour time frame. Your average can of cola, for example, contains about 35mg of caffeine, where a cup of hot chocolate contains anything between 10mg to 70mg. Both these beverages also contain a lot of sugar, which could exacerbate the problem of poor concentration (and cause dental caries, obesity and diabetes),” says De Beer. “Although caffeine has not been shown to directly cause stunting, it does interfere with calcium absorption,

February 2014

what about decaf? Not all “decaffeinated” products are created equal. “Some products, such as herbal teas, or those that state ‘decaffeinated’ on their label, are, in fact, not caffeine-free,” warns Cape Town dietician Jordana Ventzke. “There are three main processes of decaffeination, of which the most commonly used method is the Chemical Solvent Method, but certain chemicals used in this method are believed to increase the risk of certain cancers. The Swiss Water method is the only one without any health concerns and this is often used in organic products. Unfortunately, it is not often mentioned on the label which method of decaffeination has been used, so choosing organic products is often the safest option.”

pregnancy and breast-feeding Ventzke advises that those who are pregnant or breast-feeding should also avoid or limit their caffeine intake. “A pregnant woman should decrease the amount she is consuming to no more than 200mg a day. Regularly consuming large amounts of caffeine may increase the risk of having a low birth weight baby. Caffeine crosses the placenta, so as caffeine increases your heart rate and metabolic rate, it will affect your baby in the same way. Moms who are breastfeeding may drink caffeine, but again also in moderation. There is some evidence suggesting that chronic coffee drinking may decrease the iron content in milk. Irritability and sleeplessness has also been seen in babies whose mothers consume large amounts of caffeine.”

• • • • • • • • • • •

Green tea 237ml: 20mg Cocoa 150ml: 30–60mg Coca-Cola 355ml: 34mg Diet Coke 355ml: 45mg Pepsi 355ml: 38mg Diet Pepsi 355ml: 36mg Red Bull 245ml: 80mg Milk chocolate 55ml: 3–20mg Dark chocolate 55ml: 40–50mg Hot chocolate 200ml: 10–70mg Milo 20g Milo powder (recommended): 2,2–4,8mg

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chocolate bar at break, an energy drink during swimming practice, a mug of milo after dinner and come bedtime, your child is bouncing off the walls, irritable, moody and unsettled. It’s likely they’re suffering from caffeine overload. A recent study found that children aged six to 10 consumed caffeine eight out of 10 days, on average. So, if our children are consuming caffeine regularly, and at an early age, what effect does this stimulant have on them?

tech tools

learning digitally It’s a great time to be a student. CASSANDRA SHAW lists a few of the exciting educational opportunities presently available online.


ecently, I attended the Google in Education South Africa Summit and was amazed at all of the online educational products and opportunities that are currently out there.


connecting with culture Google Cultural Institute, is a collaboration of various cultural initiatives, one being Art Project. Using Street View “‘indoor’ technology”, Google went into a number of museums and galleries, throughout the world, and created a range of 360 degree tours, where visitors can click and move around a museum as if they were there themselves. This website also gives visitors the opportunity to create their own virtual gallery by compiling their favourite pieces, adding comments and sharing their collection with others. In addition, they also offer Art Talks where experts discuss intriguing topics relating to certain artists or their works. visit or or com/+GoogleArtProject/posts

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virtual visits With World Wonders you are able to tour various places around the world without ever having to stamp your passport. Using what they call “Street View Technology”, Google has made a number of world heritage sites visible online. visit:

a timeline that includes blurbs, pictures, videos, and primary documents. Cultural Figures is another historical site that focuses on key influential figures from the past. visit: and

sharing experiences searching school Google has also developed online learning lessons, videos and games to help students get the searching results they need. Check out Google Search Education, Power Searching Quick Guide and the A Google a Day Challenges. visit: or PowerSearchingQuickReference.pdf

hosting history Historic Moments allows viewers the ability to search and read about a number of events throughout history. Once they’ve searched for an event, visitors are given

You can also use online forms of communication to collaborate with students on the other side of the world. Children can work on projects together and collect data, and communicate with another class in a different country. You can also contact professionals, individuals or experts who agree to speak to a classroom on a specific topic. visit:, php# and To view the rest of this article and for more ideas on how to utilise these websites: visit google_summit

February 2014


straight talk

it’s not “just a rumour” Rumours can be hurtful and dangerous to all parties involved. Gary Koen explains.


he old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me” is not true. Words have the power to cut deeper than the sharpest blade and can leave wounds that burn with a painful intensity that can last for years.

undercover, hurtful and sometimes planned In the course of my work as a clinical psychologist, the emotional abuse and pain caused by cruel and unkind words is, by far, the more common type of difficulty that I encounter. While physical abuse often accompanies emotional abuse, ironically, the physical abuse is easier to deal with. The attackers are more obvious, the feelings of hurt seem more real, while the person who suffered is in no real doubt that they have been abused. Emotional abuse, on the other hand, can cause far more long-term harm. While some forms of emotional abuse are overt and explicit, it is often the more subtle and hidden abuse that carries more lasting damage, pervading and undermining every area of a person’s sense of who they are, sowing doubt and filling them with an unease that is often difficult to identify. In many instances the individual concerned has no real understanding that the reason they feel the way they do is because they have been abused. In the murky and complex world in which bullies live, words are often the most powerful of their weapons, and perhaps the most destructive of all is the power to start a rumour about another boy or girl which is untrue, hurtful and meant to cause them embarrassment and harm. At least when sticks and stones are involved you can see who your attackers are, and you may even get a chance to grab your own stick and fight back. But when it comes to rumours, the attackers remain faceless cowards, who hide behind a veneer of innocence, and are often able to pretend they had nothing to do with this vicious attack. The motives behind starting rumours are many and varied. Sometimes it can be motivated by the envy a child feels about another’s success and popularity. Or it can be an underhand way of exacting revenge for some past hurt or disappointment. Sometimes it can even be a practical joke that gets out of hand. The most dangerous motives, though, are the rumours started simply to make somebody else’s life more miserable, and the trademark of all bullies is the perverse pleasure and sense of fulfilment that they feel when they succeed in doing just that.

spreading like wildfire

modern day issues Another worrying feature, when it comes to rumours these days, is that anyone can become amateur paparazzi, even small children. The power of social media makes the spreading of any story so much easier, so much more addictive and, more worrying still, so much more anonymous. While previously it was possible to escape the torments of the playground by simply going home, children nowadays receive threatening and abusive messages on their cellphones and laptops, at all hours of the night, intruding deep into the sanctity of their own homes. Cyberbullying is rife: it is frightening, insidious and intrusive. It is designed to cause the maximum amount of harm with the minimum amount of effort. Those who have been subjected to cyberbullying will know of the


February 2014

Children nowadays receive threatening and abusive messages on their cellphones and laptops, at all hours of the night, intruding deep into the sanctity of their own homes. gripping sense of anguish, embarrassment and isolation that they are left with after receiving messages that are hurtful, taunting or threatening. The proliferation of sites that allow people to log on and abuse another person with impunity, and without the other person having an opportunity to defend themselves, is another growing concern. It is hard to quantify the shock of discovering that you have been the target of a very public vilification by a whole range of assailants; none of who are prepared to properly identify themselves. These forums exist in workplaces, on campuses and even in some schools. Recently a site was discovered that targeted a certain junior school teacher; inviting the school children to log on and say whatever they wanted about him. More shocking still was that this site was created by junior school pupils.

dealing with rumours Parents whose children suddenly find themselves the target of a malicious rumour are often gripped by a mixture of fury and helplessness. While encouraging their children to just “ignore” the stories is admirable, it’s also very hard to do, and there are times when a more direct intervention is called for. magazine durban


A rumour is like a virus. The only way in which it can thrive and grow more powerful is if it is spread. And like all human viruses, it relies on other people to spread it. The bully who starts the rumour understands how eager we are as a species for gossip and scandal, and little children are no different to adults – they enjoy a juicy story as much as any of us. The truth is that human beings love to gossip. Entire newspapers, magazines and TV shows are pretty much devoted exclusively to gossip. People talk about one another all the time, and unless we are hoping to create an Orwellian type state, governed by Thought Police, then we also have to accept that we have absolutely no control over what people want to think about us and very limited control over what they want to say about us. In a private conversation between two people, they can say whatever they want to about anybody else, provided, of course, the conversation remains private. The whole principle of confidentiality is based on the premise that whatever gets said remains strictly between the two people who say it. However, this is not the case when it comes to starting a rumour. It is the opposite of “private and confidential”. The point of a rumour is to spread it, and the intention of a rumour is to cause as much pain, hurt and possible embarrassment for the boy or girl involved.

Normally the antidote to any rumour is the truth and, as I have already mentioned, rumours do require humans to spread them, which means that it’s also possible to track down the source. Approaching the class teacher with the evidence is one way to go, as would be speaking to fellow parents, most of whom would instantly empathise with the suffering of both the parent and the child. Once the rumour has been uncovered and the culprits exposed, we can once again witness the power of words, but this time in a positive and healing fashion. In many ways, those who spread the rumour are as guilty as the person who started it. Witnessing first hand the hurt that the rumour has caused another person is often enough for most children to feel deeply remorseful that they played some part in causing that pain. In addition, a heartfelt apology and a proper reconciliation can go a long way to healing the hurt of the child involved. However, when it comes to the actual source of the rumour, things are not quite as simple. On the whole, bullies tend to view the truth as just another game, which invariably they play better than most. In many respects, it is the way in which bullies are able to twist, mask and distort the truth that makes them so dangerous. They feign innocence and surprise when confronted, and are generally very skilled at evading responsibility and deflecting the blame onto somebody else – often the victim themselves. It is only when they are properly cornered that the truth emerges and adults need to be

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particularly careful when dealing with the bully. They must not allow the bully to simply wriggle their way out of the situation. If that happens, not only do they allow the child to avoid ever learning a vital developmental lesson, which is that of needing to take responsibility for one’s own actions, and not always blame others; but it also sets them on a dangerous path where lies and deceit become the only way in which they can function in the world.

about the author Gary Koen is a clinical psychologist in private practice with over 20 years’ experience, working mainly with adults and adolescents. He also does presentations at schools on a range of teenage-related topics. These include all the general aspects of normal adolescent development. He developed, and successfully runs a course, “An introduction to adolescence”, aimed at parents. He is also working on a book that deals with the challenges facing parents and teenagers and, as a father of three, he is heavily invested in everything he says. For more information, visit

February 2014


how to

are you up to it? To class rep or not to class rep? That is the question. For some, it is a role embraced with enthusiasm and dedication.


t the beginning of each year at my children’s school we have a class meeting. In this meeting the class teacher introduces himself, his teaching methods, what he hopes to achieve with the children and what he expects from us as parents. He also likes to walk away with the name of one parent who has kindly offered his or her services as class representative. I am never that parent. And while I think that parent is an absolute sucker, I am eternally grateful this parent has stuck up her hand and sacrificed herself for a year, and is, quite frankly, a Godsend. “Sacrifice?” say my busiest friends collectively as I mention this to them over dinner one night, all of who have been class reps at varying schools at varying stages of their children’s school careers. And all of who hold down careers of their own. “It’s not a sacrifice, Christina. It’s actually a great way to connect with the school; to get to know the parents and the children,” lambastes my mate.


February 2014

“Luke (aged seven) loved the fact that I was around and involved,” adds another friend who hands over the class rep reins this year. I think back to the days in Grades 1 and 2 when I’d sign up for hotdog duty and how Alex’s face would beam as I walked into the classroom with a tray full of hotdogs. Now, aged 13, I am pretty much the last person he’d want to see hanging around the school, dishing out hotdogs to his friends or lifting them on some outing. I am just too embarrassing, I am told. By the sounds of it, if I had any intention of class repping, I have certainly missed the glory days. So what have I missed out on?

the perfect candidate Some people are more inclined to this job than others. You don’t need to be an A-type personality to pull this one off. But it does help to be: • Someone who is willing to take on the task. Most people accept the role of class rep because they

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For CHRISTINA CASTLE, it is quite possibly her worst nightmare.

It’s actually a great way to connect with the school; to get to know the parents and the children. want to do it. And are happy to do it. Don’t say “yes” because you have been pushed into it. You don’t want to resent your decision. • Aware. This can be a time-consuming job. There is a certain amount of time that you need to commit to this. Yes, you will be busier on the school front than most of your fellow parents, but the role is what you make of it. Some make more work out of it than is actually required. Just stick to the task at hand and you’ll find it’s not as taxing as you think. • Organised. Call all list makers and Outlook kings and queens. You’ll sail through this if you have your ducks in a row. • Diplomatic and sensitive. This is a toughie and not for the sharp tongued or precious. Go easy on your fellow parents even when they are not going easy on you. • A good communicator. It’s about staying two steps ahead of everyone else. Even the teacher. • Good at encouraging people to volunteer or participate. Sounds easier than it actually is. While you might understand the importance of parent participation you might find that not everyone is on the same page. • Up to speed on email. It’s the best way to communicate with the masses and can be done at any time of the day or night.

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• While moms are more inclined to volunteer for the job of class rep, more and more dads are sticking up their hands for consideration. While they tackle the job differently, the dynamics are refreshing and to be encouraged.

what’s involved The role of class rep varies from school to school. Some are more involved than others. Essentially the class rep is the link between the school and the parents. They are there to provide support for the teacher but not represent the school. • Welcome new parents to the class, and share general information they may need to know. • Encourage parents to support the school by attending AGMs and other important functions. • Coordinate rosters for school functions or events. • Arrange lifting for various school outings. • Organise social get-togethers for parents. • Facilitate fundraising.

direction of the teacher or the most appropriate staff member. It’s not for you to get involved. • Don’t fuel car-park talk. It’s destructive and unnecessary. And oh so boring. • Don’t moan about your fellow parents to others. The aim is to keep it as harmonious and pleasant as possible. • You may be privy to confidential information. Keep it that way. Don’t blow the trust.

what you need to know

what not to do

These are the little things that people tend not to include when they give you the full job description. • It costs to be class rep. You can be guaranteed of increased cellphone and petrol bills. • People don’t respond. It’s nothing personal, but be aware that few parents will take the time to respond to your email requests. • Not all people want to help. There’s nothing you can do about it. Next… • Not all people can help – demanding jobs, lives and lifestyles can often mean parents are less able to help. That doesn’t mean they are less willing to help. Many are able and keen to contribute their skills, services and sometimes money in lieu of time. • It helps to have a good relationship with your child’s teacher. You are there to support him.

It’s all about boundaries. While you are in close touch with the school and the teacher, you are still a parent, and not a member of staff. Quite simply, know your place. • Don’t become a conduit for complaints. If parents have something to moan about, rather point them in the

I have failed to mention that schools love class reps. And many reward their class reps with a fabulous tea at the end of the year with cake, and lots of it. I will do anything for a piece of cake. Well, almost.

It’s about staying two steps ahead of everyone else. Even the teacher.

February 2014



baker’s day made easy Baker’s Day is the perfect time for you and your child to get creative in the kitchen.

highlight of the school calendar, for most children, is the day they are selected to take part in Baker’s Day. That’s when children get to create delicious treats for their classmates or participate in a school bake sale. Teachers might give children a theme, based on what they have been learning at school, or leave it up to their imagination. Here are a few helpful, tasty ideas and tips.

what you’ll need for the base • 2 ripe bananas or 1 cup of mashed banana (makes 12 cupcakes) • 125g unsalted butter • 200ml sugar • 2 eggs • 60ml milk • 5ml vanilla essence • 5ml cinnamon • pinch of salt • 500g or 2 cups of self-raising flour • flat bottomed ice-cream cones • paper muffin cups (optional)

hot chocolate spoons what you’ll need • 100g milk chocolate (1 slab will make approximately 10 spoons) • toppings – mini marshmallows, coloured and silver balls, edible glitter • milk to serve • 10 plastic or wooden spoons • roll of wax paper • baking tray

what you’ll need for the icing

step-by-step 1 Place the wax paper onto a baking tray and line up the wooden spoons with the handles resting on the edge, to keep the bases of the spoon level. 2 Melt the chocolate slowly over a double boiler, stirring frequently. You can add a splash of cream to make the mixture smoother, but you must do this when the chocolate starts to melt, not afterwards. 3  Once the chocolate has melted, use a teaspoon to spoon the melted chocolate onto the wooden spoons.

banana cupcake cones

4 Decorate the spoons with your toppings of choice (mini marshmallows, silver balls and glitter). 5 Leave the spoons to cool slightly before placing in the fridge. If you put the tray straight into the fridge they may turn white. 6 After they’ve set, serve the spoons with glasses of warm milk. Get the children to stir vigorously and enjoy.

bird’s nest what you’ll need • instant noodles or ramen – 1 pack of noodles will make 5 nests • 30ml fresh cream • 200g milk chocolate • 3 speckled eggs per nest • 5ml peanut butter per nest • paper baking cups • baking tray

• • • •

100g unsalted butter 100g cream cheese 500g castor sugar 5ml vanilla essence

step-by-step 1 Mash the bananas. 2 Preheat the oven to 180°C. 3 Mix the unsalted butter, mashed bananas, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla essence together in a mixing bowl. 4 Sift the salt, cinnamon and flour into a separate mixing bowl. Create a well in the middle and add the wet ingredients. (Cheat – use a vanilla cupcake premix, follow the instructions on the box and add the mashed banana and cinnamon.) 5  Option A – place the flat-bottomed ice-cream cones on a baking tray and fill the cones full with the cupcake batter.

Option B – line each muffin cup with a paper baking cup and fill full with the batter. Place the ice-cream cones upside down onto the batter. 6 Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 7  Allow the cupcakes to cool before removing the paper baking cups. 8 To make the icing, beat all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. 9 Generously apply the icing at home, or place the icing in a piping bag and take to school for the children to decorate the cupcakes themselves.

step-by-step 1  Melt the milk chocolate slowly over a double boiler, stirring frequently. Add a splash of cream to make it smoother. 2 Break up the uncooked instant noodles into a mixing bowl and coat with the melted chocolate. 3 Place the coated noodles in paper baking cups and shape so that they resemble a bird’s nest. 4 Place a spoonful of peanut butter in the centre of the noodle nest and top it off with a few speckled eggs. Leave to set and serve.


February 2014

give it a twist Replace instant noodles with All-Bran Flakes, and replace the peanut butter with Caramel Treat. Almond butter can also be a peanut butter substitute.

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Simone JeffEry has compiled a few fun recipes to help get you started.

popcorn balls what you’ll need • unsalted popcorn (1 packet of microwave popcorn makes 10 balls) • 30ml syrup • 50g unsalted butter • 200g marshmallows • 5ml vanilla essence • 100g milk chocolate for dipping • 100s and 1 000s (multi-coloured sprinkles) • skewers

step-by-step 1  Make unsalted popcorn, either in the microwave or on the stove, and place it in a mixing bowl. Make sure you remove the kernels that haven’t popped.

2 Melt the unsalted butter in a saucepan and add the syrup, marshmallows and vanilla essence. Stir continuously. 3  After the marshmallows have melted completely, pour the mixture over the popcorn. 4  Spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray (the mixture is very sticky) and create balls out of the popcorn mixture. Press firmly otherwise they will fall apart later. 5  Insert a skewer and dip in melted chocolate or 100s and 1 000s (or use both). 6 Place the balls on a baking tray lined with wax paper and allow to cool.

flower fruit pops what you’ll need • fruit (watermelon, melon, spanspek, pawpaw, green grapes) • skewers • flower- and round-shaped cookie cutters

step-by-step 1 Create medium-sized slices of the fruit, taking into account that you are going to cut out shapes from the slices so you don’t want them to be too thin or thick. 2  Use the flower cookie cutter to cut out shapes in the watermelon and spanspek. Cut out the centre of the flower shape with a small round cookie cutter and replace with a round shape from a different fruit. 3 Dip the skewers in water before using them, to stop them from splintering.

Skewer a green grape first. Skewer it near the bottom and tilt the grape so that it faces upwards. 4 Combine the flower and round shapes and skewer above the grape.

helpful tips • W  hen coming up with ideas, be mindful of any allergies among the children at your child’s school – try to come up with alternative ingredients. • Know that there will be a mess. Minimise your stress by prepping your work area for the inevitable puffs of flour, dollops of dough and sticky sauce. If you are lucky enough to have a low-lying table, set up your work station there. Cover the floor under the table with a sheet, cover the table with wax paper and keep all the sharp implements on the kitchen counter. If this isn’t an option, just ensure your children are on a stable stool or secure in a high chair. • If you are baking with many children, give them each a task to complete or make sure they take turns. • Plan to bake just before bath time. • Ensure the handles of pots and pans are angled away from the edge of the stove so that children don’t bump them or pull them off the stove. • A session of baking in the kitchen is a fun way to work on your children’s maths skills, colour recognition and food knowledge, to expand their creativity and practise reading. Plus, getting them to the kitchen when they’re young will hopefully mean they’ll be making you breakfast in bed in no time.

magazine durban

February 2014



what’s on in february

You can also access the calendar online at

Here’s your guide for what to do, where to go and who to see. Compiled by TAMLYN VINCENT

19 wed

special events


FUN for children


only for parents


bump, baby & tot in tow


how to help





bump, baby & tot in tow

how to help

Lucky Bean Moms and dads can relax while children enjoy the play garden and indoor play shed.

Just Yours Ada and Daniel are in love, but with World War II raging, Danny may soon be deployed.

Mothers 2 Baby This monthly support group helps moms deal with the challenges of motherhood.

Child Welfare Durban and District Donations and volunteers help them care for children in need.


February 2014

magazine durban


Nitro Circus Live Top action sports athletes perform mind-blowing stunts in freestyle motorcross, BMX and skateboarding.

24 monday


Cansa Shavathon Shave or spray your hair to raise funds and awareness for cancer. Corporate Shavathons take place 24–28 February, and Shavathons at registered shopping centres 1 and 2 March, or host your own. Time: varies. Venue: varies. Cost: adults R50, children under 12 R25. Contact: 0800 226 622 or visit

1 saturday Forever Young Journey through the music of the late, great legends of our time to newer iconic singers who have left their mark on our world. 28 January–9 March. Time: 8pm Tuesday–Saturday, 2pm Sunday. Venue: The Barnyard Theatre, Gateway. Cost: R145 Wednesday–Saturday, R110 Tuesday, R100 Sunday. Contact: 031 566 3045, or visit

4 tuesday Clifton College open evening Prospective students and their parents have the opportunity to meet the headmaster, staff and boys while enjoying an informative guided tour of the school. Time: 5:30pm. Venue: Clifton Prep, Lambert Rd, Morningside. Cost: free. Contact Barry: 031 312 2147

6 thursday Just Yours Set in 1943, this historical love story is about Ada May Green, a young lady recently arrived in Durban, and her budding romance with a handsome stranger. Ends 22 February. Time: 7pm Thursday–Saturday, 2pm Saturday. Venue: Catalina Theatre, Wilson’s Wharf. Cost: R100–R160. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

8 saturday aQuelle Midmar Mile Individual and team swimmers take part in the world’s largest open-water swim. Ends 10 February. Time: varies. Venue: Midmar Dam, Lion’s River. Cost: varies. Contact: 0861 643 627, info@ or visit

12 wednesday Electric Light Orchestra Classics Fans of classic rock can celebrate four decades of Electric Light Orchestra hits. Time: 8pm. Venue: ICC Durban. Cost: R300–R390. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

14 friday Kings and Queens of Comedy This South African comedy show is back on a national tour and features a line-up of royal hilarities.

magazine durban

26 wednesday 1 February – Forever Young

Time: 8pm. Venue: ICC Durban. Cost: R180–R280. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit The Feast of St Valentine’s Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the The Grill Room and the Ocean Terrace Restaurant, both of which offer set menus and live entertainment. Enjoy fresh oysters and bubbly or cocktails in the Lighthouse and Oyster bars. Time: varies. Venue: The Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga. Cost: The Grill Room five-course meal R590, The Ocean Terrace four-course meal R490. Contact: 031 514 5000 or

15 saturday Pregnancy awareness workshop This is geared towards moms- and dads-to-be and covers various pregnancy-related topics. Time: 9am. Venue: Hillcrest Private Hospital, 471 Kassier Rd, Assagay. Cost: free. Contact: 031 768 8009, or visit Sugar Bay Valentine’s Ball Enjoy a magical night filled with dancing, entertainment and great food, plus help raise funds for the community. Time: 7pm. Venue: Sugar Bay Resort, 21 Nkwazi Dr, Zinkwazi Beach, North Coast. Cost: R200. Contact Storm: 032 485 3778, fun@ or visit

Time: 5am–4pm. Venue: Umhlanga College, Prestondale. Cost: 25km race R100, 45km race R180. Contact Carol or Damian: 031 764 1885, or visit

19 wednesday Maris Stella open evening Maris Stella is an independent, Catholic Girls’ Day School offering an all-round education from Grade 000–12. Time: 6:30pm. Venue: 558 Stephen Dlamini Rd, Durban. Cost: free. Contact: 031 209 9426, ms@marisstella. or visit Nitro Circus Live Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus features 40 of the world’s best action sports stars in freestyle motorcross, BMX and skateboarding, plus you can see outrageous stunts off the Nitro Giganta Ramp. Time: 7pm. Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Stamford Hill. Cost: R180–R550. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

21 friday Highbury open day Visit the school to find out how they can bring out the best in your boy. For Grades 000–7. Time: 8:30am. Venue: Highbury Preparatory School, Highbury Rd, Hillcrest. Cost: free. Contact: 031 765 9800 or

16 sunday

22 saturday

Durban Dirt Challenge This MTB event makes use of favourite sugar-cane trails meandering in and around Umhlanga, Sibaya and Umdloti, and offers athletes a 25km race or a 45km challenge. For family and spectators there is a Garvz Sports Kiddies Area, music, craft beer, jumping castles, bike displays and entertainment.

Stork’s Nest Maternity Prenatal Awareness morning This open day is for moms-to-be, new moms, and women wanting to get pregnant. Time: 9am–11:30am. Venue: ground floor, Umhlanga Hospital Medical Centre. Cost: free. Contact Sister Vicky or Shireen: 031 560 5528

Hillcrest Primary School open day Offering Grades R–7, plus a remedial unit and a learning extension programme. Time: 8am. Venue: 17 Emoyeni Dr, Hillcrest. Cost: free. Contact Carol: 031 765 1214, admin@ or visit

28 friday The Perfect Wave Ian McCormack searches for the perfect wave, travelling to South Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia.

21 fri

Ashton International College open days Potential parents and students have the opportunity to visit the campus and see the school in action. It caters for children from Grades 000–12. Ends 22 February. Time: 9am–2pm Friday, 9am–12pm Saturday. Venue: Ashton International College Campus, cnr Albertina Way, Ballito. Cost: free. Contact Glynnis: or visit

February 2014


calendar In Bali he meets a girl, who breaks his heart and a night dive threatens to end his travels. Struggling to survive, Ian must make a decision that will change his life. Opens 28 February. Time: varies. Venue: select cinemas nationwide. Cost: varies. For more info: visit

FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Art lessons Learn painting and drawing techniques. For children 10–18 years old. Time: 9am–11am every Saturday. Venue: Manfred Dr, Rose Hill, Durban North. Cost: R125 per hour. Contact Suzette: 074 178 9388 or Arty Stars Art and craft lessons for children 18 months–5 years old and their moms. Time: 2:30pm–3:30pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Venue: Westville. Cost: R680 per term. Contact Kelly: 083 777 4578 or

classes, talks and workshops Children’s yoga Young ones develop strength, flexibility and coordination. Time: 3:15pm every Tuesday, 11am every Saturday. Venue: Centre of Wellbeing, 16 Canberra Ave, Durban North. Cost: R40. Contact Angela: 076 410 1410 or Computer lessons Time: varies. Venue: suite 124 Ridgeton Towers, 6 Aurora Dr, Umhlanga Ridge. Cost: R500 per month. Contact: 031 566 1110, 073 966 0983 or French classes Interactive classes for the Francophone or non-Francophone children from 4 years old to Grade 12. Time: varies. Venue: Alliance Française, 22 Sutton Crescent, Morningside. Cost: varies. Contact Denise: 031 312 9582 or Get Ready for School programme This is a gentle introduction to formal learning for Grade R learners. Time: 1:30pm Monday– Friday, 8am every Saturday. Venue: suite 125 Ridgeton Towers, 6 Aurora Dr, Umhlanga Ridge. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 566 1110, 082 042 2556 or Modelling classes Children age 5–19 years old can join. Time: 10am–11:30am every Saturday. Venue: Durban North

Art lessons


February 2014

uShaka Kids World Visit the giant jungle gym or the Creative Zone. For children 2–10 years old. Tiny tots and parents also catered for. Time: 9am–6pm Wednesday–Sunday. Venue: uShaka Marine World. Cost: children 2–12 years old R60, adults and children over 12 years old R15. Contact: 031 328 8000 or visit

Pigeon Club Hall, 2 Sunfield Place, Swapo Rd. Cost: R200 per month, R50 per lesson. Contact Dianne: 083 356 1317 or visit Rising Star Performing Arts classes Children 5–19 years old can join weekly speech and drama classes or take part in more specialised classes, including musical theatre or on-camera acting. Time: varies. Venue: Durban and surrounds. Cost: varies. Contact: or visit Study Skills programme Learn how to study smarter. Organisation and realising how you learn are important tools. Time: 9am–12pm every Saturday. Venue: suite 125 Ridgeton Towers, 6 Aurora Dr, Umhlanga Ridge. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 566 1110, 082 042 2556 or

family outings Books 2 You Discover hundreds of books, from bestsellers to non-fiction titles. Time: 10 February: 10am–3:30pm, 11 February: 7:30am–1pm. Venue: Highbury Prep, Hillcrest. Also at Crawford Prep, La Lucia, 19 and 20 February. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 705 7744 or Burnedale Café This centre boasts a restaurant and pottery gallery as well as a farmyard, art and décor shop, and plenty more for the family. Time: 9am–4:30pm, daily. Venue: Salt Rock Rd, Umhlali. Cost: varies. Contact: 032 947 1980 or visit Inchanga Steam Train Take a ride on a steam train through the Valley of a Thousand Hills to the Inchanga Station, where you’ll find a craft market, museum, food and a picnic area. 23 February. Time: 8:30am and 12:30pm. Venue: departs from Kloof Station, Stoker’s Arms. Cost: adults R170, children 2–12 years old R130. Contact: 087 808 7715, 082 353 6003 or visit Mr. Funtubbles Fabulous Family Funfair Enjoy fun rides and games for all ages. Time: 10am–9pm Monday–Thursday, 10am–11pm Friday, 9am–11pm Saturday,

9am–9pm Sunday. Venue: shop E047, upper level, Gateway Theatre of Shopping. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 584 6645 or visit Sugar Terminal Tours Book your spot for a tour. Time: varies, Monday–Friday. Venue: 25 Leuchars Rd, Durban. Cost: adults R16, children R8. Contact: 031 365 8153, or visit Tours of Coedmore Castle Take a walk around this heritage site. Time: by arrangement. Venue: 90 Coedmore Ave, Yellowwood Park. Cost: adults R45. Contact Jenny: 031 469 8811, 083 419 6428 or

finding nature and outdoor play Akimbo Kids This indoor and outdoor family coffee shop has spacious play areas for children. Time: 9am–4pm Thursday–Sunday. Venue: 40 Meadway Rd, Drummond. Cost: children R20. Contact: 031 783 7892 or visit Crocworld Conservation Centre Visit this venue for a fun-filled and educational outing. Time: 8am–4:30pm, daily. Venue: Old Main Rd, Scottburgh. Cost: adults R60, children R40. Contact: 039 976 1103, or visit

Crow open days Tours of Crow include a visit to some of the enclosures for animals in rehabilitation and the environmental education centre. 23 February. Time: 11am. Venue: 15A Coedmore Rd, Yellowwood Park. Cost: adults R25, children R10. Contact: 031 462 1127 or Duck and Deck Animal Farm Children can see farmyard animals or ride a pony, while parents enjoy a cup of coffee. Time: 9:30am–4pm Tuesday–Sunday. Venue: 3 Willow Way, Assagay. Cost: R15. Contact: 031 768 1029 or visit Flag Animal Farm See rescued animals and a milking show, enjoy the indoor play centre, visit the coffee shop and more. Time: daily milking show 12pm and 3pm. Venue: Sheffield Beach. Cost: R33 entry. Contact: 032 947 2018 The Animal Farmyard Watch daily milking demonstrations and have the opportunity to bottle-feed newborn animals. Time: 9am–4:30pm daily, milking 10:30am and 3:30pm. Venue: 3 Lello Rd, Botha’s Hill. Cost: entry R15, rides R5. Contact: 031 765 2240 or visit Winsome View Animal Farm There is a play area as well as farm animals and pony rides. Time: 9am–3pm Tuesday–Sunday. Venue: Hamilton Way, Shongweni. Cost: varies. Contact: 082 892 1615 or visit

markets Bergtheil Museum Craft Market Visit the museum and shop at the craft market. Tea garden available. 8 February. Time: 8:30am–12pm. Venue: 16 Queens Ave, Westville. Cost: free entry. Contact Rose: 074 890 2289 or Natty: 083 657 1259 Essenwood Market Fresh food and a range of stalls. Time: 9am–2pm every Saturday. Venue: Essenwood Rd. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 208 1264 or visit Golden Hours Family Market Fundraising initiative of Golden Hours Special School. Time: 10am–3:30pm every Sunday. Venue: Uitsig Rd, Durban North. Cost: free entry. Contact Lyn: 083 262 3693 I heart market Local foodies and designers showcase products. 1 February. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium. Cost: free entry. Contact: thejoyteam@gmail. com or visit Kloof Country Market Find handmade toys, wooden decorations, spices, relishes, fresh produce and more. 8 and 15 February. Time: 9:30am–1pm. Venue: Robyndale

Computer lessons

magazine durban

The Play Market A market that offers fun for children, shopping for moms and a venue where dads can relax or exercise. There is also delicious food and refreshments. 8 February. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park, Westmead. Cost: R10 entry to the park. Contact Derryn: 071 307 0823 or

on stage and screen

Duck and Deck Animal Farm

Piggly Wiggly Centre, 10 Msenga Rd, Kloof. Cost: free entry. Contact Linda: 082 454 3181 or Shongweni Farmer’s and Craft Market Look for organic and local produce and crafts. Time: 6:30am–10:30am every Saturday. Venue: cnr Kassier Rd and Alverstone Rd, Assagay. Cost: free entry. Contact: 083 777 1674, or visit The food market Shop at over 40 local food stalls. 22 February. Time: 8am– 1pm. Venue: The Hellenic Community Centre, Durban North. Cost: free entry. Contact: 084 505 0113 or visit The Litchi Orchard Market This covered market features live music and a playground, along with the wholesome goodies it has become known for. 8 February. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Seaforth Ave, Foxhill. Cost: free entry. Contact: 032 525 5118 or visit

8 February – The Play Market

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – Revenge of the Leftovers Inventor Flint Lockwood thought he had saved the world when he destroyed his machine that turned water into food. But now Flint learns that his invention has survived and is now creating food animals, or foodimals. Flint and his friends embark on a dangerous mission to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheespiders and other foodimals to save the world, again. Opens 31 January. Venue: 3D and other cinemas nationwide. For more info: visit sterkinekor. com or The Perfect Wave Ian McCormack searches for the perfect wave, travelling to South Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia. In Bali he meets a beautiful girl, who breaks his heart and he goes on a night dive that threatens to end his travels. Struggling to survive, Ian must make a decision that will change his life. Opens February 28. Venue: select cinemas nationwide. For more info: visit

playtime and story time Books and Books Children’s story time. 22 February. Time: 10am. Venue: shop 42 Kensington Square, 53 Kensington Dr, Durban North. Cost: free. Contact: 031 563 6288 or

31 January – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – Revenge of the Leftovers

Children’s story time A story followed by a craft or activity. For children 3–8 years old. Time: 10am every Saturday. Venue: 26 Rockview Rd, Amanzimtoti. Cost: free. Contact: 031 903 6692 or Jimmy Jungles An indoor playground with different play areas per age group and a restaurant area. Time: 9am–6pm Monday–Saturday, 9am–4pm Sunday. Venue: Perry Yamaha Building, Tetford Circle, Umhlanga. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 566 2000 or visit Lucky Bean This venue offers a fun, exciting and safe children’s playground with an undercover playbarn. There is also a coffee shop where mom and dad can relax and enjoy a meal or slice of delicious cake. Time: 9am–4pm Tuesday– Sunday. Venue: 10 Cadmoor Rd, Assagay. Cost: R20 for the first child, R15 for each additional child per family. Contact: 082 216 3892, or visit (no .za)

sport and physical activities Adventure Kids Swim School Learn to swim or take stroke correction classes. Beginners, intermediate and advanced classes are available. For children 3–15 years old. Time: 2pm–5pm Monday–Thursday. Venue: Glenashley Preparatory School, Durban North. Cost: once a week R250, twice a week R350. Contact Dominique: 084 624 5962 or Horseback beach adventures Ride along the beach or through the bush. Time: 3pm Friday–Wednesday. Venue: Durban South, directions sent on confirmation of booking. Cost: varies. Contact: 081 477 9348, or visit

Ice hockey Ice hockey is the fastest team sport and improves agility, strength and coordination, while developing sportsmanship and self-confidence. The skills of the game are learnt in a positive, healthy and safe environment. Season starts 2 February. Time: 8:45am–9:30am every Sunday. Venue: Galleria Ice Rink, Galleria Shopping Centre, Amanzimtoti. Cost: varies, free session for new members. Contact: 072 237 3114, or visit Newmarket Stables horse riding lessons There is a sand dressage arena, jumping arena and more. Time: varies, Monday–Saturday. Venue: cnr Masabalala Yengwa Ave and Smiso Nkwanyana Rd, Stamford Hill. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 303 1529, or visit Taekwondo Tornados Children get exercise, develop core strength and have fun. Time and venue: from 3:30pm every Wednesday, Westville Library; from 2pm every Tuesday, Hillcrest Library. Cost: R130 per month. Contact: 082 876 0628 or

only for parents classes, talks and workshops e-Learner computer course Become computer literate in eight weeks. Time: 9am–12pm Tuesday and Thursday. Venue: suite 124 Ridgeton Towers, 6 Aurora Dr, Umhlanga Ridge. Cost: certified course R3 270. Contact: 031 566 1110, 074 113 8364 or Inclusion education courses Courses help teachers bridge the gap for learners experiencing barriers to learning and

family marketplace

magazine durban

February 2014



Showtime with Platform Jazz Platform Jazz, an eight-piece jazz band, plays tunes from films and musicals pre1920s to current times. The performance includes “My Favourite Things” from The Sound of Music, “The Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book, the beautiful ballad “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz, and big-band numbers like “Hello Dolly”. 24 January–2 February. Time: 8pm Friday and Saturday, 2pm and 6:30pm Sunday. Venue: Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Ave, Umbilo. Cost: R120. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

offer mainstream teachers skills, knowledge and practical solutions to deal with children with special educational needs who haven’t had remedial interventions. The courses are aimed at teachers, teacher assistants, facilitators, interns, caregivers, management, therapists, psychologists and parents. Registration and course begins 1 February. Time: 9am. Venue: Livingstone Primary School, Morningside. Cost: R4 500. Contact Sandra Montague: 083 709 4543 or Pilates Precision Preggie Pilates available by appointment. Time: 5:30pm–6:30pm Tuesday and Thursday. Venue: The School of Modern Montessori, 9 Anthony Dr, Gillitts. Cost: R280 (4 classes), R480 (8 classes). Contact: 071 183 4161 or Taekwondo for ladies Develop core strength, exercise and learn self-defence. Time: 7pm–8pm every Thursday. Venue: Westville Library. Cost: R130 per month. Contact Sam: 082 876 0628 or

on stage and screen Electric Light Orchestra Classics Celebrate four decades of Electric Light Orchestra. 12 February. Time: 8pm. Venue: ICC Durban. Cost: R300–R390. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Forever Young This tribute to music legends includes songs from Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson. 28 January–9 March. Time: 8pm Tuesday–Saturday, 2pm Sunday. Venue: The Barnyard Theatre, Gateway. Cost: R145 Wednesday–Saturday, R110 Tuesday, R100 Sunday. Contact: 031 566 3045 or visit Just Yours Set in 1943, this historical love story features stylish clothes, a beautiful set, live piano and haunting love songs from the forties. 6–22 February. Time: 7pm Thursday–Saturday, 2pm Saturday. Venue: Catalina Theatre, Wilson’s Wharf. Cost: R100–R160. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Kings and Queens of Comedy This South African comedy show is back on a national tour, and features a line-up of royal hilarities. 14 February. Time: 8pm.


February 2014

Venue: ICC Durban. Cost: R180–R280. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

support groups Born Sleeping Parents bereaved by stillbirths, miscarriages or neonatal death share experiences. Contact: 084 524 1541/2, or visit their Facebook page: Born Sleeping Choc – Childhood Cancer Foundation KZN For support and more info, contact: 086 111 2182, or visit Durban Autism Support Group For mothers of children with ASD. Informal coffee mornings are held four times a year. Contact Di: 083 443 8385 or dimaitland@ Famsa They can help with family and relationship counselling. Contact: 031 202 8987 or visit 30 Bulwer Rd, Glenwood Hi Hopes Home intervention programme for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Contact: 082 897 1632, dianne.goring@ or visit Overeaters Anonymous They aim to overcome compulsive overeating, through meetings where they share experiences, strength and hope in recovery. Contact: 083 409 83009 or visit Pierre Robin Sequence Foundation Established to support families and individuals affected by Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS) and its associated syndromes worldwide. They are online and aim to set up support groups in all major cities. Contact Leigh: 082 410 3197, or visit Sadag They offer help to those suffering depression or drug abuse or who may be suicidal. For more info or referral to a support group: visit Speak Easy They assist those who stutter, their family and friends. Contact Imraan: 082 786 3718 or visit

bump, baby & Tot in tow

classes, talks and workshops Baby massage classes For babies under 1 year old. Time: varies. Venue: Sunningdale. Cost: five-session course R600. Contact Eleanor: 084 821 6668 magazine durban

Edubabe Childminder training, first aid workshops and cooking classes. Time: varies. Venue: Glenwood. Cost: varies. Contact: 071 968 1007 or Edu-Maid Baby care, child stimulation and cooking classes for domestic workers. Time: varies. Venue: Sunningdale. Cost: R300. Contact Eleanor: 084 821 6668 Preggi Bellies fitness classes Time: 5:30pm–6:30pm every Tuesday and Thursday. Venue: Umhlanga Muscle and Fitness Xpress. Cost: R80 per class. Contact: 073 162 3710, 0860 723 559, latascha@ or visit Pregnancy yoga Learn beneficial postures, breathing techniques and relaxation. Time: 4:30pm every Friday, 7am every Saturday. Venue: The Maya Belly Dancing Studio, 8 Sunny Circle, Sunningdale. Cost: R100. Contact Megan: 079 881 7199 or visit Prenatal yoga Blissful Bellies offers relaxed, nurturing pregnancy classes. Time: 4pm–5pm every Tuesday. Venue: Bodyology, Hillcrest. Cost: four classes R220, single class R70. Contact Isabel: 083 560 5390, or visit Shongololo Shakers This music and movement class for children 0–5 years old includes songs, rhymes and stories, as well as puppets and instruments. Time and venue: 10:30am every Wednesday, Hillcrest Library, 22 Delamore Rd; 11am every Tuesday, Cygnet Preparatory, 28 Queen Elizabeth Dr, Westville. Cost: varies. Contact Corrine: 083 893 5155 or Beverley: 060 650 7323, info@shongololoshakers. or visit Stroller training for moms Get back into shape. For moms with babies 6 weeks– 3 years old. Time: 9am–10am Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Venue: Mitchell Park, Morningside. Cost: R450–R500. Contact Bronwyn: bronwyn@fit4health. or visit

playtime and story time Baby Bright Stars Join in the interactive classes for moms and babies. Time: varies. Venue: Westville. Cost: R750. Contact Kelly: 083 777 4578, babybrightstars@ or visit

Little Me Moms and Toddlers workshops

Clamber Club Movement exercise and stimulation classes are geared at children 1–4 years old. Time: varies. Venues: Ballito, Hillcrest and Kloof. Cost: varies. Contact Ballito: 076 222 2946, Hillcrest: 084 577 7630 or Kloof: 083 259 2746 or visit Little Me Moms and Toddlers workshops Toddlers 1–3½ years old and moms enjoy 90-minute fun, educational workshops. Mothers’ groups welcome. Time: varies. Venue: Sunningdale. Cost: R75 per session. Contact Eleanor: 084 821 6668 or visit Moms and Babes and Moms and Tots workshops Programmes stimulate, develop skills and promote bonding. Venues: Amanzimtoti, Ballito, Berea, Durban North, Umhlanga and Westville. Cost: varies. For more info: visit or Toptots Children 8 weeks–4 years old learn and play. Time: varies. Venues: Durban North, Ballito, Glenwood, Kloof, Hillcrest, Westville and Hilton. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 266 4910, 082 876 7791, or visit

it’s party time For more help planning your child’s party visit

support groups La Leche Worldwide breast-feeding support organisation. Contact Jane: 031 309 1801 or visit Mothers 2 Baby For new and old moms who are finding motherhood challenging. Moms and babies welcome. Time: 10am–11:30am every third Thursday of the month. Venue: Hillcrest Private Hospital, Kassier Rd. Cost: free. Contact Hayley: 061 453 3718

how to help Child Welfare Durban and District They provide child protection services to children who are victims of abuse or neglect, or who suffer from HIV or Aids. You can help by making a donation, volunteering or hosting a fundraising event. The online Wish List provides more detail about specific needs. Contact Saveetha or Glenda: 031 312 9313 or visit Pierre Robin Sequence Foundation (PRSF) This organisation was established to support families and individuals affected by Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS) and its associated syndromes worldwide. They focus on providing financial assistance for children requiring facial-cranial reconstructive surgery who would otherwise not be able to carry the costs. They are looking for sponsorships of items such as laptops, printers, signage, printing and office equipment, a vehicle and funding. Contact Leigh: 082 410 3197, or visit facebook. com/PRSFoundation

don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to or fax it to 031 207 3429. Information must be received by 31 January for the March issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. To post an event online, visit

magazine durban

February 2014


finishing touch

time to smile We’re more alike than we think. CASSANDRA SHAW shares

Cassandra and her son


t’s amazing how the tables turn. It’s not anything new though. After all, our parents did warn us, on numerous occasions, that one day our time would come. “Just wait until you’re a parent” was constantly repeated in my household. Well, my day has finally come, I’m a parent, and I now see myself doing the exact same things that my mother once did with me. I’m not talking about having your first child and suddenly having to change a dirty nappy, or having to deal with a toddler


February 2014

throwing a tantrum when you’re in line at the grocery store. I’m talking about taking on your parent’s traits and suddenly seeing them so obviously in yourself. When I was growing up and had a recital, performed in a school play, or played sport, my mother always used to attend, and there was always something she brought along with her without fail – a giddy smile from ear to ear. No one had made a joke, no child had messed up their lines, and no one had tripped over their laces while sprinting the 100m. My mother was proud. Her smiles were directed at me, and I knew it. As a child, and especially as a teenager, for some reason, this attention used to embarrass me. I even remember teasing her about it when I was older and we were attending each of

my younger sisters’ crowning moments. I used to say sarcastically, “Mom, try not to smile too much today, okay?” Her response, naturally, was to make a funny face and then continue smiling. Muscle memory I suppose. Recently, my son has moved on from his “little boy bike”, to one without pedals – he completely skipped training wheels, and immediately started riding a pedal bike on his own. Now at three and a half, he takes off on his bike like it’s no one’s business. The first day we took him and his new bike to the park, my husband and I were very cautious. My husband held onto the back of the seat, while our son got the hang of balancing and the motion of pedalling. As soon as he perfected it, my husband let go and ran alongside him. As I

was walking behind, and saw his little legs pedalling away and heard his shouts of happiness, I was suddenly filled with pride. Our son was growing up, learning, and quickly crossing off those developmental milestones. I soon found myself smiling uncontrollably, and instantly thought of my mother, her smile and all those times I used to make a joke or roll my eyes at her. I now know that my son will have the same “problem” with me as he grows up but, like me, he’ll just have to get used to it. If I’m anything like my mom, then that smile is not going anywhere. And besides, I’m sure he’ll understand one day anyway… Cassandra Shaw is Child magazines’s features editor. Apart from proudly smiling at her son, she wonders what other traits of her mother’s she’ll pick up next.

magazine durban


how she’s begun to see the world through her mother’s eyes.


a good read for preschoolers

for toddlers I Am Not a Copycat! By Ann Bonwill and Simon Rickerty

Winnie’s Dinosaur Day By Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

(Published by Oxford University Press, R179) Hugo is getting ready before he sets out to practise his water ballet routine at the local swimming pool. Bella, annoyingly, is copying everything he does. She even chooses the same outfit as Hugo – hat, goggles, water wings, flippers and gingham costume. Bella continues to copy Hugo once they’re in the water, adding to his infuriation. But then another poolside bird and hippo rush to take a photo of Hugo and Bella’s fabulous routine, swimming in perfect harmony. And the copying that caused all the friction is now something to be proud of. Hugo and Bella head straight for the ice-cream parlour to celebrate, but will they choose the same flavour or will they each want something different? With wonderfully quirky illustrations from talented Simon Rickerty and great read-aloud text, this is a made-for-sharing picture book.

(Published by Oxford University Press, R143) One day, when Winnie and Wilbur are flying over the museum, they see a crowd of people gathered around a huge dinosaur skeleton in the courtyard. It belongs to a triceratops and there’s a competition to draw or make a model of what the dinosaur would have looked like when it was alive. Winnie is really keen to take part, but she just isn’t sure what the skeleton might have looked like. She decides the only way to find out is to magically transport herself and her (not-so-willing) cat, Wilbur, back to the time of the dinosaurs. Once they arrive in the prehistoric swamp, Winnie just can’t capture the dinosaur on paper so instead she jumps onto his back and they crash into the present-day museum courtyard just as the prize is about to be presented by Professor Perkins.

for early graders Wild World: An Encyclopedia of Animals By Jinny Johnson

Tell Me Why: The Earth is Like a Jigsaw and Elephants Have Trunks By Barbara Taylor

(Published by Weldon Owen Publishing, R450) This stunning encyclopaedia explores the amazing variety of the animal world. Creatures that range from the smallest insects to the giants of the mammal world are all found here. The great photography reveals the many curious shapes and forms found in the animal world, including seldom seen birds of the rainforest canopy and some intriguing fish. Each spread displays a broad family group, revealing some incredible relationships. A large gatefold shows the animal kingdom’s family tree. Information is given in bite-sized boxes, which makes it easier for younger children to digest and use as a resource tool.

(Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R147 each) Bizarre, confusing or just plain strange things happen in the world around us all the time. Each title in the Tell Me Why series delves into some of the great, quirky mysteries of everyday life, and tries to uncover them one topic at a time. By combining the world of science and scientific research with dynamic artwork, each book in the series helps young readers make sense of the baffling queries in their curious minds. In The Earth is Like a Jigsaw, questions such as “why are sunsets red?” and “how does a rainbow work?” are answered. In Elephants Have Trunks, children can find out why penguins can’t fly and why a firefly’s bottom glows. The series is ideal for children from the age of seven.

for preteens and teens

Be Prepared Editor: Sam Carter

The Bone Dragon By Alexia Casale

(Published by Simon and Schuster, R268) Do you know the right way to wield an axe or string a hammock? If the answer to these is no, then this is the book for you. Packed with gems old and new, this compendium will delight readers of all ages. You don’t need to have been a scout to enjoy advice on being an intrepid traveller, preventing a sneeze or vaulting a fence. Gleaned from over a hundred years of British scouting heritage, Be Prepared is surprisingly useful and, most of all, fun. Whether you’re an adventurer for real or at heart, you’ll find this a treasure trove of practical know-how.

(Published by Faber Children, R153) Everyone at school thinks that Evie broke her ribs in a car crash. Evie doesn’t talk about why she was adopted and why she really needed an operation, because some things should never be said. Now, she is safe and even has a souvenir from hospital, a piece of rib bone, which she carves into a dragon. And it comes to life at night, helping Evie to heal. But some things are too terrible to be forgiven. Sometimes, revenge must be taken and it seems the dragon is the one to take it. This extraordinary novel is recommended for children from the age of 12.

for us

parenting book

Call it Dog By Marli Roode

Quick and Easy Toddler Recipes By Annabel Karmel

(Published by Atlantic Books, R149) Jo returns to South Africa after 10 years in the UK to cover the riots sweeping the Joburg township of Alex. Nico, her estranged Afrikaner father, reappears and asks her to help prove his innocence in the murder of a black man. As they set off on a road trip through South Africa, it becomes clear that Nico knows more about the murder than he is letting on. Set against the backdrop of a country struggling to absorb its bloody history and forge a new democracy, Call It Dog explores what it is like to feel you no longer belong in the land of your birth – or to your own family.

(Published by Random House, R175) Toddler mealtimes can be a battleground and, for busy parents, time for preparing food is in short supply. One of the UK’s top experts on feeding children, Annabel Karmel, is on hand to help. In this new Quick and Easy book she offers 130 recipes that can be rustled up in minutes. With an eye on nutritional content and appeal for children, as well as speediness for hassled moms and dads, she solves mealtime dilemmas in an instant. It contains tips and tricks to encourage your child to eat, and offers recipes from savoury to sweet, for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner.

Child magazine | DBN February 2014  
Child magazine | DBN February 2014  

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