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IssUe 28 AUG/SEPT 2o10

FReE!!

laces to do, p for things g verythin the to go, e on arents kids & p GOLD Coast

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

Opting out: Are non-Christian Queensland school children at a disadvantage?

Support offered for sensory disabilities

DOES WHEN

‘REASONABLE ‘

FORCE ? LINE THE

Baby’s immunity boosted by new milk bank

CROSS PLUS things to do, books to read and innovative parenting products!


“6 secrets to raising a bodybrilliant healthy drug-free family” chiropractic

Each year, right here in our community, thousands of people families experience episodes of asthma, digestive problems, back & neck pain, hormonal problems, sciatica, constant headaches, and more… problems that deeply affect their joy and happiness….and most people take a “pain killer” to cover up their pain... or some people actually ignore their problem hoping it will just go away. These two decisions will only cause more problems. By treating the symptoms and not getting to the cause, you maybe actually creating more problems for yourself. But until now, you didn’t know. You just lacked the 6 secrets to a healthy pain free body.

Your spinal cord “links” your brain to the rest of your body, and makes everything work as a ‘System’. Why should you care? “Health is a condition of wholeness in which all of the organs of the body are functioning 100% all of the time.” Webster’s Dictionary Well, what if something disrupts this “vital link”? Do you think you’d have some problems? Maybe some asthma, ear infections or sinus troubles? Maybe pain, tingling or numbness? Consider this - The “guardians” of your spinal cord are THE VERTEBRAE! Your vertebrae protect your spine from damage or harm and also allow you to twist, turn, bend, and move around without much restriction. But, sometimes these “guardians” get knocked out of place. For example: The birthing process...falling while learning how to walk...poor posture…lifting…twisting, car accidents, playing contact sports, driving for long periods of time, etc.

What am I looking for? You guessed it:

What is your health and happiness worth to you?

Once I find out which vertebrae are of place (A subluxation) I can correct them and gently restore them to normal alignment. Even more importantly, we will provide a tailored program of unique exercises so that the spine remains in its healthy position.

• Create a better sense of wellness • Begin a program that will attack the cause of your pain, while relieving your symptons • Start saving money by ending over-thecounter drugs that don’t work and have side effects of their own • End the cycle of temporary relief and start a lifetime of better health today

SECRET #5: The power of the “ADJUSTMENT”!

SECRET #3: The secret of Nutrition: In today’s world the quantity of food required to feed the masses has altered the soil. The once mineral rich, vitamin rich soil has been depleted. Just eating the right foods is not that easy for a lot of people. I’ll teach you about the age old secrets of power nutrients to give you maximum energy, decreased stress, and a stronger immune system at our free half hour health workshops. Call to receive your complimentary tickets

Remember we talked about ALIGNMENT? Remember how we said that if you’re not properly aligned, your immune system, your brain - your entire body functions at less than 100%? Well, the magic of putting the vertebrae back into alignment so we can reconnect 100% of the normal exchange of information from the brain to the rest of the body so you have optimum function is called an ADJUSTMENT. This little-known (and virtually ignored) treatment flat out WORKS better than anything else I’ve ever studied. And I’ve seen it work on thousands of people with all types of pain and health problems. I use techniques - all PROVEN scientifically to work and all 100% “natural” that help return vertebrae back to where they belong. And, the most amazing part is:

I see a surprisingly wide variety of health problems, including, but not limited too:

SECRET #6: Consistency is the key!

Our goal is to make your family’s experience with me as pleasurable and informative as possible.

How many times have you ignored your pain and symptoms?...Or allowed your pain to get covered up with drugs? If medicine was able to get us healthy, nobody would ever get sick!

Yours for better health, Dr Anthony Golle BCSc., B.App.Sci (Clin. Sci.).

• Headaches, Migraines, Neck Pain • Pain, tingling, and weakness • Sinus problems, breathing difficulties • Burning into the extremities • Colic, Asthma and ear infections • Arthritic problems • Low Back Pain, Sciatica • Athletic problems THIS WHOLE PROCESS DOESN’T HURT • ADHD, depression, anxiety • Digestion problems ONE BIT!

Secret 6

The first step to eliminating your pain is a thorough examination by someone who really knows what to look for! I want to know things like what falls you suffered as a child, what sports you may have played, what you do for a living, and so on. This “vital information” will usually give me the secret clues and answers to some of your health problems. The next thing is, of course, a through chiropractic

I’ll tell you if I find any subluxations (misaligned vertebrae) and how it’s affecting your overall health and well being! (It’s quite amazing. Your body will show me visible signs of why you’ve been in pain or sick.)

Secret 3

Secret 2

SECRET #2: Posture is the window to the spine!

A DYSFUNCTIONAL NERVOUS SYSTEM! AND I CAN FIND OUT EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW IN JUST 15 – 20 MINUTES!

SECRET #4: Once I find the “problem” I’ll tell you HOW TO FIX IT!

Secret 5

examination. But this is unlike any “traditional” examination. This is a very specific Chiropractic examination. I look carefully at your posture with digital photography and take very specific spinal X-rays to allow me to look inside of you to see how well aligned you are.

Secret 4

Ron Pero, head of cancer research at the University of Lund, Sweden and Chief of Cancer Research at New York Preventive Research Centre says that restoration and correction of the spine can increase the strength of your immune system by 200% - 400%!!

You’ll Benefit from an Amazing Offer Mention this article within the next 14 days & you will receive my entire new patient $35! That’s a examination for only $45! complete consultation & examination with all necessary x-rays ….the whole lot. This exam could cost you $210 elsewhere. And, further care is very affordable and you’ll be happy to know that I have affordable family plans.

Our office is called BODY BRILLIANT CHIROPRACTIC and we are conveniently located at Suite 3, 166-170 Gooding Drive, Cararra. Call Louise Jodi on 55227422 to schedule an appointment today. $65 your entire family can take advantage of this amazing P.S. For only $55 offer which includes consultation, examination and all necessary X-rays. P.P.S. If for some reason you don’t think we gave you great service I will refund this money no questions asked.

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Secret 1

SECRET #1: Your nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ, and system in your body...especially your Immune System.


CONTeNTS August/September 2010 12 18

6 Welcome to

Kids on the Coast

FEATURE Physical discipline and changes to the law 3

WELCOME

4

WHAT’S NEWS

21 BABIES ON THE COAST New breast milk bank meets the need

24 LET’S CELEBRATE

11 CHECK THIS OUT New and innovative ideas in parenting

12 THE “P” FILES  hen it’s not plain sailing: The world W without sound or vision As I lounged on a sun bed in Fiji recently, reading the latest Jodi Picoult, I came across parenting advice given by the main character. “After your baby gets here, the dog will be just a dog,” Emma says. “The terrible-twos last through age three.” And, “Never ask your child an open-ended question… you won’t want to hear the answer.” Jodi’s character says “Parenting isn’t a noun, but a verb – an ongoing process instead of an accomplishment.” At Kids on the Coast, we aim to make the journey just a little easier. We hope the enclosed discussions about religion in schools brings to light potential gaps in our education system; learning about the life of children with sensory difficulties will enhance understanding; and juice might just be your answer to getting the rug rats to eat all food groups. We hope too, you will be inspired: to participate in our online survey about physical discipline or to learn new skills with your children. Like us, we know you take your job seriously, and like you, we know the terrible-twos really last until about 18!

Sarah Pye, Editor www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

16 WHAT’S ON CALENDAR The Kids on the Coast guide to July/August

Dad’s day is just around the corner

26 HAPPY HOLIDAYS Learning holidays for the whole family

28 REVIEWS AND COMPETITIONS 29 HEALTH Orthodontics for children

18 EDUCATION Religion: Opt in or out?

16

READ MORE ONLINE! om.au www.kidsonthecoast.c

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

PUBLISHED BY: THINGS 4 KIDS PTY LTD. PO Box 491, Eumundi QLD 4562 PHONE: 1300 430 320 FAX: 07 5476 6037 WEB: www.kidsonthecoast.com.au ABN: 86 473 357 391. All editorial in Kids on the Coast has been written in good faith based on material, verbal or written, provided by contributors. No responsibility is taken for errors or omissions and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. All material in Kids on the Coast is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Feedback/comments/suggestions? Send to: editorial@kidsonthecoast.com.au We aim to reply to all correspondence but don’t guarantee to do so. Letters to the editor may be edited for length or clarity. PUBLISHER: Toni Eggleston ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Simone Bell EDITOR: Sarah Pye EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS: Maxine Arthur, Kim Lahey, Sandra Smith, Justine Stewart. ADVERTISING: For advertising enquiries please phone Tanya Ryan on 1300 430 320 or email: gc@kidsonthecoast.com.au LOCAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY: Speak with your advertising coordinator or email: advertising@kidsonthecoast.com.au Production Department: Email: production@kidsonthecoast.com.au ADMINISTRATION: Kellie Kruger DISTRIBUTION: Kids on the Coast (Gold Coast edition) is a free publication circulating over 25,000 copies from Coomera to Coolangatta. A separate edition covers the Sunshine Coast. For distribution enquiries please phone: 1300 430 320 or email: admin@kidsonthecoast.com.au FRONT COVER: Andrea Sproxton GRAPHIC DESIGN: Michelle Craik

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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S ' WHAT

NeWS

ONLINE PLAYGROUND FOR CHILDREN OF ALL ABILITIES Computer-based fun and games are no longer out of reach of children with a disability, thanks to a new website called the All Abilities ePlayground. The website offers a virtual playground designed to enable children to play and independently explore the virtual play space regardless of a possible physical or learning disability. Sonokids Australia, a non-government organisation developing technology and computer programs for people with a disability, worked closely with the Gold Coast City Council, Queensland Disability Services and children of all abilities to develop the new website. Check it out at www.allabilitiesplayground.net.au

SOARING QUEENSLAND SCHOOL COSTS BATTER FAMILY BUDGET

The cost of education continues to rise, irrespective of the schooling choices families make. New estimates state that parents could spend more than $5,800 a year sending their teenager to a Queensland state high school and the bill jumps to about $17,000 a year for private high schooling. Primary school is not too much cheaper. Michelle Hunder from ASG said estimates were calculated based on surveying parents of 2400 preschool to high-school-aged children around Australia. Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Associations president Margaret Black said it could cost as little as $500 a year to send a child to a state high, depending on the subject choices made by students, and that it was added extras like optional overseas trips that pushed the price up.

CARRARA MARKETS TURN 11

To celebrate its 11th year and the end of school holidays, the Carrara Markets will host a free fun day for Gold Coast families on Sunday October 3. There’ll be lots of free activities including pony rides, merry-go-round, animal farm, roving entertainment and giveaways. Young ones, or the ‘young at heart’, will also be entertained by the puppies and fish at the market’s pet shop, remote control cars, boats and helicopters at the toy shop and a colourful range of kids’ fancy dress costumes. Free entry and ample parking.

REMOTE COMMUNITIES TO RECEIVE ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD Minimising disadvantages for children in remote communities is the key priority of a charity called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). The charity has gained the support of Commonwealth Bank, Telstra and News Limited to deploy 15,000 educational laptops preloaded with software to remote and indigenous schools across Australia over the next 12 months. Its vision is to provide each of the 400,000 children living in remote communities with a laptop in the next five years. To find out more or donate to the cause, visit www.laptop.org.au

HELP MATILDA WALK

If you’d like to help Matilda, a local two year old girl with cerebral palsy, raise enough funds to buy a mobility walker, why not join in Riverwalk, an annual fundraising event run by The Developing Foundation on September 12? Riverwalk is a sponsored 6km walk along the Brisbane River where 90% of the sponsorship money raised by the family goes to the family, so every donation makes a difference. More information about Matilda and the Riverwalk event can be found at www.matildascause.com

If your kids want to try Baseball, the Gold Coast’s new summer season starts in October. As part of the Batter Up in School Baseball Program, the Surfers Paradise Baseball Club will be holding sessions for 3,500 kids in seven schools over three weeks, as well as hosting come and try days on August 1 and 8. To find out more, visit www.gcba.baseball.com.au

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010

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reasoning, motivation for learning and self-esteem. This programme is unique because it has been designed to build stronger and more efficient neural pathways so that students learn better, faster and easier. In addition, Sonic Learning’s team of health and education professionals monitor each participant’s training and provide parents with weekly progress reports. Realising that kids learn best when learning is fun, the exercises are presented in the form of interactive computer games with age-appropriate graphics and motivating points scores. In addition, Fast ForWord offers one-on-one adaptive training with a level of intensity and depth of instruction that can’t be matched by direct human instruction or any other learning software. Suitable for almost all primary and high school students, particularly those needing a learning boost, Fast ForWord provides students with something they can’t get through either classroom learning or tutoring. For more information call Sonic Learning on 1800 188 338 or visit www.soniclearning.com.au

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AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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FEATURE

CrimE & by Justine Stewart

Ever watch those TV courtroom dramas, you know, the ones where the brilliant young attorney manages to get the murderer to break down in front of the jury and confess everything? “I am astonished that in this country in the 21st century it is still a defence to a charge of assaulting a child that you were engaged in reasonable chastisement… some parents take that much too far.” Family Court Chief Justice, Alastair Nicholson, quoted in the Courier-Mail in 2002.

In real life, law courts aren’t always so exciting, at least on the surface. But at the crux of every case, especially in the criminal court, there are real people dealing with heartbreaking situations. So the subject of possible changes to the law, especially where it involves child abuse, is not some dry, academic matter for only bewigged judges to consider. It’s something that every parent, and in fact every responsible Australian, needs to take seriously.

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


Every year in Queensland, hundreds of parents are charged with serious assaults on their children. We’re not talking about just a small smack. We’re talking about kids being belted, sometimes with implements like straps or sticks, causing injuries ranging from welts, cuts and bruises to fractures and concussion, not to mention severe psychological damage. But under Section 280 of the Queensland Criminal Code (a section which dates back to the 1800s), these parents could say they were acting quite legally. Because Section 280 says a parent can use “reasonable force under the circumstances” in order to “correct, discipline or control” their child. What’s “reasonable” is open to interpretation by the judge and jury. And although most of the time they may be fairly well in line with the rest of us, there’s no guarantee. The idea that parents who have injured their children might then try to use this legal loophole to defend themselves in court is bad enough. Even worse, this defence requires that they try to show their child somehow “deserved” it. Former Queensland Attorney-General and current Queensland MP Dean Wells explains every case that involves a Section 280 defence ends up as a trial within a trial. “The child gets traumatised twice: once by being [physically assaulted], and second by being `character assassinated’ by the defence counsel in the court,” he says. Wells believes that in some cases police are reluctant to lay charges where they believe Section 280 would make the assault legally defensible. He says that although this is keeping the issue in check for now, it’s only a matter of time before Queensland ends up with a case where Section 280 is used to “legally pervert the course of justice”, leaving a child victim in its wake. Dean Wells is very clear about how and why the law should be changed. Although he says he personally doesn’t believe in mild smacking, he is adamant that he is not trying to make smacking against the law. What he’s trying to do is make sure that Section 280 can’t be used by those who commit more serious assaults, because at the moment there’s nothing to say that it can’t. “We need to draw the line very clearly that injuring a child is not something which is capable of being justified or excused,” he says firmly.

Medical science to the rescue Prior to 1962, the problem of child abuse (or as it was initially referred to, “Battered Child Syndrome”) simply did not exist as far as the medical profession, the government, or general public were concerned. It first emerged due to increasing use of x-rays, which enabled doctors in hospital emergency departments to see the number of previously undiscovered older fractures evident in abused children. As awareness of the problem of child abuse increased, the social sciences began studying it in more detail, and it was discovered that around 65% of cases were linked to excessive punishment (whether or not the parent had meant to injure the child). This, along with new theories and discoveries about child development, resulted in a growing number of people and organisations calling for physical punishment for children to be outlawed.

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AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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FEATURE

The ‘S’ word Those who want a full ban say: “Smacking” is just a euphemism for hitting /it’s a form of violence It compromises a child’s physical and mental integrity

The survey says…

to leave eved that it was reasonable 45% of respondents beli ishment. pun l sica phy of lt resu a a mark on a child as e cking a child was effectiv Only 41% believed that sma in shaping their behaviour. ents like appropriate to use implem 10% believed that it was ghty child. nau a ish pun to s per slip canes, sticks, belts, or oden spoon. 14% supported using a wo a naughty child. etimes necessary to smack 75% agreed that it is som Source: Australian Childhood

It can lead to escalating physical punishment/abuse Research has shown it has negative long-term outcomes It’s less effective than other methods of discipline The prosecution process would ensure that trivial or mild smacking would not be the subject of legal action (much as it does now).

Those who are against making smacking illegal say: It’s insulting/ridiculous to put mild smacking in the same category as physical abuse It’s not the government’s place to dictate parenting methods There might be times when alternative discipline strategies may not be as effective with some children Much of the research is flawed/inconclusive Parents don’t trust assurances that they won’t be arrested for mild smacking.

Foundation, 2002.

Wells is recommending that Section 280 should be amended, so that the so-called `Domestic Discipline defence’ definitely cannot be used in any cases where the child is injured – that is, where the assault has caused bodily harm. This includes cuts, bruising, and emotional harm, grievous bodily harm or even death, whether or not it was intended. These levels of assault are clearly defined under the Criminal Code as being over and above common or technical assaults, which are trivial or mild. Sounds pretty reasonable so far, right? The trouble is, Dean Wells didn’t propose his amendment just the other day. It was three years ago, in reaction to several highprofile and shocking child abuse cases in New Zealand and Tasmania where the “reasonable force” defence was used. (It led to that defence being removed from the New Zealand Criminal Code, in the face of some public controversy.) But legal matters can often be complicated, and tabloid-style current affairs shows and newspapers don’t like to spend too long explaining things, in case our short attention spans lead us to flick the switch or turn the page. And with a topic like this, stirring up arguments for the purposes of `entertainment’ rather than journalism is too easy. Emotive, inaccurate headlines like “to smack or not to smack” just about write themselves – never mind that the main idea is being

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010

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misrepresented. The holders of the most extreme viewpoints from each side can rip themselves to shreds in the `comments’ sections of various websites, and the issue can end up a political dead duck. And that’s what did happen. Despite the fact that Wells made it abundantly clear that his proposed change to the law had nothing to do with `ordinary’ (light, non-injurious) smacking, it didn’t take long for that to be lost in the `smack banning’ panic. Peter Beattie, who was Queensland Premier at the time, declined to support Wells’ proposed amendment, claiming in a Courier-Mail interview that to do so would make him “a hypocrite” because he had smacked his three children when they were young. (The opening paragraphs of the same article referred to Wells’ proposal as a “legislative ban on parents smacking their children”.) Adding to the confusion was the fact that many people and organisations do support a complete ban on smacking. These include international organisations, several of whom say that Australia is not honouring its obligations to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (Not everyone interprets the UN Convention that way, however.) Groups such as Concerned Psychologists Queensland as well as international groups such as EPOCH (End Physical Punishment Of Children) and many others, say that all forms of corporal punishment and physical discipline, including any kind of smacking, should be against the law. Which brings us back to 2010. These international groups are keeping up the pressure on all countries, including Australia. Since Sweden led the way in 1979, 26 nations have banned all forms of physical punishment for children, and more are getting ready to join them. In some countries, such as New Zealand, this has been through the removal of the relevant section of the Criminal Code (the equivalent of our Section 280). So far, New Zealand is the only English-speaking country to have done this, although Scotland and Canada, for example, have legally limited the circumstances in which physical

Have your say… Should Section 280 be repealed? Or should it be amended? Take our online survey at: www.kidsonthecoast.com.au Whatever the outcome, your responses could help create a safer environment for kids. One of the advantages of law reform of any kind is that it can push child protection to the top of the political agenda, resulting in increased public education and, hopefully, funding and practical support for parents. ADVERTISEMENT/LOCAL BUSINESS PROFILE

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AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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HAVE YOUR SAY, COMMENT AT www.kidsonthecoast. com.au

FEATURE

punishment can be used, and given clear descriptions of the type of punishments which may not be used (for example, using an implement like a cane or strap). In Australia, despite calls for change, the only state to have taken action so far is New South Wales. In 2001, the “reasonable force” section of their criminal code was amended to make it clearer: children cannot be hit about the face, neck or head, and any hitting or force which could harm a child for more than a brief moment is not allowed. But to international movements such as the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, that’s not enough. They specifically recommend against modifying or limiting existing laws, saying anything short of a full ban sends the wrong message – a bit like allowing men to beat their wives “just a little bit”. (After all, at one time that was legal too.) So, should minors be granted equal rights under the law? What about equal responsibilities? If the former but not the latter how can this be balanced with society’s and parents’ rights and responsibilities? It’s complex, but considered and informed public debate, rather than name-calling, is essential. Unfortunately, with an issue as emotive and sensitive as this, rational public discussion is hard to come by. And as Dean Wells discovered, as soon as an idea gets twisted and turned into `the smacking debate’, political leaders who want to be involved can be a little thin on the ground. So are we stuck with these laws forever? James McDougall, from the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre (NCYLC) is optimistic. Although he’d like to see Section 280 (and its equivalents in other Australian states) done away with altogether, he’s willing to concede that an amendment might not be a bad first step. Ironically, considering he works for the NCYLC, he also says that law reform is really just a small part of the picture. He says that, thankfully Australia appears to

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be starting to move into the next phase of preventing child abuse – putting less emphasis on prosecution and more on prevention, by educating and supporting parents. “It does require a bit of bravery on behalf of politicians, but in the meantime it’s quite clear the leadership is coming from community organisations, and some academics,” McDougall says. “There are some good signs.”

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K C e CH

THIS OUT

Give the dog a bone This delightful puzzle from Colorific uses a wooden bone to turn the cogs and change the expression on the face of a cheeky puppy. It is made out of durable, quality timber, this puzzle is recommended for those from 2-4 and develops motor and cognitive skills. If you DO lose the key, the puzzle still works with little fingers, so all is not lost. Other designs are available and prices vary. Available at Big W, K Mart, Toyworld and Toys R Us. For other designs visit www.colorific.com.au

Colour while you wait Hold off the hungry hordes with these creative placemats. While you cook (or wait for food service in a restaurant), kids are kept amused with designs that amuse and inspire. Nurturing the inner artist, these mats are doodle-friendly with the use of washable or dry erase markers. Just clean off with a damp cloth and colour again and again. Placemats measure 40.5 x 35.5cm and the kit includes markers. Three different scenes are available for around $40 each and they are printed on foldable silicone. Visit: www.urbanbaby.com.au

Kit and caboodle

Transport yourself back in time with these delightful vintage kits for kids. Ladybird has stocked the tins with suitable products. Choose from a Doctor’s and Nurse’s kit, First Aid kit, Let’s Get Crafting Activity Kit and Tricks and Magic Activity Kit. We trialled the First Aid Kit on a long cub scout hike. It fits the bill and even came in handy! RRP $30 and available at www.larkmade.com.au

our guide to interesting & essential bits & pieces

In or out?

Keep your kids away from ‘no-go’ zones with this handy portable door lock. It can be used on almost all internal doors that open towards the area you need. When secured, it makes the room inaccessible from outside. Designed by a grandparent out of necessity, the Howsar Portable Door Lock requires no tools. You simply hold the large part in the door jam, close the door and slide the hook through the exposed hole. It’s made of tough nylon and portable. RRP: $45 and available at www.globaltravelproducts.com.au

No more lost drink bottles

Does your darling/monster have a habit of dropping his or her cups or toys? Foil them with the Drop Buddy. This smart lanyard device attaches their possessions to almost any pram, stroller, highchair or car seat. They will soon learn how to pull it back in, saving you time and oodles of money. The length is adjustable and Velcro and safety release make it easy to use. RRP: $10 and available at www.haggusandstookles.com.au

Balloons with a difference

Inflate your next kids’ party with these super huge balloon tubes. Simply tie off one end and blow up using the other. Once inflated, balloons will sail huge distances when thrown or bounce off the ground and generally provide endless fun. Balloons come in packs of three and there are three different packs to choose from. RRP: $9 and available at www.coolthings.com.au

Travel in style

Going travelling during the next school holidays? Don’t have enough hands for the luggage AND the kids? This innovative seat attaches to standard carry-on bags, allowing you to glide through the airport while the kids lounge in comfort. Recommended for children up to 18kg, the chair folds flat to easily fit in overhead compartments. RRP: $100 and available at www.rideoncarryon.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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THE ‘P’ Files

When it’s not

plain sailing by Maxine Arthur

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Communication for hearing impaired kids Oral – involving speech, listening and lip-reading. The oral method uses lip-reading with the assistance of residual hearing to develop speech and language. Manual – using the hands to communicate. Auslan is the sign language of the Australian Deaf Community. Other methods are Sign systems and Finger spelling. Written – communication via the written word.

Emily Pearl Kingsley is the mother of a child with a disability. She compares her pregnancy with the excitement of planning a dream trip of a lifetime to Italy. Somehow, however, she ended up on the wrong plane and landed in Holland. She says if you spend too long mourning what might have been, you may miss seeing the different, but equally wonderful and exciting place in which you landed. The human spirit is resilient. It does not take long for most parents to put aside the grief and worry that follows diagnosis, and come to grips with difficult practical and philosophical decisions about their child’s future. One parent told the Hear and Say Handbook, “We felt an indescribable sadness for our daughter for all the things in life that we thought she would miss, then an enormous determination to make sure she did not miss anything.” The challenges can be daunting. Demands on parents’ time, patience, finances and emotions can take their toll. The rewards of such determination are seen in the joy and pride families experience when they see their visually or hearing impaired child develop hard-won skills others take for granted.

Hearing screening for newborns The earlier a child with a sensory impairment is identified the earlier he or she can access treatment and early intervention services. These optimise the child’s chances of engaging fully in mainstream education, in employment of choice and in a fulfilling social life. The Queensland Healthy Hearing Program has been offering free newborn hearing screening to all babies born in Queensland hospitals since 2004. If the result is of concern, the baby is referred to Australian Hearing for further testing. If a hearing loss is identified the audiologist will discuss management of the hearing loss with the parents. Australian Hearing will also provide a copy of Choices, a booklet that provides a mine of information about early intervention programs, services and practical advice on communicating. The Healthy Hearing Program has been able to test 98% of babies in recent years and this has meant that early intervention programs to develop communication skills can begin much earlier. Undetected hearing loss can profoundly affect speech, language, cognition, social and emotional development.

Early intervention is the key to helping your child communicate and socialise Your general practitioner and your child’s paediatrician can provide support and advice about local services. It can be helpful to connect with other parents of hearing or vision impaired children through an organised support group or via your child’s early intervention centre or school. Ideally, early intervention should begin soon after your child has been diagnosed with a sensory loss. The child benefits from the early stimulation and parents benefit from working with early intervention professionals who will help you support your child.

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13


THE ‘P’ Files

Detecting visual problems

Support for the child with a vision impairment

Parents need to be alert to signs of possible vision defects and to have their child’s eyes checked periodically.

Early intervention for vision impaired children focuses on speech and language development, and educational and social development. Orientation and mobility skills training begin early so that children learn to move about safely. Basic life skills such as eating, drinking, bathing and dressing also need specific teaching.

If your baby is having difficulty focusing on your face or on objects at four to five weeks of age, visual problems should be suspected. If the eyes move rapidly from side to side as they try to focus, if they do not react to a bright light being turned on or the pupils appear white or cloudy, see your doctor promptly. Medicare rebates are available for detailed vision assessments for children 3-14 years old. The Healthy Kids Check, introduced by the Federal Government in 2008, is a free basic health check for every four year old, carried out by your local GP. It includes a physical assessment of the eyes and a discussion with the parents of any concerns about eyesight. If any issues are identified a referral to an optometrist or ophthalmologist will be made. In Year One all primary students in Queensland are screened for sight and hearing.

Vision Australia is often the first service that parents of a blind/vision impaired child turn to. It provides, free of charge, training and resources to support the child and family from birth through to school leaving age. At each life-stage the child is taught skills aimed at maximising access to education and independence. Before school-age Vision Australia assists the child to learn age-appropriate living skills, orientation and mobility skills, and early braille literacy skills. Guide Dogs Queensland has been helping vision impaired and blind children and their families for a hundred years. They can provide counselling, resource and support information from a very early age. Instructors use play and exploration activities to encourage sensory and concept development, and to teach early mobility and orientation skills. Special Education programs can be delivered in school, home or community settings and on Guide Dogs Queensland’s holiday camps. All services are provided free to clients.

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AT HAVE YOUR SAY, COMMENT .au com st. coa the www.kidson

FURTHeR ReADING

News flash The recent Queensland State budget included $4.46 million for the Hear and Say Centre which is part of the Government’s commitment to double the number of cochlear implants available to Queensland children. Treasurer Andrew Fraser said of the children with a cochlear implant who use the Centre’s services, 97-99% are able to participate in mainstream schooling by the age of five. Hear and Say founder Dimity Dornan said the funding would make an enormous difference to Queensland kids. “It means putting young hearing-impaired children on an equal hearing footing with other kids their age,” he said.

My Silent World Nette Hilton and Vincent Agostino The silent world for one young deaf child is about to disappear. She is being fitted with a cochlear implant which she calls “The Intruder”. This is a wonderfully original story about disability and difference with illustrations by an award-winning artist.

Need advice? When it comes to choosing a preschool or school for a child with a disability, seek advice from Special Education staff within Education Queensland or independent schools in your area. Alternatively, visit: www.hearandsaycentre.com.au, www.aussiedeafkids.org.au, www.visionaustralia.org, www.guidedogsqld.com.au Bir Co tH St DA um Ho y eH ol P ire Ho Art y liD Ay PACk wo Ag e rk SH S oP S

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AUGUST

Special Events CalendaR August 1

August 1

BUTTERFLY TREE MARKET

NATIONAL TREE DAY

When/where: From 9am-2pm at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, 130 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise New to the Coast, this boutique market is for families with children from newborn to teens. Check out works of art from selected vendors of handcrafted pieces of clothing, toys, bedding, accessories and much more. Find one of a kind, stylish items for the kids in a spacious family friendly indoor venue. Cost: Free entry Details: www.thebutterflytree.com.au

8

August 8

GOLD COAST REPTILE EXPO When/where: From 9am-4pm at Parklands Showgrounds, Cnr of Smith Street and Parklands Drive, Southport Reptiles! Live ones on display like snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs and crocodiles! There is entertainment for the kids, live demos, and prizes. Cost: $10 adults, $5 kids, $25 family (2 adults/3 kids) Details: 5561 7131

Calendar compiled by www.savvymama.com.au. Sign up for weekly updates on their website.

When/where: Australia wide Join in the fun of Australia’s biggest community tree-planting event. Sponsored by Toyota and co-founded by Olivia Newton-John and Planet Ark, this event helps to plant over 15 million native trees and shrubs. How can you get involved? Call the hotline. Cost: Free Details: 1300 885 000 or www.treeday. planetark.org

August 14 -15

ORMEAU LIONS FAIR When/where: From 8am-5pm at the Brien Harris Oval, Peachey Rd, Ormeau Get in on the community spirit with school choirs, bands, dancing competition and displays PLUS side show alley, live entertainment, food and drinks. There will be a movie on the Saturday night and fireworks, brought to you by Ormeau Lions. Cost: Free entry Details: 0411 645 520

August 27-29

NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK When/where: over 1,000 events held throughout the country Take part in a family friendly and FUN experiment with science. There will be a Science Fair at the Broadwater Parklands on August 21-22 and more events to be added to the list on the website so check closer to the date for options. Cost: Some are FREE Details: www.scienceweek.gov.au

August 25

August 26 - September 5

When/where: From 1.30pm-3.15pm at Peerless Ave, Mermaid Beach Slip, Slop, Slap and join your community dune planting this weekend. Make a difference and help plant native species and remove invasive weeds. This free event includes morning/ afternoon tea and is suitable for all ages. Cost: FREE Details: 5552 8823 or www.griffith.edu.au/ coastal-management

When/where: From 9am-12noon at the Runaway Bay Indoor Stadium, Sports Ave The Ultimate Market for your children’s needs! A huge range of pre-loved baby, maternity and kids’ goods from prams to cots and toys and books to clothes and shoes. In amongst the bargain hunting, there will be something fun for the kids like a jumping castle or face painting. Cost: Entry is $3 and kids are free Details: www.zero2five.com.au

When/where: From 9.30am-10.30am at Birch Carroll Coyle Cinema, Australia Fair, Southport A great morning out for Mums to connect with other Mums, enjoy a flick, complimentary morning tea and the expertise of guest speaker Robyn Dowie ‘Smarty Mums know it all’ presenting on First Aid (Movie TBC). Cost: Cost of a movie for members. Details: RSVP to Corrine 5556 6600 or register at www.australiafair.com.au

When/where: Restaurants around the Gold Coast Celebrate this week with great food. Check out the website for deals. Cost: Various Details: www.tastesofgoldcoast.com.au

MUMZ WITH BUBZ MORNING TEA

live An inhourconcert of Fairy treats!

When/where: From 9am-4pm at Tamborine Mountain Rug up and enjoy the chilly winter air as you wander the private winter gardens in all their glory at Mt Tamborine. Cost: $5 per garden and children are free Details: 5545 3334 or www.tmbotanicgardens.org.au

August 14 -22

August 22

ZERO TO FIVE MARKET – RUNAWAY BAY

SEASONS ON THE MOUNTAIN

14-22

August 21

BEACH CARE COMMUNITY DUNE-CARE

August 7- 8

TASTES OF GOLD COAST FESTIVAL

GOLD COAST SHOW When/where: From 9am-9pm Fri, and 9am-6pm Sat/Sun at Parklands Showgrounds, Southport This show is so big, we have a public holiday just so we can make time to attend! Dog shows, circus, horse events, home show displays, sideshows, rides, show bags, fireworks and much more! Cost: Family (2A & 3C under 14 yrs) $45, Adults $20, Students, Pensioners, Seniors $10 Children (under 14) $5, Pre-School Children FREE, Car parking $7 Details: 5591 3422 or www.goldcoastshow.com.au

BABY BOOT CAMP Bring Your Baby With You & Get Fit

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aug-SepteMBeR 4-5

September 4-5

GOLD COAST PET AND ANIMAL EXPO When/where: From 9.30am-4pm at Central Park Oval, Varsity Lakes A day out for the whole family (including the pets). Activities, exhibitors and entertainment. Did we say Dr Chris Brown will be there? Reason enough for Mum’s to drag the family! Cost: Free entry Details: www.goldcoastpetexpo.com.au

September 11-24

MOVIES BY THE SEA When/where: From 6.30pm at Palm Beach Parklands Entertainment for the whole family, under the stars with some of your favourite family movies showcased. Take a picnic dinner along or enjoy the Dune Café. Cost: Free Details: www.currumbinrsl.com.au

August 28

Saturdays in August and September

GOLD COAST RACE DAY

When/where: From 10am-3pm at the Gold Coast Turf Club, Bundall A BIG family day out with FREE entertainment and activities for the kids! There will be pony rides, a petting zoo, climbing wall, face painting, jumping castle and more. Dress the kids up for the fashion on the field competition with great prizes to be won. Cost: Free entry for kids under 18 / Adults $10 Details: 5538 1599 or www.goldcoastturf.com.au

5 September

FATHER’S DAY

Dad’s day to celebrate what a wonderful Dad he is! Make sure you spoil your children’s father, your father, grandfather and all the Dad’s you know!

September 12

GUARDIAN ANGELS PRIMARY SCHOOL FETE 2010 When/where: From 10am-4pm at Guardian Angels Primary School, Edmund Rice Drive, Ashmore We love fete season as do the kids…enjoy rides, heaps of food, shopping stalls and prizes to be won! Cost: Free Entry Details: 0420 977 854

FIND more events on line! www.kidsonthecoast.c om.au

A calendar of regular weekly events is available online. For details of playgroups, library activities, weekly sporting events, craft classes, Australian Breastfeeding Association meeting times and much more, visit www.kidsonthecoast.com.au September 4

BABY MASSAGE COURSE When/where: 2pm, 14 Billabirra Crescent, Nerang Learn how to relax your baby, gain more confidence and feel empowered to help your little one with sleeping, teething, reflux, colic, constipation and more. Course led by a certified IMS infant massage instructor with eight years experience. Cost: $29 per session Details: 0414 270 930 or www.footprintsinthesand.com.au

28

NERANG STATE SCHOOL FETE When/where: From 11am-3pm at Nerang State School, 3 Nerang St, Nerang Fete season is on again and it’s a fun day out for the family with rides, entertainment and food! Cost: Free entry Details: 5527 2918

September 8

September 8-12

September 10-19

When/where: From 9.30am-11.30am at Gold Coast Botanical Gardens, 258 Ashmore Rd, Benowa Burn some energy and have some fun with the little ones. Two hours of fun (they say parents can relax) while they keep them busy including a jumping castle and free drink and healthy snack. Cost: Free Details: The Fun Team, 5559 0957. Bookings are required.

When/where: Anytime at 1093 Upper Logan Rd, Mt Barney Birdweek is held during National Threatened Species Week and a great time to enjoy our beautiful bird population. Can you spot a Black Cockatoo or Eastern Bristebird? Experts will be conducting guided tours and workshops. Cost: Overnight packages available or visit for the day. Details: 5544 3233 or www.mtbarneylodge.com.au

When/where: Currumbin Beach Ocean Walkway Embrace art from some of the world’s leading artists as you stroll the beautiful beach way of Currumbin. This outdoor sculpture festival includes twilight sculpture tours, meet the artist talks, children’s interactive sculptures and live music. Cost: Free for spectators Details: www.swellsculpture.com.au

September 15

September 19

September 21-27

When/where: From 10am- 4pm at Evandale Parklands, Cnr Bundall Rd & Crombie Ave, Bundall A cultural feast on the Gold Coast with music, dancing, food, arts and crafts. There will be performances and entertainment for the kids with rides, and sports activities. Cost: Free entry Details: www.goldcoastmulticulturalfestival.org

When/where: Everywhere Celebrate Children’s Book week with a trip to the library, a new book to add to your collection, a book swap with other families or classmates and leave time for extra long story time. Cost: Free Details: 5581 7210 or www.goldcoastcity. com.au/libraries

FREE FUN IN THE PARK

MUMZ WITH BUBZ MORNING TEA When/where: From 9.30am-10.30am at Birch Carroll Coyle Cinema, Australia Fair, Southport A great morning out for Mums to connect with other Mums, enjoy a flick, complimentary morning tea and a presentation of the latest products from the Word of Mouth company. Movie TBA. Cost: Cost of a movie for members. Details: RSVP to Corrine 5556 6600 or register at www.australiafair.com.au

MT BARNEY BIRDWEEK

GOLD COAST MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL 2010

ALL OUR VENUES ARE INDOORS

SWELL SCULPTURE FESTIVAL 2010

AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK

Cash sales only No EFTPOS

ENTRY

$3 per adult Kids FREE % of our proceeds go to Queensland Children’s Charities

THE ULTIMATE MARKET FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S NEEDS Quality Pre-Loved, and New Products

9.00am – 12 noon Buy or Sell Brand Name Quality Clothing, Toys, Prams, Car Seats, Books, Nursery Furniture and so much more

BRISBANE – Sunday August 8 Clem Jones Centre, Zahel St, Carina

GOLD COAST – Sunday August 22 Runaway Bay Indoor Stadium, Sports Dve, Runaway Bay

NTH GOLD COAST – Sunday September 12 Upper Coomera State College Stadium, 137 Reserve Rd, Upper Coomera (take Dreamworld exit from M1)

Stallholder enquiries contact Karren 0433 831 140 or email info@zero2five.com.au

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AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

17


education

Opt in opt out? Religion in state schools by Sandra Smith

Queensland is home to an increasingly diverse and multi-cultural population, with a range of cultural, religious and non-religious beliefs. Our state schools and communities need to respond to this diversity and meet the needs of contemporary Queenslanders in an inclusive way, and this means ensuring that religious diversity is provided for. Primary school students at Queensland’s state schools are currently given the opportunity to attend religious instruction of up to one hour per week, taught by approved volunteer representatives of denominations and faith groups.

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Tuesday October 19th 4.30pm – 6.30pm Do you want a school for your child that has student success at it’s heart? We invite you to come and SEE the Silkwood Educational Experience to provide a 21st century learning approach.

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


Once parents identify their child’s religion on enrolment, the child is subsequently placed in an identified RI program. Education Queensland’s policy says children who opt out of RI must be placed in an alternative activity and supervised in a separate area but, in many cases, this is not happening and children are expected to read in the back of the room. Education Queensland acting assistant director-general David Manttan says RI classes are the responsibility of the principal and must be in line with departmental policies and practices. School management issues include managing alternative activities and the location of these activities, says Mr Manttan. “Principals determine and monitor appropriate alternative activities for students who do not attend RI, which may include such activities as revision of class work, wider reading or doing research, and must also ensure that alternative instruction does not create educational disadvantage to students attending RI,” he says. Speaking to parents whose children opt out, many feel their kids ARE currently disadvantaged. The most common concern seems to be the lack of allocation of a separate area for these children. There are reports of children being sent to the back of the class, where they feel isolated from the group. One child said she felt alienated and “weird”. She asked her parents for permission to opt back in because of it.

Australia’s changing religious profile The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that Australia’s religious profile is changing and two significant trends are emerging. Increased migration to Australia has led to the growth of some religious groups and a greater religious diversity than in the past. As Australia becomes more multicultural, there is a reduced affiliation with Christian traditions and a remarkable growth in other religions. The three main non-Christian religions practiced in Australia are Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism, and a 2006 ABS report states that 1.1 million Australians are affiliated with non-Christian religions.

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

The second trend identified in the 2006 ABS report is a strong growth in secularisation. In the 2006 census, 19% of the population stated they had “no religion”. This was a substantial increase from 1971, when only 6.7% had no religion. Even more striking is a significant decline in Christian affiliation for generations X and Y (aged 20-39). The 2006 census results for this age group show that only 56% nominated Christianity, 7.4% belonged to a non-Christian religion, and the remainder nominated “no religion”. These are the current parents of primary-age children. In this social climate, school communities need to ensure that religious instruction (RI) in state schools is relevant to the students, and that families who opt out of traditional RI classes are having their needs met in a sensitive and inclusive way.

Ethics classes – a meaningful alternative One possibility that Queensland school communities may consider is a secular ethics class for children who have opted out of RI, so that they have a meaningful alternative during the time when their classmates are engaged in religious instruction. A trial of secular ethics classes was recently piloted in 10 NSW primary schools, for children who had opted out of Special Religious Education (SRE) – the NSW equivalent of RI. The NSW ethics trial is an Australian first, and each lesson explores an ethical dilemma. Students are encouraged to examine ethical issues like fairness, honesty, care, rights and responsibilities, and they discuss and resolve these issues through engagement in age-appropriate activities. The 10-week pilot program was developed by experts at the St James Ethics Centre in collaboration with the Federation of Parents and Citizens of NSW. The lesson plans were designed by Professor Philip Cam, a University of NSW academic, who worked under the guidance of the curriculum branch of the NSW Department of Education and Training and the NSW Board of Studies. St James Ethics Centre executive director Dr Simon Longstaff says the ethics classes sharpen and improve the children’s critical thinking skills while complementing and extending the work of primary school teachers who, through the school curriculum, already engage the children in activities that look at ethical issues.

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

19


education “What you end up with as a result, is an opportunity to engage in meaningful activity for all children in NSW, and not just those who go to SRE,” he says. “It teaches them how to think about ethical issues in an environment where they can bring to bear their own cultural, religious and other world views, which they have derived from home or from their life in the community.” The pilot is the result of a long campaign by parents of the NSW Parents and Citizens’ Federation over several years. Dr Longstaff says he was first approached seven years ago by a group of parents who wanted a program that looked at important questions that arise in the children’s lives. They wanted it without the theological or spiritual dimension that is an integral part of SRE without removing or damaging the existing programs in NSW schools.

The program focuses on ethical awareness and decision making, with trained volunteers facilitating class discussions on ethical issues. The volunteers are drawn from the local school communities, and most are parents of children attending the selected schools. Informal feedback from the recent trial is positive, and Dr Longstaff reports that participants are enthusiastic. “Anecdotally, we’ve been having some fantastic responses,” he says. “I heard one little boy come out of the class and he said one word – ‘awesome’.” An independent evaluation of the ethics pilot will be undertaken by the NSW Department of Education and Training, and if the Department approves an extension of the program, Dr Longstaff says the curriculum and lesson plans will be freely available to everybody for their use. He suggests that even faith groups may choose to access the program, adapt the lesson plans and use them from a religious perspective. It’s also likely that the lesson plans will eventually be online, so they will be available for Queensland or any other state to access.

“The thing that’s been really striking about this debate in NSW is that it’s been driven by parents of all faiths and no faiths who have this common concern for the welfare of the children who don’t attend SRE,” Dr Longstaff says.

Queensland parents who would like to see the ethics program as an option for their children are encouraged by Dr Longstaff to take the lead “in the name of their children”, and he believes that the ethics program could certainly be introduced into Queensland schools, if parents want it to be available.

Parents were concerned because in some NSW schools children who had opted out of SRE were made to sit outside the principal’s office “as if they had been naughty”, reports Dr Longstaff, and he adds that this is “unjust and it’s wrong”.

“It would just be up to the parent body to say ‘this is something we would like to do’, and to organise the basic infrastructure so they can make it available within their communities,” he says.

“Every effort should be made to ensure those who don’t go (to SRE) are not penalised for their conscientious choices in this matter,” he says. “Even if it’s done as an oversight, it should be addressed.”

He wants to make it very clear that the NSW ethics classes are not an attempt to remove religious instruction from schools, and he says the aim is simply to provide meaningful activity for children who don’t want to do SRE for whatever reasons their parents have.

Dr Longstaff explains that due to Australia’s multi-cultural environment, students in the classes come from very different backgrounds, and part of what they’re learning is “to respectfully engage with each other under a climate of examination”.

What I believe Alan Brown and Andrew Langley

Through the pilot, children tap into philosophical thought that has developed in a range of different traditions across history. “Children have quite a sophisticated understanding of the core principles, which a lot of philosophers have worked at for centuries,” Dr Longstaff says.

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010

Published by Ken Fin, this colourful book explores the main religions of the world in an easy to understand way. Each religion includes history, day-to-day lifestyle, growing up in that faith, and different celebrations throughout the year. If you wish to supplement your child’s religious knowledge, or even suggest a text book for your school, this is a wonderful start.

FURTHeR ReADING

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BABIES ON

the coast by Maxine Arthur

A case of supply and demand A new breast milk bank meets the need

We all understand the life-saving role of blood banks in our community. Human milk banks provide a less well known, but equally important, service. As with blood donations, donated breast milk saves lives and improves future health – primarily for sick and premature babies when their mother’s own milk is not available.

Human milk for human babies The value of breast milk is well-documented. It provides optimal nutrition for babies and immunological protection against many organisms and diseases. No manufactured product can reproduce the complexity of breast milk which adapts as the baby’s needs change. Formulas do not contain the antibodies, enzymes, hormones or essential nutrients that breast milk provides.

y a D s r e ift for Fath

Perfect g

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AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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BABIES ON

has been under constant financial pressure, sometimes on the brink of closure, kept afloat only by the determined efforts of volunteers and generous supporters.

the coast The Australian Government recognises the importance of breast feeding to maternal and child health and an Australian Senate 2007 enquiry, ‘The Best Start’ concluded: “It is clear to the committee that a national network of publicly funded milk banks would give Australian babies a healthier start to life, reduce health care costs and provide real support for mothers who are unable to provide their baby with breast milk.” Dedicated health professionals and a team of volunteers and supporters have established the first Australian human milk banks, one at the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth and, closer to home, the Mothers Milk Bank on the Gold Coast. The Perth milk bank now receives state government funding, but the Mothers Milk Bank receives no government funding, either state or federal.

The Mothers Milk Bank Marea Ryan, then the nurse unit manager of the birthing unit at John Flynn Private Hospital at Tugun, was so inspired by a presentation on milk banking at the International Lactation Consultants Conference in 2003, she decided to set up a milk bank in Queensland. By 2005, with the help of other medical professionals and many volunteers, it was up and running. Marea is now working at the Tweed District Hospital as a lactation consultant/midwife and nurse. She is also the director of the Mothers Milk Bank, now situated in Banora Point. It is run as a private not-for-profit company, staffed by volunteers and supported by individual and corporate donations and fund-raising efforts. The unit struggles to survive financially despite its proven success in improving health outcomes for the next generation and its potential to save millions of health care dollars. Since 2005, it

One mum’s gift to another Marea’s belief that mothers who produce excess milk would rather donate it to mums unable to breastfeed their sick or premature babies than pour it down the sink, proved correct. There was, and still is, no shortage of donor mums. Robina’s Lisa Nielsen, a primary school teacher, is now mum to Isabel, 4, and Alexander, 22 months. When Isabel was born at 32 weeks gestation and needed to be fed every three hours, Lisa’s milk was slow to come in and her milk was supplemented temporarily with formula. When she was able to breastfeed her daughter fully, she found herself with “a bountiful supply and throwing a lot away”. A midwife suggested she consider donating the excess milk to Mothers Milk Bank and Lisa became one of the early donors to the fledgling service. Lisa continued to donate milk after the birth of her second child and says it is very little extra work. “I was expressing the excess milk anyway,” she says. “It has become a part of my routine.” Lisa is now a co-director of Mothers Milk Bank and also volunteers with the Australian Breastfeeding Association. How does a busy mum manage to volunteer so much of her time to help other mums? “Do what you can when you can is my motto,” Lisa says. She is passionate about supporting mums in their desire to provide their babies with the best possible start – their own breast milk, or donor milk as the next best option. The milk donated by Lisa and other donor mums is collected, screened, pasteurised and then frozen into small amounts for distribution by the Mothers Milk Bank. Lisa believes that all Australian women should have this choice available to them. “Unfortunately, Mothers Milk Bank doesn’t have the ability to pasteurise the quantities of milk that we could if we had paid staff in the centre,” Lisa says. Fellow Director Marea says there are freezers full of milk going to waste and a long waiting list to access it, but government funding is needed to process and deliver larger quantities of milk.

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Why use donor milk?

‘Liquid gold’ for vulnerable babies Families, often fathers, contact the milk bank wanting human milk for their sick or pre-term babies. Premature and sick babies have first priority because breast milk is vital to their survival and long-term health. There may also be a history of allergies in the family, making formula a risky choice. Mothers may not be able to feed for a variety of reasons such as having cancer or other medical conditions. They may have had multiple pre-term births, be suffering post-natal depression or be on medication contraindicated for breastfeeding. Sometimes mothers cannot feed their infants because they are under too much stress to produce enough milk. Diane and Matthew Beswick from Springfield are currently receiving donor milk from the Mothers Milk Bank for their 10 week-old twins, Abbey-Rose and Hannah. The twins were born at 31 weeks and Diane wanted to breastfeed to give their babies the best chance for short and long-term healthy development. Unfortunately, Diane’s milk supply was insufficient to feed the babies and donor milk was suggested. Matthew says it was comforting to know that the donor milk was available while dealing with the emotional issues of his wife’s faltering supply and concerns for the babies’ health. Diane and Matthew took their babies home at six weeks but Abbey-Rose returned to hospital a week later. Diane was able to feed Hannah both donor milk and her own milk at home. Matthew stayed with Abbey-Rose in hospital. Donor milk saved AbbeyRose from bouts of vomiting and protected her fragile gut. Small amounts of breast milk (Diane’s or donor milk) allowed Abbey-Rose to tolerate some formula. Having weathered the worst, financial considerations are now causing concern. It costs the milk bank $60 per litre to process the milk and this must be passed on to the client. Matthew says that family finances may dictate tapering off the donor milk, despite its benefits.

Milk banks – an important public health investment Milk banks now operate across Europe, Asia and North and South America and governments consider that they receive a good return on investment. The Brazilian Government, for instance, estimated in 1999-2000 that the milk banks had saved the government $620 million. In Australia, Professor Peter Hartmann of the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth told the Senate enquiry into breast feeding that if a premature baby in the hospital is given breast milk instead of formula, the recovery period is shortened by two weeks with a cost saving of $18,200. Multiply this figure by the number of premature babies born in Queensland each year (around 4700), and a few million invested in milk banks looks like a bargain. The National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015, while promoting breast feeding, ignores the fact that thousands of families are unable to provide breast milk for their babies. It supports the idea of milk banks but neither the federal or state government is willing to invest in it. As a step in the right direction, the Mothers Milk Bank has suggested that the State Government could contract it to supply breast milk to the major public hospitals instead of buying formula or cow’s milk. A healthy return on investment guaranteed! The Member for Tweed Geoff Provest told the NSW Parliament in March of the vital work of the Mothers Milk Bank. He called for financial support from the Government, saying that the constant fundraising “has kept the wolf from the door” but lack of funding is restricting the ability of the bank to service many who need help. He described the State Government’s unwillingness to fund the bank as “short-sighted”. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

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SMART SHA103907 Kids1/2 07/2010

Donor milk offers many of the benefits of human milk for an infant, including: • Optimal nutrition that confers health advantages that persist later in life • Easy digestibility – some babies cannot tolerate formula or cow’s milk • Immunological protection against many organisms and diseases • Infection-fighting components such as immunoglobulins Human milk also contains growth factors that can: • Protect immature tissue • Promote maturation, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract • Promote healing of tissue damaged by infection (Source: Mothers Milk Bank: www.mothersmilkbank.com.au)

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celebrate

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yearn for Father’s day – our chance to say thanks

Piggybacks and hugs – that’s what dads are made of. You might be the dad who always takes time out for an arm wrestle, yells the loudest during family games and always knows how to fix things. Or you might be the dad who teaches your kids how to play chess and shuffle the cards properly. Maybe you can still remember when you were little and your own dad tucked you back into bed after a nightmare or read to you in that precious free-time at the end of a busy day. I recall standing on my dad’s work boots and clinging tightly to his legs while he walked me over the burr patch whenever the bindies loomed. I would follow my dad to the moon at that age. Come to think of it, I still would. How can we thank these giants of our (and our kids’) lives? Six dads share their thoughts of their ultimate Father’s Day and some memories of the best and strangest Father’s Day gifts they’ve had. Luke Hammond – Dad to Isabelle (5), Emilia (3) and soon twins The best thing my kids could do when I wake up on Father’s Day is bring me a coffee in bed and a big cuddle. My best Father’s Day will probably be this year with my gorgeous girls and newborn twins who should arrive late August. If they are healthy and home it will be a great day.  A sleep-in might be nice around that time – but an undisturbed night would be the ultimate (not at all likely though)! My ultimate Father’s Day is hanging out with my girls, a lazy cafe brunch, walk on the beach and a nana nap in the afternoon. Dale Cashman – Dad to Zoe (11) and Brittany (13) Every year for Father’s Day the girls write me a song and perform it to me when I wake up, followed by a bacon and eggs breakfast. One of my best Father’s Days was when I took the girls out with me for a round of golf. We went out in the cart and the girls held the flag, raked the bunker and filled the divots. Then I had lunch with my family at the golf club. My ultimate Father’s Day would be sailing the Whitsundays with my family or visiting a favourite holiday spot – the sea caves in Thailand (where this photo is taken). My most memorable gift is when Zoe was five years old – she made me a paper apron. My best gift was when Brittany made me a Why I love my Daddy book which included drawings and writing. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


Don Angus – Dad of 6, Granddad of 17, Great Grandad of 1. Father’s Day for me is all about getting together with family – nothing comes close to our family gatherings. My ultimate Father’s Day was my 80th birthday when all my children, all my grandchildren, my great granddaughter and extended family and school friends came from all over Australia to celebrate with me. I just love seeing how well they all get along together. My grandchildren Facebook and socialise together, they really enjoy each other’s company. A big ‘Father’s Day’ moment was when my son (my wife Joyce and I have four sons and two daughters) was born ….on Mother’s Day! Darryl Lester – Dad to twins Mason and Cooper (4) and Riley (6) The best thing the boys could do on Father’s Day is let me sleep in! The best Father’s Day I can think of is taking the boys fishing – we go to Tinnanbar in the Sandy Straits, where my dad comes from. It’s a while since we’ve been. Life can be too busy and it’s sometimes a struggle to spend as much time with your kids as you’d like. My ultimate Father’s Day would be taking the family fishing in my new boat …which I haven’t got yet! Just something comfortable for (my wife) Andrea – not a big cabin cruiser, I’m not an extravagant person. The least memorable gift would be a dead lizard the boys delivered to me, but the best gift ever was the coffee mug Riley made for me at kindy last year, with his drawings on it. David Hale – Dad to Poppy (5) and Daisy (3) The best thing my kids could do when I wake up on Father’s Day is say “I love you Daddy” and snuggle up in bed. Then I’d like to be taken out for lunch to my favourite Chinese and not have to cook (I’m the cook in our house). My ultimate Father’s Day would be a day with my girls at Disneyland so I can be a kid again too. The strangest Father’s Day gift I’ve ever been given is “to do list” of household chores! On Father’s Day a few years ago my wife Fran was offered two lastminute tickets to the theatre and went off with her mum while I was left holding the baby and the list of chores. Being a dad means a lot - tragically my father died suddenly when I was only nine, so I truly cherish the moments I have with my own children, enjoying life to the full, helping them learn and seeing their smiling faces from the moment they wake up.

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Jason Sandford-Bell – Dad to Ethan (7) Rylan (5) Lachlan (3) and Callum (10 months)      As long as we’re together – that’s the best I could ask for on Father’s Day. My best day as a dad has to be seeing the birth of each of our boys then seeing the reaction of the older ones as we brought the new one home. All our boys love Star Wars movies (including myself) although my wife isn’t as keen! So a morning at home watching movies, a nice family lunch then an afternoon at the beach would be the ultimate Father’s Day for me. My strangest Father’s Day gift was during my time as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Army. At one point we were involved in a drought relief operation in Papua New Guinea and the local villagers – who we’d been flying water, flour and rice for into the Highlands -– heard about this concept called ‘Father’s Day’ which happened to fall when we were there. The local villagers tried to offer each of us a young goat as a present, regardless of whether we were dads or not! It took about 30 minutes of convincing that we couldn’t take them with us, but it was a very generous offer!  

HAVE YOUR SAY, COMMENT AT www.kidsonthecoast. com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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holidays

HAPPY by Sarah Pye

Holidays with purpose Learning new skills together, one step at a time

She stands in water up to her waist, face a mask of concentration, gazing into the not-too-distant future. There’s a mixture of fear and adrenalin glinting in her eyes. On her head, a yellow helmet betrays the potential danger ahead and her arm is wrapped around a huge black inner tube. In seconds she will launch into its donut-hole like interior and paddle frantically backwards to position herself down the chute. We are at Nymboida Canoe Centre at the pointy end of a learning experience which has taken several months and a couple of holidays. Amber saw a picture of me white water rafting one day. “I would love to do that!” she said. So, we set a timeless goal to do it together some day. Our learning experience was taken in steps. Like the “wax on, wax off” of Karate Kid (yes I know I am dating myself), many of them took us closer to our goal without Amber knowing that’s what we were doing. I conspired to put her in situations where she would learn the necessary skills to make this pipe dream a reality. What I didn’t realise was learning new skills together on holidays and weekend getaways was going to turn out to be far more fun than I had ever imagined! Educational and learning holidays are all the rage and a growing niche market for tourism operators. Many create packages to accomplish what Amber and I have Specialising in Open ended vasectomy and microsurgical vasectomy reversals

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done on our own. It doesn’t matter if you plan it alone, like we did, or sign up for an organised program, learning holidays with your kids really are a great way to go. By example and osmosis, kids discover learning can be a life-long journey and there are just as many learning experiences outside of a classroom than in. In this case, our goal was to canoe down white water. It seemed unachievable at first yet, taking it step by step, we are now three quarters of the way there. Step 1: Acclimatise to water adventure in a safe environment It was Amber’s birthday and, at age 10, White Water World beckoned. We invited two school friends (and a few parents) and set off in search of adventure. What a fantastic day we had sliding down tunnels, slopping from side to side in The Tornado and floating down the man-made river on an inflated tube. The inherent fear of water disintegrated and an excitement took its place. “That was the best day ever!” she said as we dragged our weary bodies through the parking lot at the end of the day. Step one was complete. Step 2: Learn the basics of kayaking Although Amber and I own a sit-on-top kayak, we didn’t have the skills with the sit in variety, most importantly the ability to get out, and Eskimo role if we were upside down in rapids. A little research uncovered a wonderful operation on the Gold Coast called Kayak Sports. Owner Mark offers a three-hour kayak skills lesson on the flat, fresh waters of Hugh Muntz Lake. Not only is this lake safe from dangerous sea creatures, but it’s free from motorised water craft and therefore a wonderful learning platform.

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Mark met Amber and me at a park on the lake bank. We unloaded funny looking stunted kayaks and carried them down to the water’s edge. First step was practising getting in. Once mastered, the second step was trying to paddle in a straight line which was deceptively difficult. We kayaked around the lake until we were comfortable then returned to shallow water to learn exit and rescue techniques. Here the fun began. First we became comfortable capsizing and exiting by pulling the cord on the spray deck (I had to remember not to call it a ‘skirt’ because Mark found that an offence to his masculinity). Next came rescue techniques. We learned to right each other’s kayak while still in our own which was quite a feat, then came the feared Eskimo Roll (which is not always part of the lesson). Amber had said “I’ll do all the rest, but not that,” but by the time we got there she didn’t take much cajoling by expert Mark. Wouldn’t you know it, she was far more proficient than I, and mastered the technique in minutes using extra floatation on her paddle (rather like training wheels!). Step two was complete. Step 3: Become familiar on white water A long weekend was looming and the white water of Nymboida River beckoned. About half an hour’s drive south of Grafton in New South Wales, this delightful, narrow river offers a range of relatively easy rapids and an extensive campsite along its bank. With basic amenities, campfire pits, the ability to bring dogs and exceptionally friendly staff, this place is a rare find. We arrived later than planned and wandered around looking for manager Rob. We found him by the cabins, welcoming youths who had arrived for the NSW School Kayak championships. We had thought this event might mean we would fight for a camping spot, but couldn’t have been more wrong – this campsite is so extensive it’s almost possible to lose yourself. What it DID do was give us a wonderful opportunity to see experts in action. Once the tent trailer was up we were keen to get wet and Rob handed us our helmets and fitted us into inner tubes (bet you didn’t know you need the right size!). He then took time to teach us how to launch, back up in the current and survive capsizing in rapids. Then we were off with the warning “Don’t forget to get

out before the Tennis Court”. This huge rapid loomed dead centre in the navigable river and was definitely a ‘no go’ zone. First we attempted one rapid at a time, pulled over in an eddy and caught our breath and giggles but it wasn’t long before we (more by accident than design) traversed several in one go. By day two we were launching downstream of the Tennis Court and laughing non-stop all the way to the downstream end of the course, walking a kilometre back and doing it again… and again. I can’t describe how much fun we had! Step 4: Combine all our skills together The next step in our goal was taking a sit-on-top kayak down the white water. On our third and last day at Nymboida we tried it, but found we were more comfortable with tubing, so this adventure is still ahead. Who knows, once the weather warms up, this might be our next challenge. Holidays like this one are a metaphor for life. Taking large, daunting goals and breaking them into achievable chunks can lessen fear, build up skills over time and eventually make the difference between achieving a goal, or stumbling at the starting blocks. It works for adults, and it works equally as well for kids. Not only that, but learning new skills together instils a life-long desire to learn and cements your relationship. Just remember to take it slow, don’t push kids too hard, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes together.

Want to know more? Kayak Sports offers special kids’ kayak skills lessons every morning during school holidays. The three-hour session teaches paddle stroke technique, self rescue and team rescue on the same calm lake where Amber and I learned. Cost is only $20 per child. For more information phone Mark on 0448 422 663 or visit: www.kayaksports.com.au Nymboida Canoe Centre is a not-for-profit organisation and rates are very reasonable. Camping costs $6 for children and $8 per night for adults. Tube hire is under $20 for a family of four for a day. Visit: www.nymboidacanoecentre.com Wet ‘n’ Wild is located on Gold Coast. Tickets start at $32.95 for children and $49.95 for adults, but family rates and specials are available. Visit: wetnwild.myfun.com.au

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Yearning for some quality family time? In our overly hectic lives, we often yearn to slow down, reconnect with the kids and live a life less complicated. Living on the coast is fantastic, but sometimes it’s nice to escape for a temporary “tree-change”. It might not be possible to run for the hills permanently, but at Cedar Glen Farmstay you can at least escape for a little while. Cedar Glen has been in the Stephen’s family since 1882. Located at the foot of World Heritage Lamington National Park, this spectacular 1050 acre property is home to beef cattle, Arabian horses, milking cows, sheep, pigs, kangaroos and poultry. With clear mountain views, cooler nights, and crackling fires, Winter and Spring are great times to visit. A real highlight of Cedar Glen is the activities they have to offer. Imagine the kids’ excitement as they get to feed the animals twice daily, or try their hand at milking the house cow each morning. Don’t miss the opportunity to embark on a horse ride through some of South East Qld’s most spectacular country – riders of all ages and experience are catered for. You can also learn how to throw a returning boomerang and crack the Australian stock whip while enjoying a cup of billy tea and freshly made damper. Guests can stay in the original 1901 homestead, or choose one of three historic cottages which have been renovated to maintain the charm and authenticity of a bygone era. All buildings are surrounded by wide verandas perfect for soaking up the country views. Mums in particular will love the optional fully catered holiday. Imagine leaving even the cooking behind! If watching Discovery channel is the closest you’ve been to nature in a while, do something for yourself and the kids, and visit Cedar Glen. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

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A Giraffe in the Bath Mem Fox and Olivia Rawson A beautiful and fun story by one of Australia’s favourite picture book authors. Young children will be delighted by the text and the delightful illustrations as will the adults reading it out aloud. Ages 2-5. RRP: $24.95.

There’s a Hippopotamus on our Roof having a Birthday Party Hazel Edwards and Deborah Nilland Many children will be familiar with the other books in this series beginning with “There’s a Hippopotamus on the Roof Eating Cake”. The first in the series came out 30 years ago and was the result of a response by Hazel’s son when explaining the noise on their roof. This book is equally entertaining and has some added sparkles. Ages 2-5. RRP: 24.95.

Star Wars: A Scanimation Book Rufus Butler Seder. If you haven’t seen a scanimation book then you don’t know what you’re missing. These books began with “Gallop” which depicts various animals moving using a technique which doesn’t require batteries, just clever design. Featuring 12 iconic colour illustrations from Star Wars which magically move across the page as you turn. All ages. RRP: $22.95.

Billie B Brown Series Sally Rippin This series is perfect for young girls who like adventure and fun. Billy B Brown covers many themes appropriate for younger primary girls such as ballet, soccer and sleepovers. There is also a website available to enhance the experience. Ages 6-10. RRP: $7.95.

www.funology.com This website is great for boredom-busting with recipes, science experiments, games, jokes, magic tricks and wacky facts. It’s a perfect antidote to a wet weekend, offering all kinds of engaging ways to fill a day. Did you know, for instance, it is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open?

Jim Springman and the Realm of Glory Joshua Wright A great read for older primary children who enjoy fantasy. This story moves at a fast pace and is suitable for boys or girls who don’t mind a story that is scary and magical but still shows the good guy winning. Ages 9-13. RRP: $18.

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health

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by Sarah Pye

Bracing for change

tooth has been shed (usually in the early teens). Karen agrees that early treatment of potential problems is imperative. “Children with crowding, finger or thumb habits, cross-bites, protruding front teeth, under-bites, overbites, or other alignment problems can be effectively treated with early treatment,” she says.

What sort of treatment?

navigating the world of orthodontics

Why is orthodontic care important? The Australian Society of Orthodontics (ASO) says people have orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance, health and function of their teeth and, with proper care, it can enable a person to keep their teeth for their entire life. (Maybe, with any luck, teeth in a glass beside the bed might eventually be a thing of the past!) “It’s more difficult to clean your teeth when they are crowded and overlapping,” an ASO spokesperson says. “Inadequate cleaning is a major factor in tooth decay, gum disease and eventual tooth loss.” Cleaning is not the only challenge with misaligned teeth. It is also claimed that bad bites lead to clenching, grinding, and excessive wear and/or uneven wear. Sometimes (as in the case of a deep bite) the teeth can damage the gum unless intervention is sought. Some people even find speech affected by the placement of their teeth.

When should orthodontic intervention be sought? ASO says orthodontic problems are usually apparent by the age of seven, when most of the adult front teeth have erupted. It recommends early, preventative treatment but, in most cases, treatment does not commence before the last baby

Dr Vas Srinivasan from Kawana Dental explains that treatment for kids is often optimally started as early as two or three years old using ‘functional appliances’ or plates to correct problems such as narrow arches (which are associated with ear, nose, throat (ENT) or airway problems. Generally however, functional appliances are used in the 6-10 age group to reduce the complexity of further treatment. They can be removable or bonded in. Just as the number of kids with braces has increased, so has the range of hardware available. Each comes with its own pros and cons that your orthodontist will explain. Dr Vas prefers to use the smallest brackets available, called ‘speed’, unless patients choose to have ceramic braces or even ‘inside/tongue side’ braces called lingual braces. Braces are bonded to either the front or tongue side of the teeth. As an alternative to braces for teens and adults, Kawana Dental uses Invisalign, a relatively new treatment which uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires. Every couple of months, patients receive a series of these custom moulded ‘gladwrap-looking’ aligners which gently correct the teeth alignment.

Long gone fear Gone are the days when kids with braces were ridiculed in the playground and this must be a good thing…as long as Australia doesn’t spiral down the path of Thailand where the Global Post reports fake braces are considered the latest fashion statement. “Those who can’t afford dentist fees sometimes resort to braces attached in flea markets and living rooms by entrepreneurs with mail-order dental supplies,” it reports. This recent phenomena resulted in two deaths last August due to a resulting infected thyroid and fatal heart failure. Moral of the story…probably: use a trusted professional and, as Karen says, “Make sure any decision you make for your child is well informed.”

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Kids on the Coast Magazine - Gold Coast - Issue 28  

Kids on the Coast Magazine, Gold Coast, Issue 28 www.kidsonthecoast.com.au opting oUt: baby’s immUnity boosted by new milk bank sUpport offe...