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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:47 am 
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Z&M, I will answer your last two questions first.

Kruger National Park is considered a seasonal-risk malarial area; which means that the malarial risk is considered suitably low during the colder months (taken as June, July, August, and September) that only correctly applied non-drug measures are suggested. In the warmer and wetter periods - defined for seasonal-risk areas in Southern Africa as October to May, inclusive - the recommendations are for both suitable non-drug measures plus appropriate antimalarial medications to be used in conjunction with each other.

However, remember that these are only generic, broad suggestions which, on the face of it, do not take into account people with special needs - such as young children, travellers that are immunocompromised, pregnant women, and so on. Therefore, each case should be reviewed according to its merits or demerits and a sound judgement made accordingly. Here is where consultation with a qualified and experienced health professional is greatly suggested. Several web-sites do give good information, but I have read some that give quite unsuitable, and sometimes downright ridiculous, advice; so make sure you consult someone that knows what they're talking about!

Some people have asked if Kruger is less high-risk than other high-risk areas of the world. By and large - and if nothing has changed in recent years - Kruger has mostly been diligent in spraying and controlling mosquito populations within its boundaries. Also, malaria risk is determined by other factors, such as amount of rainfall, timing of the rainfall, average daily temperatures, the lie of the land in promoting stagnant pools, and so forth. Also, malaria risk is often determined by the number of cases of people contracting malaria within a certain area. All of this together has prompted the authorities to say that Kruger is relatively lower risk than some other areas of the world, such as the malaria risk in Mozambique and large parts of Tropical Africa (consult suitable malaria-risk maps and accompanying information to glean more specific data related to this).

Nevertheless, it is best to follow pertinent and relevant advice for areas you are visiting so as to minimise contracting this dread disease. Kruger may be of lesser risk than some other parts of the world, but there is still a significant risk which should not be ignored. It is, I suppose, like comparing the risk of being knocked over on a busy road or a quieter road - just because the road is quieter doesn't mean that you shouldn't look when you cross!


Disclaimer: My recommendations here - though based on some experience and some drug, and other, knowledge - are not absolute, and further consultation with suitable health-care professionals is suggested before a final decision is taken on whether to enter a malarial area, what prophylaxis to use, and any general factors and limitations that need to be taken into account. Furthermore, I only advise based on what information is given by the person(s) entering the malarial area, but I have no control on the information given to me, and so such information could possibly be incomplete or misleading. Moreover, people vary subjectively as to how they metabolise, and react to, drugs and other substances, which further accentuates that my suggestions here are only general suggestions, and therefore not to be taken as pertaining to every person alike.

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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:10 am 
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Z&M, as to your first statements and question, I have indeed wondered over certain seemingly disparate dollops of information for years; but I have finally, and tentatively, concluded that there are degrees of - not always absolute - advice when it comes to malaria. The reason for this is that people are also weighing up the risk of an individual contracting malaria in a risk area versus the benefits of going there in the first place.

The finest advice would be to completely ensure that a young child does not enter a malarial area at all, because, as has been mentioned previously, and as examples: (i) their immune systems may not yet be fully developed and so progression of the disease may be fatal quicker; (ii) it is not always easy to effectively and timeously diagnose malaria in a young child (they may not be able to effectively communicate their symptoms and how they're feeling; they may have other concurrent conditions/diseases whose symptoms and signs may approximate that of malaria; they, or their signs and symptoms, may only alert the parent to visit a doctor at a too-late stage; and so on); (iii) it may be more difficult to impress upon a child the need to stay indoors after dark and "hamstring" themselves with seemingly annoying non-drug measures.

Many parents feel the need to weigh up the options at their disposal and determine whether they will take the risk - however small or large - of exposing their children (and themselves) in a malarial area. I personally did not take my daughter to a malarial area until she was 8 years old as I know the dangers and was unwilling to expose her to them. Other parents will totally disagree with me. Each to his/her own.

Most official recommendations will suggest not taking children less than five years old to a malarial area - both high- and low-risk areas - as this is generally the best advice for them (as explained earlier). However, in the event that the child still goes to a malarial area (and particularly a high-risk one), then there are antimalarial drug options available to minimise that child's risk of contracting the disease. Not a perfect situation by any means, but at least the risk will be lowered. Of course, with medications comes potential side-effects that may hamper the child and/or cause serious distress. Again, these need to be considered in the final decision.

There are many factors to take into account to decide whether a young child (and of course any individual) is to enter a malarial area, but the bottom line is that as long as there is risk of contracting malaria, the person involved will be exposed to that risk, to a lesser or greater degree depending on what precautions are implemented to lower the risk.

Now, more specifically to you, Z&M, my recommendation for your 4-year-old is still the same; avoid malarial areas if you can. If you choose to take your child anyway, be very diligent in applying non-drug measures from just before sunset until just after sunrise. I would also consider adding antimalarial drugs (especially in high-risk season), but do this in conjunction with a well-recommended medical practitioner experienced in malaria prevention and treatment. Is it worth giving the drugs, you ask? Antimalarial drugs suitable for that patient, and given correctly and regularly, will almost certainly reduce the chances of the patient contracting and/or dying of malaria. However, this does not mean that the person will be fully protected, and hence the need still for non-drug measures with the antimalarial medication. And monitor the child for at least six weeks [and, more wisely, up to three (and some sites suggest six) months] after first entering the malarial area for any signs or symptoms that may indicate a malarial infection. If in doubt, check with a medical doctor!


Disclaimer: My recommendations here - though based on some experience and some drug, and other, knowledge - are not absolute, and further consultation with suitable health-care professionals is suggested before a final decision is taken on whether to enter a malarial area, what prophylaxis to use, and any general factors and limitations that need to be taken into account. Furthermore, I only advise based on what information is given by the person(s) entering the malarial area, but I have no control on the information given to me, and so such information could possibly be incomplete or misleading. Moreover, people vary subjectively as to how they metabolise, and react to, drugs and other substances, which further accentuates that my suggestions here are only general suggestions, and therefore not to be taken as pertaining to every person alike.

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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:00 pm 
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OWN - as always a very considered and thoughtful reply which evidently draws upon experience. It is advise which should be (but possibly won't be!) heeded by all who visit malaria areas.

Would like to just add that, for those who live outside of a malaria area, especially outside of Africa - the experience of your local doctor in dealing with malaria must also be taken into account. P contracted malaria some years ago and was lucky that our doctor at that time immediately suspected it and treated him accordingly whilst waiting for the test results. When I contracted malaria almost 3 years ago, a different doctor treated me for an ulcer despite being told several times that I had returned only 4 weeks previously from a malaria area. I ended up in hospital for 3 weeks...
However, both of our children were born and lived their early lives in malaria areas and never contracted the disease.

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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:24 am 
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onewithnature wrote:
It is, I suppose, like comparing the risk of being knocked over on a busy road or a quieter road - just because the road is quieter doesn't mean that you shouldn't look when you cross!

O.W.N. thank you very much for all your posts, and responses to mine. :clap:
My latest questions had two purposes:
To focus into some facts for this thread; and
To garner more information for a possible KNP trip for my young nephew. The SA doctors are happy enough to support such in July and thus my younger brother is raring to go. I just wanted to go into deeper risk evaluation mode :) . The road analogy quoted above is apt, and very cleverly pinpoints how humans can let their guard down when dealing with risks they can't immediately see.

Thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:24 am 
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Kite, Philip, PNF, Z&M ... :thumbs_up:

PNF, most people know what the right thing to do in a situation is, but many, for whatever idiosyncratic reasons may grab them, seem to ignore danger and go ahead anyway. I suppose this is one of the strange maladies that affect humans? PNF, it is a sad state of affairs when a medical doctor, whose decisions can influence the lives of patients, overlooks fundamental information that could have immediately alerted him/her to the correct diagnosis and course of treatment; most especially because you alerted him/her first. :( Sorry that you had to live through three weeks of that horrible disease. :( At least, as you say, P did not have to go through that trauma as the right thing was done. :thumbs_up:

Z&M, a "deeper risk evaluation mode"! :hmz: Fascinating state to be in. :wink: So I am not at all surprised to find that you have already contemplated the various nuances that my road analogy suggested! :clap: :D

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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:10 am 
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Hi Supertrooper, :hmz:

you know not enough about life. :wall: Normal for a young man. :gflower: I had wonderful naps, when the kids of our surrounding play football or star wars under my window. :dance:
And bringing the wonder of nature to kids, its never to early.


And be aware, in 2014 is my daughter (5) on my side! :D
But it goes with kids the same, as with dogs. The problem isn`t never the dog / kid, it´s the person behind!

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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:11 am 
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I have to say I'm with Supertrooper a bit on this. I don't mind kids playing in the camp during the day, or shouting and being excited by the pool. But this August we had a family across from us who had brought a baby who was, at most, a couple of months old. This child screamed and cried pretty constantly for hours on end through the night.

It kept me awake for several hours. Others must have had the same problem as we're weren't the closest tent to their pitch.

I honestly think that parents should have some consideration for others in the choices they make when bringing very young children to the park. If our neighbour had been drinking and having a party we would have been supported by others in complaining about them. But if you do this about babies you risk bring called a Scrooge or told you're preventing them learning about nature.

When I'm in the park I try to be considerate of others - I don't hold loud conversations when I'm getting up at before 5 to get to the gate, I don't slam my car doors when we leave, I don't have parties late into the night, and I do think others should think of the impact they have on their fellow visitors.

There was no way that baby was going to get any enjoyment from being there - it was just too young to be aware! But the impact its parents' choice had on others was massively negative and selfish.

I love seeing the delight on kids faces when they are really appreciating nature in the park but this was just too early.

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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:23 pm 
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Bundi wrote:
Just returned from the Park with 8 month old baby for her third trip and 3 year old daughter for her fourteenth I think.

My 3 year old is a proper bush baby and the only way to have that instilled in them is to take them from a young age. Never had problems with malaria in the past and they have even travelled to some central African countries with us. I am not saying it would never happen, but we go to very great lengths in preventative measures.

I cannot imagine going to Kruger with my kids and I make sure they understand and follow the rules about noise etc and can honestly say we have never had any problems before.



thats awesome, its kids like these that i would congratulate the parents on doing a great job.

if ever i have kids, they will be potty trained, well mannered beasts with a thirst for knowledge of nature and kruger will be for sure the place to bring them.

we dont have anything against kids or parents bringing them to the kruger just please for the love of other campers and people who are tired after a long days drive make sure your beast is trained and well behaved.

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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:11 am 
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Thought I would share this with you guys here. I have taken all my kids to the Kruger park throughout their respected age groups.

This was my daughter at a year old. She had a total blast at Berg n Dal, as you can see.

Image

I do agree however that some people do not think before they do. If you know that your child is unfortunately not a great sleeper at night and is prone to waking up and crying etc, maybe it is best to rethink a Kruger holiday? Wait a year or two until they are a bit older and have better sleep patterns or can understand what quiet time means etc.

I personally would not take any of my kids if I knew that they are difficult "customers" at their age and that they might spoil the atmosphere not only for us, but for fellow visitors, then I would definitely not take them and rather take them somewhere where noise factors aren't really that big a deal. Even if I had to give up a well deserved Kruger trip.

There is also a point to be made for those people who do not tolerate kids whatsoever.
Kruger is and will always be a family holiday destination, and some people should stop thinking that Kruger belongs to them and get a heart attack when a few kids laugh, play and run around a camp..


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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:22 pm 
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DotDan wrote:
.., and some people should stop thinking that Kruger belongs to them and get a heart attack when a few kids laugh, play and run around a camp..

:clap: :thumbs_up: :thanx:
Nothing more to say!

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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:08 pm 
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Some people with children, not all of them, think the park and all the camps and campsites belong to them and their precious little children. They think that they have the right to relax to such extend that they do not act or care when their children are a nuicanse to other people. Just as long as they can relax and the children are enjoying themselves. This September we experienced this in all 4 camps we stayed at. Especially at one camp which is supposed to be a rustic camp the parents paid absolutely no attention to the rules that bicycles are not allowed and that you should consider your fellow campers who are there for the peace and quiet. Children were yelling at each other at the top of their voices, bouncing balls way past the point of irritation, riding their bicycles into other campers sites and yellling as they did so and the parents did absolutely nothing about it because they were too busy relaxing to worry about the discomfort they caused other campers.
Having said that there was a family next to us with two children and a few sites away from us also a site with two children and you never knew about them.
If you want to teach your children about nature you would subsequently also teach them about appropriate behaviour when camping, consideration for other campers, not only about the animals they can see. If you want your infant or child to have a place to run and scream maybe you should rather consider other commercial well known resorts. People become intolerant towards children because off the parents of those children who cannot control their children and have no consideration for other campers.

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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Totally agree BadgerGirl! We have had a couple of scary moments at Letaba and Punda where little ones were left to play with no supervision! Ellies came to the fence...on both occasions. At Letaba I actually grabbed the one little blighter by the scruff of the neck as he went racing up to the ellie with a hand full of sand ready to throw at him :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: !

The other child, at Punda, actually stood and stuck his little arm through the fence screeching in delight at the pachyderm about 3-4m away...after I told him to get back and that the ellie can be dangerous, I got an ugly tongue pointed at me :lol: , yes, I had to laugh, if not that child would have gone for an elephant back safari!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

What would have happened if either ellie decided to discipline those children himself? He would would probably have been shot!

Don't get me wrong, I love children, we have 4 of our own and have been camping with them since they were very young, but, one thing is for sure...we took responsibility for our children and did not use the other campers as childminders! Wake up "some" of you parents out there...KNP is wild and dangerous!

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 Post subject: Re: Infants in the park
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:50 am 
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Imvubu, well done on rescuing those clueless children :clap: :clap: ; how dangerous a situation, as you have said, could that have been. :big_eyes: There is no doubt that there are indeed people out there who don't understand what it means to be concerned, loving, boundary-setting and boundary-enforcing parents. These careless people seem to believe that their children should be allowed to do whatever they please - I've even often seen a smirk or twist of smug satisfaction on their faces when their children get away with badgering and compromising adults around them. It is as if their children are tools to get back at others. Sometimes it is indeed ignorance, although I mostly find that these type of parents know exactly what is going on, but choose to do nothing about it. What they don't realise, however, is that they are ultimately creating undisciplined, emotionally immature adults who will likely land up at loggerheads with society and its rules, and thereby eventually be ostracised or, worse, criminalised. There is certainly a strong link between self-respect, appreciation for what is valuable and good, and self-discipline with emotional intelligence, mature evaluation and adjustment to situations, and a general feeling of contentment and happiness. If it was actually practically possible, I would lobby tirelessly that people not be allowed to have children without passing a stringent course in how to raise well-adjusted, contented offspring who become responsible, mature adults. Sadly, though, this is but a pipe dream, for how can maladjusted, emotionally immature adults raise anything other than clones of themselves?

Having painted the black picture above, I hasten now to add that, in my experience, the largest majority of visitors are mannered, friendly, mature ones who strive to leave as little of a footprint behind as possible. The only time that this changes is when communal drunkenness drastically alters some individuals' perceptions, so that the concept of "others" camouflages into the night. :twisted: There have been times in the past when partying groups have yelled and guffawed into the early hours of the morning in otherwise quiet camp areas. These days, luckily, one can mostly put a stop to it by calling the duty manager. :D I find, nevertheless, that most folks are genuinely delightful to socialise with and these positive experiences make any trip to the bush all the more special. :dance:

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TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
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