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Re: Kids/Babies in Kruger NP info.

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Re: Infants in the park

Unread postby Foxy » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:24 pm

YES BRING YOUR INFANTS !! DESTROY MY AFTERNOON NAP WITH NAPPY CHANGING AND LOUD SCREAMING

i did not drive all the way from durban to be reminded that infants are mini-zombies.

i fail to understand how people can enjoy the holiday while the kid is between 0-8. you just cant, thats why me and the wifey havent had kids yet because we want to ENJOY peace and quiet (among other things ) in the kruger while we are young. (she's 22, me 25)

honestly, just stay at home, raise your kid and if he/she has manners and is 100% potty trained, doesnt need a leash then its all cool.


OWN :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


Well, well, well Supertrooper - you certainly do have an attitude. :whistle:

I await the day you and your wifey have your first little Supertropper - I think you in for quite a little surprise and a big change in your attitude.

Nuf said .........

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Re: 10 months old baby

Unread postby zivvy&muffin » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:43 am

Duke Ellieton wrote:Malaria can be fatal and we should not be flippant about it.

Kruger in the summer months is definitely a high risk area as illustrated in the map below and children under 5 are a high risk group

Image

The map comes from this document which has a lot of useful information on precuations, risks, treatment.


:pray: A must read post and document, for anyone seriously trying to understand the risks. But not negating the additional professional advice you should always seek. :thumbs_up:

Anyhow some question(s) if I may:
The DOH pamphlet seems to confuse its information regarding 5-year old children. On the one hand at page 17 it suggests not taking them to a "malaria area" at all; whereas on page 25 it suggests not to take a child to a high risk area.
In neither case is it clear to me whether or not prophylaxis is covered or not (the pamphlet merrily notes certain drugs are dispensible to kids under 5). So:
1. Is there any point giving prophylaxis to a 4 year-old? (ie. Does it reduce risk - in the sense of helping a 4 year-old unlucky enough to contract malaria after taking the drugs)

So two more questions:
2. Is KNP considered a "malaria area" in July (mid-winter so <10 degrees)?
3. Is KNP considered a "high risk area" in Summer (the pamphlet's map at page 27 suggests not)?

I guess its poorly written, or defensively written being a government document ... but I would be grateful if learned forumites could point me towards clearer answers to my 3 questions.

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Re: Infants in the park

Unread postby onewithnature » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:47 am

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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Re: Infants in the park

Unread postby onewithnature » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:10 am

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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Re: Infants in the park

Unread postby PNF » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:00 pm

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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Re: Infants in the park

Unread postby zivvy&muffin » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:24 am

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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Re: Infants in the park

Unread postby onewithnature » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:24 am

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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Re: Infants in the park

Unread postby Toddelelfe » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:10 am

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!
:hmz: Thinking about the next trip :hmz:
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Re: Infants in the park

Unread postby Gemma T » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:11 am

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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Re: Infants in the park

Unread postby Supertrooper » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:23 pm

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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traveling in Kruger with young child

Unread postby kimperato » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:20 am

Will be traveling with 3 year old child in eastern South Africa in late March into early April 2013.
After a stint at the beach near Durban, we wish to go to Kruger NP.
Are there certain activities that would not be recommended, or others specifically recommended with respect to traveling with such a young child and safety concerns.
Never having been to African game park, I would welcome any advice and I come with no point of reference or information.
Thank you all.

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Re: traveling in Kruger with young child

Unread postby deon.pienaar » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:43 am

Deon wrote:A lot of your activities would be driving in the Park. Take the following in consideration:
1. Make sure to take a lot of fluid and refreshments along.
2. Also take some stuff with to keep the little one busy like animal books etc.
3. Make sure to take swimming gear with to let the little one enjou the swimming pools in the rest camps.
4. Monkeys are normally a problem in the Rest Camps, make sure to keep an eye on them as they tend to steel food etc. from the kids.
5. Try not to drive the whole day long as the kid will get very tired. Rather look at the map and make sure to stop at all the Rest Camps on your way. There are not a lot of camps.

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Re: traveling in Kruger with young child

Unread postby redwingstarling » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:56 am

I'd also suggest you base yourself in one of the larger camps for several days.
That way you won't have to drive around too much and you can enjoy the camp surrounds together. Pretoriuskop has a lovely swimming pool and there are tame impala living in camp which makes it nice for kids. Skukuza might also be an option because there are plenty of short trips you can do around there and there's lots of activity.
Satara has a nice play area for kids near the pool too.
Children don't have the same appetite for long game drives so it's probably best to do things in small bites.

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Re: traveling in Kruger with young child

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:33 pm

kimperato wrote:After a stint at the beach near Durban, we wish to go to Kruger NP.


Be aware of the hot African sun, even in March/April, and put on sunscreen and cover up your child.

Without becoming neurotic, keep an eye on your child at all times. You will be visiting the African wilderness, and there are snakes, insects etc. Just remain alert, no need to panic.
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Re: traveling in Kruger with young child

Unread postby winnydpu » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:08 pm

We've taken our daughter twice, at 2 and 3 years of age.
Even at three, she is only really interested in animals that are quite close to the car.
So, it has changed our driving style somewhat.
Less time looking for the rarer animals far off in the bush, more sitting alongside a herd of zebra talking with her about what the animals are doing.
We also ensure that we could get out of the car at picnic areas on a regular basis

We bought her a cheap set of small construction vehicles and plastic shovel.
She spent most evenings scraping little roads in the dirt/gravel outside each bungalow we visited.

Also, there is a zebra at Lower Sabie and a giraffe at Skukuza that small children can ride (for 2 rand the animal rocks back and forth, like the horse rides elsewhere).
Six months after our second trip my daughter still considers this the high point of her trip!

Think through the malaria issues, be aware of the monkeys and the child will have a great time.
We gave our child a stick to carry when playing around the camp and the vervets treated her with more caution when she had the stick in her hand.


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