Informed – Accurate – Sincere – Real Information
On children and parenting

By Professor Claudia Gray, paediatrician and proud parent

What is normal, what is not?
What’s too noisy, what’s too hot?
What’s that cough and what’s that spot?
Worry a little or worry a lot?

Parenting is a mammoth task, and brings with it a lot of uncertainty as to what is actually within the norm, and what may need more urgent attention. Coupled with this uncertainty, parenting in the 21st century is complicated by overwhelming amounts of information available at the push of a button – some of it useful, some of it inaccurate and even harmful!

In this website we aim to bring you real, sincere information which has been researched and experienced, to help separate the useful facts from the overwhelming noise.

What is a new variant? Viruses have one aim: to survive and propagate- which they can only do by invading host tissues as they lack the “machinery” to replicate on their own. With this in mind, viruses constantly change to form new “variants.” Some variants emerge and disappear, some persist. Variants which allow a virus to spread more easily or to evade treatment or vaccination are termed “variants of concern.” Background to Omicron On the 24th November 2021 (only 2 weeks ago!) a new variant of then SARSCoV2 virus (B.1.1.529, named Omicron) was reported to the World Health Organization. Only two days later it was declared as a “variant of concern.” Within 2 weeks, the Omicron variant has become the dominant variant circulating throughout most of South Africa. Is Omicron more catchy? We are awaiting more data, but at this stage it seems that Omicron is even more transmissible than…

For those still awaiting or debating the vaccine in your 12-17 year-olds, a couple of pointers: 1️⃣ Why should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine? – The vaccine is highly effective in protecting against severe disease and death. Yes, most children have mild illness, BUT some children get very ill, require hospitalization or ventilation and even die. This is unacceptable in a vaccine-modifiable disease. – The vaccine can help prevent long-term or severe inflammatory conditions such as Long-Covid and Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Disease. – Teens can play a major part in transmitting the SARSCoV2 virus: vaccines can reduce transmission and protect the community. – Vaccines can stop other variants from emerging. 2️⃣ Are the vaccines safe? – Medication safety is taken extremely seriously by the regulatory authorities, including the FDA in the USA and SAHPRA in South Africa, who are constantly scrutinizing data. They have approved the use of the…

Some individuals experience ongoing health problems weeks after the initial onset of COVID symptoms, including fatigue, cardiorespiratory and neurological symptoms. This phenomenon is known as Long-COVID. The prevalence…