Author: Townsville Paediatrics

My Baby Isn’t a Good Sleeper. What Should I Do?

Townsville Paediatrics 

Dear Dr Ramaa Puvvadi, My baby isn’t a good sleeper. What should I do?

Having a regular bedtime routine is key to a good sleep. While most parents pat or rock babies to sleep, which is OK for newborns, cut down on this as it can form a sleep association later. Begin to put the child awake in the cot to encourage self-settling. Leave the room briefly with regular checks or sit quietly until your child falls asleep. In addition, have quiet time before bed, such as a bath, and avoid feeding just before bed. Contact your doctor if you’re having trouble and your baby continues to be a bad sleeper despite routine measures.

Call Townsville Paediatrics on 4427 5817






My Child Is Struggling with Reading, Could She Have Dyslexia?

Yolanda van der Kruk – Registered Psychologist and Neurodevelopmental Consultant – Townsville Paediatrics

Dear Yolanda, My child is really struggling learning to read, could she have dyslexia?

Dyslexia can be very frustrating for a child that is learning to read. It is not only a reading difficulty but a spelling, phonics and comprehension struggle, resulting in lack of reading and writing fluency and accuracy. Although common among early readers, persistence can be the sign of it. The good news is with the proper help and skills, a child can learn ways to help manage these. If you have concerns regarding your child, a full educational and psychometric assessment can identify a range of learning problems, including dyslexia. It can also provide you with detailed information on your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses profile.

4427 5817 


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What Are Immunisations and When Should My Child Get Them?

What Are Immunisations and When Should My Child Get Them? –  Dr Siva from Townsville Paediatrics Explains.

Immunisation is the process that protects people against infections caused by certain micro-organisms. These are micro-organisms that may result in illness, disability, or death. Vaccines (medicines) used in this process improve the body’s defence against infection and protects them against the short and long term complications of those infections.

Immunisations has eradicated many disease such as smallpox from the world. As recently as the 1950’s, thousands of children died every year from diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis). Luckily, it is rare for anyone in Australia to die from these infectious diseases now.

This is thanks to the major vaccination programs introduced in the 1960’s and 1970’s, which continue to date. Immunisations have thus proven to be an effective and safe way to protect you, your children, and future generations from many lethal infections. 

Immunisation not only protects individuals and families, but also the wider community.  The greater the number of vaccinations, then fewer the infections. As a result, there is a lesser spread of disease and thus a healthier community. A striking example of the importance of immunisations are the benefits of polio vaccination. People calculated that the vaccine prevented more than 150,000 cases of paralytic polio and 12,500 deaths worldwide in the first six years after its introduction. 

People get immunisations for various bacterial and viral infections like Diphtheria, Tetanus, Meningococcal disease, Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Adolescent boys and girls receive human papilloma virus vaccine to reduce incidence of cervical cancer.  

All the vaccinations have been rigorously tested to demonstrate their safety and effectiveness in protecting against infectious disease. Most of the vaccines are safe. The common side effects are pain, redness, and mild swelling at the site of injection. Some vaccines may cause mild fever or milder form of disease.

Every country has its own immunisations schedule based on the types of infections prevalent in those countries.

These immunisation schedules provide advice on the recommended vaccine and age of vaccination. Click here for the Australian National Immunisation Program. All immunisations work in similar way – they improve the body’s immune system against a particular infection upon contact with that infection. All contact after vaccination ensures that the immune system is ready to repel the disease or reduce the intensity of the infection.

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What Are The Treatment Options for a Child with Eczema?

Dr Adele Heyer – Townsville Paediatrics

Dear Dr Adele, my child has eczema. What are the treatment options?

Eczema is a common skin condition and can be very disabling for some children. It makes the skin intensely itchy, dry and inflamed, especially during a flare. In general, frequently applied moisturisers are the mainstay in managing it. . 

Flares should be recognised and treated early and are treated with steroid creams or antibiotics if infection is present. In some children an allergic trigger can be identified and avoided, but this is not always possible. Fortunately, eczema can improve with age in most children. Overall, a consistent and diligent daily skin routine will improve the skin’s integrity and reduce severity of symptoms.

4427 5817

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Should I be Concerned About My Child’s Heart Murmur?

Dr A. Guatam – Townsville Paediatrics

Dear Dr Guatam, My child has a heart murmur. Should I be concerned?

Heart murmurs are whooshing or humming sounds heard between the two heartbeat sounds, with a stethoscope. Pathological murmurs can be caused by serious conditions and additional tests may be required to determine an innocent murmur from a harmful one. However, a murmur by itself does not always represent an abnormality. A large majority of healthy infants and young children can have murmurs which will disappear as the child grows. Contact your Doctor if the heart murmur concerns you or seems ongoing.

4427 5817

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How Can I Help My Child With Autism Manage Big Emotions?

Yolanda Van Der Kruk – Psychologist – Townsville Paediatrics

Dear Yolanda, how can I help my child with autism manage big emotions?

Many, if not all children diagnosed with autism experience emotion regulation difficulties. Fortunately, with the right help, we can teach our children with autism how to better manage these. When they’re upset, remind them that this feeling will pass. Practice taking deep breaths with them and offer calming and comforting tools. Talk to them about what they can do to better manage these emotions through prevention and regulation techniques when they aren’t upset. Then you can them of these techniques during a meltdown, even offering a reward for doing so.

4427 5817

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