The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

the cat in the hat

Growing up, I wasn’t a great fan of Dr Seuss because I didn’t like his books with all the nonsense words. So naturally, I was a bit reserved to get one of his books for Samantha.

In the end, I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.. This book was not only well received by Samantha, but I also found myself to be a new fan.

The Cat in the Hat is about how two children were sitting around in the house on a rainy day when the Cat visits them. The cat then decides to play some games with the children, much to the children’s fish’s annoyance. To be fair, this book has no nonsense words inside, and the story is written in a coherent, albeit silly manner. Nice rhymes and some repetitions in the book made it a real nice book to read to your child. I also read somewhere that the words used to construct the story are some of the most common words toddlers should know.

This book was so interesting to Samantha that she managed to sit through the whole 61-page book. Time to pick up some other Dr Seuss books..


Foreign Bodies in Children: Warning Signs

In the ideal world all children are supervised when they play and all small objects are kept out of their reach at home, at childcare and everywhere the child chooses to explore. However, in the real world, that is very difficult, if not impossible to enforce.

Every parent should know these warning signs that tell you that your child has a foreign body and seek medical attention immediately:


  • Persistent one sided nose discharge – this is usually slightly bloody and yellow or green
  • A bad smell coming from the nose
  • Nasal pain


  • One sided ear discharge
  • Ear pain and swelling of the ear canal

Food pipe

  • Food refusal
  • Difficulty swallowing their usual diet – sometimes they are still able to drink fluids but cannot eat
  • Drooling
  • Regurgitation of food

Windpipe (This is usually more dramatic than at other sites, as you can imagine)

  • Sudden difficulty breathing
  • Child turns blue
  • While taking breaths in and out, the child makes a sound

Unless you are familiar with the object, part of it is sticking out and you can get a good grip on the object (that is rarely the case given the tiny nature of the most common foreign bodies), never try to remove the object. You may dislodge the foreign body deeper into the body, or cause damage to your child’s tissue as you are pulling the item out. Seek medical attention immediately.

(This article is Part 3 of a 4-part series about foreign bodies, contributed by my wife who sees people with Ear, Nose and Throat issues.


Part 1 – Foreign Bodies in Children: Why They Can Be Lethal

Part 2 – Foreign Bodies in Children: The Most Common Culprits and Why Button Batteries Are The Child’s Worst Enemy)

Pip and Posy: The Big Balloon by Axel Scheffler

Pip and Posy the big balloon

This was one of the first few hardback books I bought for Samantha (at 17 months of age). I was a bit wary because we had always been reading board books and I didn’t know if she would tear the pages of this hardback. It turned out that she didn’t! (she usually wants us to turn the pages of the books for her..)

This book is about Pip and her big red balloon and how she and Posy took the balloon out for a walk. However, Pip accidentally let the balloon go and it burst after getting caught in a tree. Pip was so sad that she started crying. Posy then had a great idea – to play with bubbles instead!

With only 2 lines (or less) of simple text on every page, this book is perfect for young toddlers who are beginning to read. The book is also beautifully illustrated with bright bold colours.

Samantha likes this book because she is a fan of both balloons and bubbles. We also use this book to talk about the basic emotions of happy and sad.

This book is one of a series of stories about Pip and Posy, all written in the same style. Do check them out!

Foreign Bodies in Children: The Most Common Culprits and Why Button Batteries Are The Child’s Worst Enemy

While every single small object (and large object with breakable/detachable small bits) has the potential to become a foreign body in a child ear, nose or throat, there are some common items that are frequently seen in children who come to the emergency department.

These common objects include:

  • Coins,
  • hair clips,
  • batteries (especially button batteries),
  • tissue paper,
  • cotton wool,
  • rubber bands,
  • beads,
  • pencil lead,
  • small erasers,
  • Lego pieces,
  • sequins from clothes

piggy bank and coins
Coins are great for training fine motor and hand-eye coordination but be really careful with them!

Some stranger things I have encountered: rubber piece that is found on the tip of metal hangers, ear phone tips and red beans!

I wish to elaborate more on button batteries. These are absolutely the worst things to let a child play with. They cause serious damage to any orifice they are placed into. Once in contact with a moist environment, the battery fluid leaks out and severe corrosion occurs, damaging the lining of the human tissue it is in contact with.

For example, if inserted into the nose, it can burn a hole straight through the child’s nose septum (the firm piece of tissue in the nose separating the two nostrils). As a result, the poor child will need multiple surgeries to clean the nose. If the damage to the septum is severe the nose may collapse from lack of support. If the button battery is swallowed, it can burn a hole through the child’s food pipe!

In summary, if you suspect your child has a button battery foreign body, bring him to the emergency immediately. There is no time to lose.

(This article is Part 2 of a 4-part series about foreign bodies, contributed by my wife who sees people with Ear, Nose and Throat issues.

Read Part 1 – Foreign Bodies in Children: Why They Can Be Lethal)

Room On the Broom by Julia Donaldson

Room on the broom

Julia Donaldson is one of Samantha’s favorite authors. This fantastic book is about the adventures of a witch and her cat flying around on a broomstick. A dog, bird and frog join them and they even run into a fierce dragon who wants to eat the witch! The animals came to the witch’s rescue and work together in a unique way to chase the dragon away..

Written in her usual poetic style with rhymes and good repetitions, this is book that Samantha adores. We also use this book as a springboard to discuss about animals, emotions, and kindness. A truly enjoyable book!