Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Compulsory Immunisations for Primary One Registration

MOE website states that

... all children (Singapore Citizens and Non-Singapore Citizens) should have completed the recommended immunisations before entry into Primary One
However, HPB website contradicts that statement
 ... (only) Diphtheria and measles vaccinations are COMPULSORY by law

I emailed both MOE and HPB, and below is the definitive reply

Thank you for your email and enquiry. Kindly refer to our reply as follows :- 

1. why such a requirement when only Diphtheria and measles vaccinations are COMPULSORY by law.  (https://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/630)

In Singapore, diphtheria & measles are compulsory by law.  Diphtheria is only available in combined form and is usually given in combined form with pertussis, tetanus and Polio (DPT/IPV) or with pertussis, tetanus, haemophilis influenza B and polio (5 in 1). Measles is also given in combined form with mumps and rubella (MMR). 

Every child must be immunised against diphtheria within 12 months of birth or 12 months of arrival in Singapore and against measles between 1-2 years of age.


2. if a child has completed only immunisations compulsory by law, will he still be denied entry?

As mentioned in Ms Teo ( MOE ) reply dated 3 Oct 2016, the school will not reject the P1 registration but you have to produce documents before school starts 

Please feel free to contact us should you have any further clarification.  


Thanks & Regards,

Mei Ping

Senior Executive, National Registry of Diseases Office

Policy, Research and Surveillance (PRS) Division

[www.nir.hpb.gov.sg]www.nir.hpb.gov.sg (National Immunisation Registry)
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Health Promotion BoardTel. (65) 6435 3267     Fax. (65) 6438 1015http://www.hpb.gov.sgPrivileged/Confidential information may be contained in this message.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

KKH vs PEH vs NUH

So we just had our third child. Three different child, three different hospitals!

Our first child was delivered at KKH, second at PEH and third at NUH. Below are the summary of the pros and cons of all of them. Take note that only the last one may be relevant as it was the most recent one. The earlier two are a few years back and things may have changed.

1st Child - KKH - 2011


Clinic

We had an experienced male gynae, Prof John Tee, whom we saw most of the time at their satellite clinic at AMK since it was nearer to us than KKH itself. To be honest, I prefer the satellite clinic to the private clinic at KKH anyday.

The appointments were a breeze. You hardly need to wait anything longer than 15 mins as the clinic is small hence do not cater to too many mums.

Experience - Positive

Delivery suites


The midwifes are all too 'old school' therefore they expect you to follow the routine which is to get you induced, jab you with pain killers, cervical check now and then and lastly get you to push.

You are also expected to lay on your back the whole time. No other positions allowed.

Experience - Negative


Maternity ward


We stayed at the A1 ward and it was a pleasant experience.  The nurses were kind and attentive and they really take good care of you. A lactation nurse will come by to help if you are having issues with breastfeeding.

Experience - Absolutely positive.


2nd Child - PEH - 2013


Clinic


As this is a private hospital, the gynaes are all private gynaes who owns their own clinic and we had Dr Heng from Heng Clinic as our gynae. She is an experienced gynae and appointments with her was always pleasant. She does cervical checks that was the least painful.

Her clinic is always packed and we do sometimes have to wait a while, especially when she has to attend to a delivery. However, I don't recall having to wait for hours.

Experience - Positive

Delivery Suite


This has got to be the biggest delivery suite. It was that spacious! For this 2nd delivery, we had a doula with us which the hospital allows then. They don't anymore now.

The midwifes are kind but also pretty old school. They don't even know what is a doula and what they do. As Dr Heng knows we are going for natural birth, the nurses were probably informed and pretty much offhand.

Experience - Positive

Maternity Ward


We didn't get the single bed suite as they are all fully booked therefore has to share with another mum in a 2 bedder. By right I was not allowed to stay the night but because they were not able to provide us a single bedder room, they made an exception. The other mum had her hubby stayed the night too, so they probably had no choice.

They provide Halal Chinese style confinement food which was delicious!

Experience - Neutral, as we were unable to get a single bedder.


3rd Child - NUH - 2016


Clinic


We had Prof Su Lin Lin as our gynae. To be honest, we would rather have a different gynae if we could but the gynae we wanted was fully booked. Prof Su is a little too cautious for our liking that she is the only gynae of all the 3 to cause us to worry that the pregnancy is not normal when it is. She even suggest a detailed scan when we are like a couple of weeks away from the delivery date, which I find unnecessary and redundant.

However, she was not the main problem but time wasted while waiting to see her was! We spend so more time on the walkway to the rooms then actually seeing her. The longest we waited was 4 hours!

Experience - Terrible.

Delivery Suite

NUH allows you to practically move about. This was the absolutely positive part. They also allow a doula which is another plus. The nurses were also very accommodating.

However, during our delivery, the standby gynae who was clearly inexperienced and probably unaware of what natural birth is was the biggest let down. At one point, she even cringed and she wants to be a gynae?!

Experience - Positive for the rooms and nurses. Absolutely negative for the in house doctor.

A tip to would be parents delivering at NUH and planning for a natural birth. You don't have to listen to the in house gynae. Consult your own doctor instead!

Maternity Ward


Pretty much similar to KKH. The nurses were kind and took real good care of us. The rooms were also pretty new and huge.

As single bedder, they also provide celebratory meal which basically means two upgraded meals for each spouse on a properly laid makeshift dinner table.

Experience - Absolutely positive.



Thursday, March 24, 2016

Child Development Account (CDA) First Step Grant


Budget 2016 introduced the First Step Grant to the CDA where children born after March 24 will automatically receive a grant of $3,000 in their CDA without parents having to contribute anything first.

The amount will count towards the existing goverment matching caps which is $6,000 for a first or second child, $12,000 for a third or fourth child and $18,000 for any subsequent children

With this grant, parents now need to contribute $3,000 less than the cap to get full matching amount from the government.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fisher-Price, Ferrari and Mothercare car seats - A Re-branded Nania

Fisher-Price, Ferrari and Mothercare brand range of car seats are practically re-branded car seats by Nania. So in terms of functionality and design, they are exactly the same. The difference may be in terms of quality of the fabric.

The above mentioned brands has the exact same complete range of car seats which in my opinion covers your kid right from infancy till they are big enough for just a simple booster seat.

Below are the list of groups of car seat for kids of different sizes. All the car seats in each group are practically similar.

Group 0+






This group of car seats are for infants up to 13 kg. However the new car seat standard is no longer based on weight but the height of the child so as soon as your child outgrows the tallest harness position, it is time to change the car seat to the next group.

The seat is secured to the car with the car's 3 point seat belt and the child is seat secured to the seat with its 3-point harness.

The good thing about this group of car seats is that you can remove the seat from the car while the baby is still in the car seat. However, securing the seat to the car with the car's 3-point seat belt can be a challenge and it increases the possibility of improper installation.

Group 0-1





This group of car seats can be converted from rear facing to front facing when it is appropriate.

It being in the group 0-1 means it is suitable for your child from birth when installed rear facing. When your child is able to lift himself up and has outgrown the lowest harness position, it can then be be installed front facing but it is best to keep the seat rear facing for as long as you possibly can (and if your child is cooperative)

The seat itself is attached to a mounting base that allows the seat to be reclined without having to readjust the car seat belting, which is a good thing. There are other convertibles that requires you to re-belt if adjust the recline angle which is very inconvenient and also increases risk of improper installation.

However, the seat retains its seating position so your child do not actually lean back when the car seat is reclined which is similar to the likes of Maxi Cosi Priori range of car seats. This car seat should last you for quite a while until your child outgrows it.

The seat is secured to the car with the car's adult 3 point retractable seat belt or ISOFIX / Latch Tether combination and the child is seat secured to the seat with its 5-point harness.

Group 1-2-3







This group of car seats are for taller kids that have outgrown the convertibles.

It is practically a booster seat with a high back and 5 point harness for taller kids. The harness and high back can be removed. So if you already have or are going to have this, it will be the last car seat you will ever need for that same child.

The seat is secured to the car with the car's adult 3-point retractable seat belt and the child is secured to the seat with its 5-point harness

Group 2-3




These car seats are practically the same as the previous group but without the harness so if you already have one of those and your child has outgrown the tallest harness position, you can remove the harness and buckle and you will have the same thing.

Child is secured to the car with the car's adult 3 point retractable seat belt.

Group 2-3




These seat are practically the same as the previous group but without the back rest. So if you have a seat from any of the two previous groups, you can convert them by removing the harness and/or backrest. 

This car seat is for kids tall enough that the car's 3 point seat belt does touch their cheeks when seated on this booster.

Child is secured to the car with the car adult 3 point retractable seat belt.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

All you need to know about Child Development Account (CDA)

Child Development Account (CDA) is a special savings account that you open at any of the following banks for your child who is eligible for CDA

- DBS Bank Limited (DBS), which will start providing CDA services from the second quarter of 2015
- United Overseas Bank (UOB), which will start providing CDA services from the second quarter of 2015
- Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), which will continue to manage its existing CDAs until end 2018. Parents can continue to open CDAs with SCB until the second quarter of 2015.

You can save in the CDA any time until 31 December in the year your child turns 12 years of age. The savings will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government in the following month up to the cap of



While you may not withdraw the savings in the CDA in cash, it can be used to pay for approved expenses for all your children at Approved Institutions which includes 

- child care centres licensed by MSF, 
- kindergartens and special education schools registered with the Ministry of Education (MOE) or the Council for Private Education (CPE), 
- early intervention programmes registered with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) or SG Enable, 
- healthcare institutions licensed under the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics (PHMC) Act, 
- pharmacies registered with the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), 
- optical shops registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and
- assistive technology devices providers registered with ACRA or known to either the Ministry of Health (MOH) or SG Enable. 
- MediShield or Medisave-approved private integrated plans

If a child has unspent balance in his CDA, a Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) will be opened for him in the year he turns 13 years old for a child born in or after 2006.

If the parents have not saved up to the CDA contribution cap, they can continue to contribute to PSEA and receive the government’s matching grant until the contribution cap is reached, or when the child turns 18 years old, whichever is earlier.

Just as the CDA, PSEA funds cannot be withdrawn in cash but can be used to pay for all your children fees and charges for approved programmes conducted by the institutions indicated in the table below

Approved InstitutionsApproved Programmes
Autonomous Universities
  • National University Of Singapore (NUS)
  • Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
  • Singapore Management University (SMU)
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
Undergraduate and postgraduate programmes
SIM University (UniSIM)Undergraduate and postgraduate programmes
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)Undergraduate programmes
Polytechnics
  • Nanyang Polytechnic
  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic
  • Republic Polytechnic
  • Singapore Polytechnic
  • Temasek Polytechnic
Diploma and Poly-FSI degree programmes
Polytechnic Foundation Programme
Institute Of Technical Education (ITE)Nitec, Higher Nitec and ITE-FSI diploma programmes
LaSalle College of the Arts
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
MOE-funded diploma and degree programmes
Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centres (42kb .xls)
(as at 30 Dec 2013)
Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) courses from July 2008 (include WSQ Statement of Attainments (SOAs) and full qualification programmes)
Government-supported Special Education (SPED) SchoolsStudents’ own fees and charges in SPED Schools from Jul 2008

The PSEA balance will earn interest pegged to the CPF Ordinary Account (CPF-OA) which is 2.5% per annum currently. (Note - The extra 1% interest on the first $20,000 in the CPF-OA will not apply to the PSEA.)

The PSEA will be closed when the account holder turns 30. Any unused funds in the PSE will be transferred to the account holder’s CPF Ordinary Account (CPF-OA).


Friday, November 21, 2014

Review - Britax B-READY 2012 with second seat

The 2012 Britax B-READY is an improved second generation of the model. The main seat now has 4 recline positions and the wheels have all been upgraded to foam-filled rubber tyres instead.

New improved second generation



Foam-filled rubber tyres.


The stroller is basically made up of 3 components - the frame, the main seat and the second seat which is an accessory that has to be purchased separately.

As this is a modular stroller, all the seats can be removed from the frame if need be.

FRAME


The frame is equipped with a height adjustable handle (seven positions) that can accommodate parents of different heights. However, it being non telescopic might not be much of a difference to tall parents from unintentionally kicking the second seat. For someone who is 1.7m tall, I have no issues even with the second flat reclined flat which is when the top of the seat protrudes horizontally the most.

Just below the handle, on each side of the frame, is a lever that when pulled will fold the frame in half, length wise. I will touch on the fold with more details later on.

Along the right side of the frame is the removable cup holder which is quite deep so your drink stays in place.

It also comes with an integrated Click & GO system for the main seat where you can easily attached and remove a seat, a car seat or a bassinet. Makes me wonder why Britax did not design the second seat mount just the same and make attaching and removing the second seat much easier.

The huge basket can be accessed from all sides which makes it convenient when you have a child in the second seat. However, the basket being not rigid makes it hard to zip or unzip with one hand. I think a magnetic or velcro flap will be much better.

It is equipped with a one-step, linked parking brake with indicator that alternates between engaged and disengaged when stepped on. There's no need to lift the pedal so it will not hurt your toes if you are wearing slippers, sandals or open end shoes.

As mentioned at the beginning, the removable wheels are now equipped with foam filled rubber tyres. There will always be two sides of the camp, between those who prefers air-filled and not. I prefer non air-filled as it is hassle free and will spare you the anguish if you are caught with flat tyres with no pump around.


MAIN SEAT


The main seat can be made to face forward or rear and can be attached to the frame by dropping it into the appropriate slots on each side of the frame until it locks in. To remove it from the frame, simply lift the levers at each sides of the seat. It being light makes this an easy task.

The seat can be single-handedly reclined up to 4 steps by simply pulling a lever at the back of the seat. You can position the seat almost straight up or almost completely flat.

Although the seat can recline, the seat maintains its shape which means a child cannot lay completely flat without having their legs bent at the knees. Think of a infant car seat and you get the idea. This makes the seat not suitable for infants for long periods of time.

It comes with a 5 point harness which is easy to buckle and unbuckle. I find it a little too easy to unbuckle so toddlers might just be able to set themselves loose once they figured that out by simply pressing that big button in the middle of the buckle.

The harness for the main seat can be easily adjusted by moving slider up and down at the back of the seat main. While it is super convenient, it is practically useless, and it applies to any stroller simply because you don't adjust them all the time unless you swap kids of different height every now and then.

At each side of the harness adjuster are two pockets which can be used as storage space.

The canopy comes with see through rear window with magnetic flaps instead of a velcro, which is great. It is silent and requires no effort. On top of that, the weight of the magnets on the flaps ensures that it stay in place when opened and will not be affected by wind.

The armbar is padded and easily removable You can either remove it or let it dangle on one side by pressing a button at each/both side of the frame.

There are 6 available colours to choose from




SECOND SEAT


The second seat has similar traits as the main seat except

- it cannot be made to rear face
- the harness has to be re-threaded manually
- not Click And Go, which is a shame but not that hard to attach and detach from the frame.
- can be reclined totally flat therefore is suitable for infants. However, most parents would want to have their infants face them, which can only be done with the main seat.


BUILD QUALITY


There is nothing much to complain about really. The seat and canopy is made of high quality material except the buckle cover which can easily tear and too thin. Phil & Teds got it right for this one.

FOLD


As mentioned earlier, the stroller can be folded with or without both or either seats, which is a plus. However, it is negated by the fact that the stroller is heavy when folded with both seats attached.

Also, the design of the frame is such that there is no convenient way to carry the stroller unlike other strollers where you can carry them like a bag with one hand. This is main reason that prevents me from giving it a perfect score.

To make it easier, especially for the ladies, it is advisable to remove the main seat before folding. This reduces the overall weight and removing and attaching the main seat is so easy.

OVERALL


This is by far the best tandem stroller there is, hands down. I would definitely recommend it to any parents looking for one. However, please take note of the negative parts of the stroller, especially the weight and width, as that can be a deal breaker.

SCORE - 9/10


Pros

Both seats can be easily reclined.
Second seat can be reclined almost horizontal to the ground
Frame is easy to fold and can be folded with or without one or both of the seats attached.
Main seat harness is easy to adjust.
Basket is accessible even when the second seat is occupied by a child
Maintenance free foam filled rubber tyres
Magnetic flap on the canopy suits light sleeper babies.
Good quality handle grip foam.
Solid build

Cons

Wide at 70cm
Heavy at 15.7kg (with both seats attached)
Auto lock not so efficient.
Material for the buckle cover is of poor quality fabric and design

Friday, May 23, 2014

Our stroller history - continued

I blogged before about our stroller history here where we kept changing our stroller in the quest to find that perfect stroller. Back then, I thought we did.

Well, long story short, we never learn our lesson that there is no perfect stroller. Still, we are adamant and so we changed our stroller yet again.

Before anything else, let me go through the reasons (excuses) on why we decided to change our Phil & Teds Explorer.

https://philandteds.app.box.com/shared/cc6r81t837

To be honest, I love the Explorer. It is stable, reliable, solidly built and the list goes on. However, some niggling quirks it comes with has reached the point where it gets frustrating.

For one, the sun hood keeps dislodging each time we move in and out of the car. Sometimes just making full use of the 'follow the sun' feature of it will cause it to dislodge if it is slightly improperly attached in the first place. This is because the hood is simply attached to the frame without a solid form of locking mechanism. I like the idea of 'follow the sun' but I would have liked it more if it can stay in place while doing that.

The next thing that frustrates me is the main seat recline. I like that it freely adjustable but the seat back support strap mount is badly designed. A lot of times, the strap will dislodge from it's place. I should have taken a photo of it before I sold it off so that it is easier to explain what I am trying to describe. What P&T could have done is to just design the strap mount differently to make the strap stay in place.

The thing that made me decide to change to another double is because when both my kids need to sleep, the Explorer is not able to accommodate as the rear seat cannot be reclined. So I kept changing the second seat from the rear to the top to allow at least one child to sleep comfortably.

So I began researching on other strollers that can do what the Explorer can plus my new requirement. I narrowed it down to the Britax B-Ready.

Couple of reasons why I decided upon the B-Ready.

- Both seats can be reclined almost flat and the recline mechanism is so much easier.
- Stroller can be folded with the second seat at the back. Similar to Phil & Ted Vibe but the fold on the B-Ready is way easier.

The B-Ready is not without flaws. You can read my full review of it here