Plunket has been around for 104 years and provides free service for Well Child. They actually scheduled a home visit because we have twins, the nurse Evelyn who works at the Hokowhitu office checked the boys weight and height, Lin weighs 12.1KG (26.6 lbs) at 90 percentile, Li weights 11.8KG (26lbs) at 83%, they are both 83cm tall so that’s at 85%. That’s really big new for us small people. The nurse checked some other things and said they are very healthy. I was happy to hear that. Our boys do appear a bit bow-legged, we often wonder if it is because they spent too much time in the Ergo. However, the problem is common in toddlers and usually it will correct itself, we are not too concerned but it’s good to have the doctor look at it. Evelyn told me that one doctor in Hokowhitu is taking new patients and I called and confirmed. Since healthcare is free especially for children in New Zealand, it’s hard to get a doctor in good areas.
I am amazed the amount of resources are available for children in Palmerston North, many people move here for that particular reason, lots of play groups and there are three playcentres, I’ve got welcoming emails from all kinds of people through many different channels. Plunket is pretty cool, we also got two big bags of goodies for the boys, including toothpaste, toothbrush, bathmats, boardbooks, DVDs, and LOT of brochures and pamphlets on nutrition and educational topics. Although we don’t necessarily agree with some of the ideas introduced in these papers, it’s still nice that there’s a full-blown service available including clinics. We feel really spoiled in a way but for most Kiwis they think New Zealand should provide more social programs like UK and Australia (you get a $5K check for having a baby vs. in New Zealand it’s $1K). Everything is relative, for folks like us who paid for everything what this country provides is luxury. The Kiwis though, think this is the basic right and that’s why they pay taxes for, rather than a benefit. I completely agree.
The things we do not agree are giving kids fluoride toothpaste, here in New Zealand they want kids to do that right from the start. Well we did extensive research on this, fluoride is no more than an industrial waste and it is not an essential minerals (yes it’s a mineral not the “vitamin for your teeth” the dental industry promotes). The dental problems kids have these days are not from insufficient fluoride but juice and sweets. So if they get a lot of sweet food (anything with sugar) between 12 months and 24 months, which is a critical time to form their eating preference, they will most likely end up with bad teeth over time. Of course I was not in a position to raise those thoughts with Evelyn, so is the issue of vaccination. I do not have luck finding a naturopathic doctor in the area so we will register with an MD just in case.