By Rory Reynolds
A BOOKLET teaching babies how to use “swine language” to tell their parents if they are feeling unwell has been published by a Scottish childcare specialist.
Yvonne Lavelle has adapted a previous book on sign language for kids to enable babies to describe the symptoms of swine flu to their parents.
It is called “Swine Flu Signs” and tells parents how to encourage their babies to express their feelings better.
The author said: “I have found that the babies become less frustrated – they can communicate more specifically what they are feeling if they want a hug or are feeling hot and tired.“It’s about saying to parents that if you give your small child or baby a few weeks and teach them these signs, they will be able to tell you what is actually wrong with them.
“You can pick that up and highlight if a child is suffering rather than a baby just crying.”
“It has been proven that the kids who are taught this go on to have higher IQs and read more.
“But at the same time it’s really good fun to learn and use teddy bears and puppets.
“Implementing or teaching simple signs into child’s day. It makes sense that children should learn this anyway.”
But Belinda Phipps from the National Childbirth Trust says that most parents don’t need to teach their children ‘swine language’.
She said: “Usually that is because the baby stops eating very much or feels hot.
“They (parents) just know because they don’t look right and are a bit listless and off-colour – mostly parents don’t need more than that.”
The original book, Kiddisign has sold over 4,000 copies in the US and the swine flu guide is set to sell several times that.
So far 32 people in the UK have died after contracting swine flu and 22 Brits around the world are currently in quarantine.