Young Children - what are the risks?

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Young Children - what are the risks?

Post  Tink79 on Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:58 pm

Hi there
I am in need of some advice/ help.
My partner has been offered a job in Nairobi for a two year assignment - we are seriously considering it. My partner is South African so has experience of 'leaving homeland' but I am UK born a bred - I live 2 mins from my mum and see her twice a week.
I know mum doesnt want us to go and told me that 'virgin atlantic' will not sell packages to Kenya for children under the age of three, due to the risks.......
My girls are 3 and 7 months. I know she is probably talking out of her arse but it has put some doubt in my mind.
Can anyone advise me?

Tink79
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Young children in Nairobi

Post  Anon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:12 pm

Hi there

Just to put your mind at rest.... None of the airlines which fly to Kenya from the UK - BA, Virgin, Kenya Airways put any restriction on children travelling here. There are just the normal rules about very very tiny babies etc. So don't worry about that... Loads and loads of expats here have young children - from newborn upwards. The facilities available are much better than you would probably expect and certainly much better than I'm sure your mum is imagining... I don't have any kids yet myself so am not an expert but there are quite a few posts here on the topic which will tell you more and I'm sure others will give you any specific info you need. I moved to Nairobi from the UK about a year ago (my mum was and is also not very happy about it) so I can totally identify with you on that front and understand that its really hard - especially when you are unsure yourself. There are great restaurants, shopping malls, cinemas, schools, hospitals etc and a large expat population here. Do you know exactly what your mum is worried?

If you have any specific questions - ask away and we will try to help....

Anon
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Young children in Nairobi

Post  Anon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:23 pm

Hi there

Just to put your mind at rest.... None of the airlines which fly to Kenya from the UK - BA, Virgin, Kenya Airways put any restriction on children travelling here. There are just the normal rules about very very tiny babies etc. So don't worry about that... Loads and loads of expats here have young children - from newborn upwards. The facilities available are much better than you would probably expect and certainly much better than I'm sure your mum is imagining... I don't have any kids yet myself so am not an expert but there are quite a few posts here on the topic which will tell you more and I'm sure others will give you any specific info you need. I moved to Nairobi from the UK about a year ago (my mum was and is also not very happy about it) so I can totally identify with you on that front and understand that its really hard - especially when you are unsure yourself. There are great restaurants, shopping malls, cinemas, schools, hospitals etc and a large expat population here. Do you know exactly what your mum is worried?

If you have any specific questions - ask away and we will try to help....

Anon
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Re: Young Children - what are the risks?

Post  loulou on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:25 pm

I don't really know what risks she is referring to, but let me list some of the worries that the grand-parents had for my child - who is 3 now.

Health - in terms of illness there are more risks than somewhere else. My son was hospitalized with pneumonia two weeks after we arrived. He then developed asthma. However, the positive side of this is that the medical facilities are excellent, the doctors are very knowledgeable and available, and we haven't had any trouble finding all the medicine prescribed.
There is malaria in Kenya, but not in Nairobi.
The air pollution is a concern, but we didn't find that to be as bad as some make it.
There are no specific diseases with a high prevalence that can be of concern. However, make sure they get all their travel vaccinations - especially the 7 year old. The younger one may be too young for certain immunizations, but they can be done here as well.

Food - the availability of fresh produce is great, the variety of food is similar to what we are used to in other places. The only problem you may encounter is if the kids have food allergies, but even for that there is a chain of health store that sell everything that you can probably imagine. We wash all veggies and fruits with tap water and have never encounter any tummy problems.

Security - So it is highly unlikely that the 7 year old will ride the bicycle around the house on the street without any supervision... but I'm sure that is the case back home as well.

Road safety - you should come with the car seats from England, because the new ones are very expensive, and the second-hand ones you shouldn't trust.

I can't think of any other worries that she could have. If you have anything specific there are many people who can offer their opinion.
I hope these worries will not influence your decision too much.


loulou

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Children in Kenya

Post  Admin on Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:35 am

Having 3 children in Africa has been an absolute pleasure for me. Two were born in UK then I brought them our to the (malarial) coast of Tanzania when they were two weeks old (none of us got malaria in 4 years). The third was born here in Nairobi.

The kids have a fantastic outdoor life with a big garden and schools with lots of sports offered. I have two lady helpers in the house who are absolute saints - I rely on and trust them enormously (some people have had problems with house staff stealing small items but in 12 years this has never happened to me). I feel very privileged to be here and sometimes look at the hard work involved of friends in England with small children and feel sorry for them. Kenya is so beautiful and accepting of children everywhere that you go.

Sorry to sound like an evangelical here! I am approaching 40 with no grey hairs - mainly because of the happy, stress free mothering experience I've had thanks to living in Africa!

My advice - come! You will miss family living close by - but they can always come and visit and enjoy fab holidays.

all best

africaexpatwife

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