Category Archives: Family

Raising money for medical operation

This is an interesting topic. At least I find it worth discussing. Friend’s daughter need money for an operation overseas. A sizeable amount of money is needed, as it is an organ transplant operation, which the government hospital in Malaysia hasn’t got a lot of experience doing, hence the overseas option instead. And the operation is slightly more difficult than the a more routine operation involving organ donor’s from the exact same blood group.

Anyway the point is although the money required is quite significant, it is however in my view not beyond the reach of the family, or at least if their extended families are included. Instead they have approached a charity organisation and plea for donations to fund the operation. I guess the operation itself is a lot of money. On top of that the family needs to support themselves on other expenses going overseas, together, for the operation. The lost income from the parents together with day to day expenses whilst overseas is a double whammy and can easily cripple the finance of even a middle class family.

It’s a tough call, still. I probably would have tried to raise the money myself, by borrowing money from families and friends first, then maybe even from banks, before moving on to ask for donations. You see, asking for donations, on one hand can potentially help raise the target amount quite quickly. But on the other, it seems like an easy way out. I mean if generosity of people is so easy to come by, then there will be no business case for a medical insurance company. Every time when one needs money for medical purpose, people then respond positively to a donation drive. It is an ideal solution. But somehow I don’t feel comfortable about taking money from others if I feel that I have not exhausted my options. I don’t suppose I want to see my friend be burdened by a back breaking kind of debt, and be unduly stressed financially, on top of the worries that come with his daughter’s operation. But I guess I am one of those who are not very good at receiving (well not that I am very good at giving either). Hmm…

Hand foot mouth disease (HFMD)

HFMD has been on the news almost everyday lately. It’s interesting that it can be so contagious. Considering that usually it is children 5 years and below who are most likely to contract the virus. So I was surprised that even primary schools children were also affected, and class rooms, if not the whole school, had to close down for disinfection. To be honest, there is no guarantee your child won’t pick up the virus, even if your child only stays at home all day. Parents can bring home the virus after work. So parents need to clean themselves up too when they got home.

The best way to lower the risk of getting infected is to always wash your child’s hands with soap and water before they eat. Ingesting the virus is probably the likeliest way one can get infected. The virus is not air borne, I believe. And you won’t get infected by just coming into contact with the virus. The virus can’t penetrate your skin.

It is basically not practical to keep your child in the house all the time and never leave the house. So when you do bring your child out, remember to practise good hygiene. Some restaurants in shopping malls don’t have basins to wash hands so you may have to bring your child to the toilet. Liquid sanitiser can kill bacteria. But not viruses. Wipes might be a better option if there isn’t water source around to wash the hands clean. It’s the same when going to a playground. Always remember to wash hands after play. Parents too! If your child is still young, then you will need to keep an eye on your child so he won’t simply put his hands or fingers in the mouth. If the playground is outdoor then it may be a good idea to bring some water along for washing hands.

Last but not least, it is always better to boost your child’s immune system by getting him to eat healthily. So even if he’s infected, potentially by just a weakened virus (virus can’t survive on surfaces indefinitely), his immune system can fight off the virus.

Off-peak Play Pass by Cheeky Tots

Found out about this incredible deal offered by Cheeky Tots when I brought my children over there today.

In short, for RM25 you get to enter Cheeky Tots any number of times during their off-peak period, which is school days from Monday to Friday, for 3 months. This is incredibly good value, because it is already RM16 to enter on a school day for my daughter. By just paying an extra RM9 I can bring my daughter there as often as I wish during their off-peak period for the next 3 months. You see now I don’t have to worry about paying for their entrance fees if I want to bring them over for a meal. Cheeky Tots is afterall still the most relaxing place in Ipoh for me as a parent if I’m being honest. The toilet is clean. There are plenty of things to keep my children busy and active. The children are safe in the play area so I can relax a little more without having to constantly watching over them like a hawk. Especially now that I have a toddler who likes to climb on anything he can put his feet on. Besides I can get 10% discount on food (a la carte food) as a pass holder too! It really is a no brainer for parents who have time to bring their kids out on weekdays. And they have also recently added a new play section, or more precisely converted what used to be a reading section, that looks like a supermarket.

They certainly have planned all these together. The roll-out of the new section makes the already attractive play pass offer even more compelling!

Oh yeah, actually there is more! They have this “Kids Eat Free” promotion which gives your child a free kids meal when the adult orders an adult set meal (written on the chalk board behind their cafe counter).

The premise is very spacious on weekdays, and air-conditioned. OMG the place has suddenly become so much more attractive in my mind with the introduction of this play pass! Well played Cheeky Tots! I will see a lot more of you from next week onwards.

Foam pit can be a hazard too at trampoline park!

Came across this news on Facebook today about a Chinese woman who got injured at a trampoline park in China. The video captured showed the woman did a somersault into a foam pit. 

http://www.chinapress.com.my/?p=928372

I can’t tell what went wrong, perhaps she should have landed in a seated position. With a foam pit as a cushion I would have thought it shouldn’t be much of a problem even if one lands too awkwardly. But the woman broke the T12 vertebra as a result.

Then I googled to see if I can find more information about this news and found the following reported in The Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/14/trampoline-park-injuries-trigger-hundreds-of-ambulance-call-outs

Another woman did a jump into the foam pit and fractured her T12 vertebra. Different kind of jump, but both into the foam pit and got injured. So looks like it can be hazardous too even when you jump into something that is supposed to provide you protection. I wonder if the park owners could have done more to minimise such injuries, or that equipment suppliers should move on to use other material as cushion or something. Because the foam pit does give people the false impression that it is safe to do any silly jumps into it. And there lies the main problem I believe.

Interesting insight into Lost World of Tambun

Spoke to a friend who is working in Lost World of Tambun today. Whilst it is not hard to figure out that a theme park like Lost World is a lot quieter on off peak days like school days, I was shocked when my friend told me that on a busy day there can be 12,000 visitors visiting Lost World in a day! Yes, twelve thousand! Initially I thought I heard it wrong. But nope, she then gave out further figures on their not so busy weekends that they can still draw in five to six thousand visitors. On school days (weekdays) the number of visitors is a lot smaller, in the hundreds. The variance is SO huge! 

So they open from 10am to 11pm. This means that on average there’ll be like a thousand visitors clocking in every hour on a busy day. Most probably quite a lot more at a certain time like in the morning when everyone wants to come in early for a day of fun!
Mind boggling stuff. I haven’t been to Lost World before. I guess when I do decide to go there, I’ll most certainly want to avoid their peak days! Now I understand the business case for letting out properties as homestay near Lost World.

MAPS to open its doors by June

Just when I heard rumours that MAPS is facing problem with British partners ditching the project and lack of funding to continue the project, this news about them opening in June appears. I’m eager to see if they can meet this June deadline this time. I’m not overly hopeful, having been disappointed by their postponement, twice. You see, this piece of news is not in sync with posts from their official Facebook site. MAPS did not officially mention on their Facebook that they will open in June, despite countless angry queries from ticket/pass holders asking them about its opening date. The current Menteri Besar Zambry was right to press for an answer about the opening date. But will it be enough with a statement like that?

Apparently the project is part owned by ex-MB’s son. And he is currently trying to flock a mountain, with minerals I guess, to help continue the project. So sounds like funding is still an issue. And the British partners have pulled out, so it will be interesting to see if they can run it well even if they can open its door in June. What do you think?

Master Jump and BlueBlue Playland

Following  up on my previous post about a new Trampoline Park opening in Ipoh, here are further details I found on Facebook about the new facility:

Location – The Trampoline Park is located in the MBC building (see image below)  in Gunung Rapat. It is behind OldTown cafe, which is facing the main road Jalan Gopeng (or Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah as it is known as nowadays).

 The building itself looks mostly empty, with many vacant lots. The Trampoline Park is located on the third floor, together with badminton courts and a children soft play called BlueBlue Playland.

The Trampoline Park, called Master Jump, looks like this, with basketball rings, soft foam pool, and rock climbing wall to add variety to it. Nothing extraordinary, looks like one my friend showed me in KL, with no air-conditioning too. They however have a massive ceiling fan, like those you can find in some food courts in Ipoh.

The pricing for playing in Master Jump is as follows. Note that the rate is per hour. Can’t tell if it is expensive or not, but the socks certainly are, at RM10 a pair! And all customers have to fill in “Declaration & Waiver Form”, which essentially means that you will bear all the risk of playing in the Trampoline Park. Like I said in my previous post, you better make sure you know what you are signing your kids up for and that your kids are not going to do anything silly there without supervision. 

Updated 3/5/2017: Don’t be fooled into thinking that it is safe to do any silly jump into the foam pit too!

Updated 18/7/2017: Horrible horrible account of what happened to a boy at a trampoline park on his birthday and the trauma the family have to go through.

And check with the staff there to see if they know what to do in case there is an emergency, whether it be to do with first aid or evacuation procedure.

Located next to Master Jump is BlueBlue Playland, which should be more suitable for my daughter. It has a big climb frame like one in Cheeky Tots (probably bigger, I couldn’t tell because I haven’t been there before) too, but with an ocean theme. One thing that concerns me is this soft play does not seem to be air-conditioned (no air cond ducts and all). Will it be enough with just another massive ceiling fan to cool the place down? It is located on the third floor, directly under the roof, and I think it will be like an oven on a hot afternoon! Fan assisted oven LOL I really haven’t been to a soft play that is not air-conditioned in Malaysia. I would really like to know what parents think about such soft play. The children will be sweaty and smelly very quickly. And when there are tens of such sweaty and smelly children running amok in the playland, I’m not sure if I want to be around for long even if I manage to keep myself cool in the fan assisted oven 🙂

Moving on to the pricing. I’m surprised that they are going to charge newborn for going into the softplay too. I have a son a few months old. He can’t sit upright yet, can’t really crawl, only just started to flex his fingers to grip things. I’ll be very interested to see if they provide any baby toys suitable for newborn to justify charging such fee! Apart from that, they are also charging quite a lot more than other soft plays in Ipoh, notably Cheeky Tots. This makes BlueBlue Playland the most expensive softplay now. At RM28, it is RM6.50 more expensive than Cheeky Tots on weekends, and RM12 dearer on a Friday! As for accompanying adults, additional adult is charged at RM10 during peak days! This is insane. It invariably discourages parents with one child from spending time together as a family unit in BlueBlue Playland. And the socks! RM7 for a pair of socks! Utter despair. On the bright side, they allow OKU (with OKU pass) to play for free in their playland from Monday to Thursday. Even on peak day, it is only RM5 for the OKU. 

I was initially rather excited by the new soft play in town, but was put off by the pricing, not to mention the oven bit. What do you think?

Trampoline park in Ipoh

I first get to know about trampoline park (I didn’t even know at the time it is called a trampoline park!) when my friend showed me photos of such premise, possibly located in KL. It looks fun, kids can bounce up and down, and side way too! A fun way for kids to do some exercise. I wasn’t interested at the time, as my daughter was still very young, about 5 years old perhaps.

Heard that there is going to be a trampoline park in Ipoh soon too! So I try to check it out and see where it is. No information available as far as I know, but get to read up more about trampoline park though. It is growing in popularity in the US, with an estimated five to six parks opening every month. But the injuries as a result from playing on trampolines shot up too! 

More evidence trampoline parks are dangerous places for kid

A few important points to note are:

  1. Parents should not be complacent and think that the staff working in the park will supervise or ensure your child’s safety while playing there.
  2. Parents need to be aware of the risks of playing in the park, but the staff also need to be trained to know some first aid knowledge, with procedures on how to handle the situation in case there is an emergency. Cases of broken arm, broken back, and even broken neck have occurred before in these parks!
  3. Discourage your child from doing silly stunts like somersault and all without proper supervision.
  4. Don’t let your child jump together with others on the same trampoline.
  5. Keep your child away from bigger kids.

Does make me think twice before I decide to bring my daughter to a trampoline park, if there is one in Ipoh..

Updated 2/2/2017:

There is indeed a new trampoline park in Ipoh, it is called Master Jump. See my next post on this new trampoline park.

How much sleep do kids need?

My daughter is in her primary 1 this year. We put her to bed around 8pm. But she needs to wake up by 6:15am the latest, to allow her time to get changed, eat breakfast and brush teeth. Then she needs to be at school by 7:15am. We live quite close by to the school, so we can afford to leave the house at around 7am. Her school finishes at 2:30pm and she can arrive home before 3pm. This means that she only has at most 5 hours at home to do whatever she needs to get done. Lunch and supper will take between 1-2 hours, considering how quickly my daughter eats. Then she still has much home work to do, given by her school teachers! Now I understand why children has no time to do anything during school days! But having said that, some parents, in fact many in Malaysia, still manage to squeeze in tuition for their beloved. This almost certainly eats into their sleep time. According to the NHS, primary school children between the age of 7-12 years old need between 10 hours 30 minutes to 9 hours 15 minutes of sleep a day. So my daughter is actually still 15 minutes short of the recommended number of hours of sleep! Little wonders why children easily fall sick here. Most children are sleep deprived, and they lack physical exercise, as home work and tuition is given higher priority instead. It is a pity that children need to live this kind of life nowadays when they should be given more time to goof around at this young age.. 

MAPS to postpone their opening date, again?!

Heard from an acquaintance who has dealings with the Movie Animation Park Studio (MAPS) in Perak that he is fairly certain that they won’t be ready by December 2016. MAPS have already postponed their opening date to 1 December from June 2016 when they called me in April. Now sounds like they are going to postpone again. From what I understand, MAPS couldn’t settle payment with contractors even for small amount of money (circa tens of thousand). When money is not coming in, contractors naturally deserted them. Without workers I don’t suppose they can get much work done by December. And even if they can get it open in December, it is likely that they can only get a portion of the site ready. I have bought Perak passes for my family members. And we are yet to get the photo passes done (at their entrance?). Perhaps it is worth going there soon, to take a look as well to see how they are getting on.