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10 January 2019
Parents should ensure they have a well-stocked medicine cabinet during the winter months to help their children recover from minor illnesses. Many minor childhood illnesses can be treated at home, avoiding unnecessary trips to GP surgeries or to A&E, says Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG).
Most essential items for home care cost less than £5 but will aid a quick return to health. Your local pharmacist can provide expert advice on the items you need and check they are safe to use with any medication your children may already be taking.
Every home should have the following:
· Pain relief medicine – very useful for treating headache, tummy ache, earache, and cold symptoms. The best treatment for colds and flu at any age is rest and plenty of fluid.
· Antiseptic – for cleaning cuts and grazes.
· Bandages – most cuts and grazes can be treated at home. After cleaning the wound apply the dressing. Bandages can also be used to apply direct pressure to larger cuts before being treated in hospital and can support sprained wrists.
· Waterproof plasters – for minor cuts and grazes.
· A digital thermometer – these produce very accurate temperature readings.
Fiona Garnett, BCCG’s Head of Medicines Optimisation, said: “A well-stocked medicine cabinet is essential in helping the family stay healthy this winter. At this time of year many people start to suffer with coughs, colds and other minor illnesses. Simply by being well prepared you’ll be able to treat loved ones at home and avoid going to see the GP.
“It is important that we all use the right health services, only using A& E in an emergency makes sure those who need this service are treated quickly. If you need medical help but it isn’t an emergency, your local pharmacy is a great place to get advice or call NHS111 where trained advisors will guide you to the most appropriate service.”