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Back to school advice for parents to deal with minor illnesses

04 September 2017


The summer holidays are over and it’s time for children to go back to school. It’s important that parents are prepared to deal with the common illnesses such as colds and coughs, as well as scrapes and bumps kids pick up at school.

NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is advising parents and carers to visit their local pharmacist for advice on common ailments and to help them choose the right care for their children. The CCG is also reminding parents and carers to call 111, the free phone service which is available 24/7 if they would like advice when their child is unwell.

Illnesses and injuries such as colds, upset stomachs and minor cuts and bruises are common with a lot of children, but they are easily treatable through self-care with the right advice and medicine.

It is estimated that 50 million visits are made to the GP every year for minor illnesses such as coughs and colds. By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and an unnecessary GP visit.

Fiona Garnett, Head of Meds management at Bedfordshire CCG, advises that often the best choice is to ask your local pharmacist or call 111.

She said: “It can be a worrying time for a parent when their child is ill, but if they have the symptoms of a cold or upset stomach, then often these can be remedied by visiting your local pharmacist for advice and support or calling the NHS 111 helpline, instead of booking a GP appointment or going to A&E.

“The pharmacy is a great place to start when your child falls ill. If they have a cough, bump or scrape the pharmacy will stock plenty of remedies that can be used at home to relieve symptoms, meaning your little ones will be tearing around again in no time.

“Pharmacists are clinicians and can also advise if your child needs to see a doctor, but most minor ailments can be treated easily and effectively with over the counter medicines.

“If the pharmacist is closed and it’s urgent but not an emergency call NHS 111 where trained medical professionals can talk through your child’s symptoms and advise on the best course of action.”

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