Child with a Temperature
If your child feels hot and is generally unwell it is important to get the temperature down. Give some Paracetamol (Calpol or Disprol), Junifen may also be given if your child is not asthmatic. Give the higher recommended dose for the age. Dress the child in cool clothes. Do not make the room too warm, open the window and turn down the fire. If the child seems very hot, sponge them down using tepid water. Give the child plenty of cool drinks. Repeat the Paracetamol every 4 hours up to 4 times a day. A child with a fever is likely to be restless at night. Offer cool drinks and sponge them down if they wake. If the child does not improve they should be see by a doctor. It will not make the child worse to take them out in a pram to see the doctor – indeed fresh air may well help. Very rarely, a child under 5 years will have a convulsion with a high temperature. They will shake all over and become very still. It usually subsides in less than 5 minutes. Lie the child on their side and stay with them while it lasts. If there is another adult in the house, ask them to phone a doctor. If not, call when the convulsion has passed.
Child with Diarrhoea
This usually settles within a few days. It is important to replace the water and salts lost by giving Dioralyte or Electrolade mixed with water. If the child vomits, wait and give them more liquid in small amounts to avoid making them sick. Give as much liquid as the child will take, too much will not harm them. The child should not have any solid food or milk for 24 hours. Breast-feeding should certainly be continued during any episode of diarrhoea. Most children with diarrhoea will not feel like eating and a few days without solids will do no harm. If the diarrhoea does not settle within a few days or if the child is weak or generally unwell, they should see a doctor. A doctor should see any baby under 6 months old with diarrhoea.
If the patient was knocked out and can remember the accident, it is unlikely that serious injury has resulted, but if the patient was knocked unconscious and cannot remember what happened, he or she should be taken to a hospital A&E Department without delay. If any patient becomes drowsy or vomits following a head injury, seek medical advice.
Coughs and Colds
There is no cure for the common cold! Antibiotics have NO effect on colds or flu. Paracetamol will ease a headache or sore throat or a fever. Decongestants and throat lozenges can also help to relieve symptoms. It is important to drink plenty of fluids. Dry coughs may be eased by steam inhalations or cough linctus, but you should see a doctor if the cough persists for more than 7 days or if the cough produces lots of green or yellow coloured phlegm, or if you cough up blood and the cough is accompanied by shortness of breath, chest pain or wheeze.
This is an unpleasant illness characterised by high temperatures, aches and pains. The best treatment is plenty of rest and fluids with Paracetamol to relieve aches and temperature. Anti biotics have no effect. If you are elderly or have a chronic health problem (e.g. heart disease, chest disease or diabetes) we would recommend an annual flu jab.
Majority of sort throats settle after a few days. Gargling with soluble Paracetamol and then swallowing may help ease symptoms – repeat this up to 4 times a day.
Diarrhoea & Vomiting in Adults
Usually settles within a few days. It is important to replace the fluid and salts lost by drinking plenty of clear fluids. Dioralyte or Electrolade can be purchased at the Chemist for this purpose. Most people do not feel like eating for a few days after this and going without food will do no harm. If you feel like eating then do so but avoid fatty foods as this can make the diarrhoea worse.
This describes a group of diseases affecting the stomach or part of the intestine. Symptoms are often diarrhoea, sickness and stomach ache. Because the lining of the stomach is likely to be inflamed medicines are often immediately vomited up. Large quantities of water, orange juice or thin soup should be taken to counter effects of dehydration. Consult your GP if symptoms persist for more than a day or in the case of babies or your children, 6 hours.
Most attacks are not serious and are usually caused by indigestion or wind. A hot water bottle will often relieve the symptoms and, in the case of indigestion, a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in half a glass of water will help. If the pain lasts for longer than 8 hours or increases in intensity you should seek medical advice.
This is an inflammation of the inside of the bladder, which causes you to pass urine at an increased rate with a burning sensation. On first noticing the symptoms drink a pint of water immediately. A teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda dissolved in the water can relieve some of the pain. Paracetamol may also ease the discomfort. It is important to carry on drinking plenty of fluids to wash the germs out of the bladder. If symptoms do not settle in a day, bring a sample of urine in the clean container to the surgery as an antibiotic may be needed.
May be caused by excess earwax, catarrh or infection. If a child gets earaches, regular doses of Paracetamol e.g. Calpol will ease the discomfort. If the earache does not settle within 12 to 24 hours seek medical advice.
The majority of back pain is not caused by anything serious. It is recommended that painkillers are taken and to remain as active as possible. Only if the pain is severe should you lie down for a day or 2. Too much rest is bad for your back. Gently build up your activities over several days. The sooner you can gat back to normal activities the better. If the back pain does not start to improve within a few days seek medical advice.
Contrary to popular belief head lice prefer clean hair and are, therefore, not a sign of poor personal hygiene. They are extremely contagious. Medicated head lotions, shampoos and creams are available from chemists without prescription. During an outbreak the whole family should be treated at the same time.
Burns and Scalds
Apply large quantities of cold water to the affected area as soon as possible and maintain this until the pain subsides. This may take as long as 15 minutes! If the skin is unbroken but blistered, apply a loose, dry dressing. If the burn is larger than 4 or 5 inches in diameter or if the skin is broken, seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Treat as for other burns with cold water. Oily Calamine lotion will relieve the irritation and Paracetamol may also help. Children are particularly susceptible to sunburn and great care should be taken to avoid over exposure to the harmful effects of the sun.
Sit in a chair with your mouth open, leaning forward and pinch your nose just below the bone (bridge) for approximately 10 minutes and apply ice to the forehead. Avoid hot drinks or hot food for 24 hours. If symptoms persist seek medical advice.
Apply a cold compress, containing ice if possible for 15 to 30 minutes to reduce the swelling. Apply a firm crepe bandage and give the sprain plenty of rest until all discomfort has subsided. Further strain will lead to further swelling and a longer recovery period.
Insect Bites and Stings
Anti histamine tablets can be obtained from the chemist without prescription and will usually relieve most symptoms. Bee Stings should be scraped away rather then “plucked” in order to avoid squeezing the contents of the venom sac into the wound.
Minor Cuts and Grazes
Wash the wound thoroughly with water and a little soap. To stop the bleeding apply a clean handkerchief or dressing firmly to the wound for about 5 minutes. Cover with a clean dry dressing.