First a note on these commonly prescribed and powerful medicines. They only work on bacteria and are without effect on viruses. Unfortunately, this means that the common INFECTIONS like coughs, colds and flu will not be helped by them at all. The correct treatments are the simple remedies outlined below and we only use antibiotics when these measures fail and we suspect that there is a secondary bacterial infection. Overuse of antibiotics may lead to their not working in future and more complications like thrush and skin rashes.
Colds And Sinus Pains
Take plenty of fluids, paracetamol or, if over 16 years old, aspirin.
Inhalations with steam and Karvol/Menthol crystals/Olbas Oil can help clear the passages. If they are blocked you could use a decongestant such as Sudafed (available at the chemist), Vicks or Sinex. You should be on the mend after seven to ten days and usually better by two weeks and we would want to see you if you are getting worse instead of better by then.
These can be soothed by a drink made from honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice (full of vitamins) in hot water. If particularly irritating, steam inhalations or your favourite cough medicine can be worthwhile. If you bring up coloured phlegm we may need to check your chest.
If over 12 years of age, gargle with soluble aspirin, otherwise paracetamol, drink plenty of fluids and use lozenges/boiled sweets if they help. Most sore throats will settle with this treatment in three to five days.
As above, try steam inhalations, rest your voice and avoid smoke.
If you have a temperature and are aching a lot, paracetamol or aspirin (if over 16 years), fluids and rest are the answer.
Children often run temperatures with no other symptoms. They need to be cooled down and then will feel much better. So do remove their clothes down to vest and pants and keep the room temperature down. Use Calpol/Disprol and if necessary sponge them with lukewarm - not cold - water or blow them with a fan or hair dryer on its coolest setting. If there is no improvement after 48 hours we will need to see them.
Diarrhoea And Vomiting
This usually settles in one to three days and we recommend avoiding all food for 12-24 hours, but giving plenty of fluids, frequently and in small amounts. If the vomiting is very frequent, special fluids such as Dioralyte prevent dehydration and are available at the chemist. Do avoid milk, dairy produce and fatty/spicy foods when the patient starts eating again. Instead, try dry bread, toast, thin soups or potato. If the diarrhoea fails to settle, try natural yoghurt (you can flavour it if you like). Tummy colic can be eased by paracetamol and will settle in a few days.
If your child is basically well but has a rash, this is usually due to a virus, and will settle untreated, in a couple of days. We would want to see the child if he/she is ill with the rash.
This can be soothed by calamine lotion or, if it is extremely itchy, antihistamines like Phenergan or Piriton which are available at the chemist. It is infectious for five days after the last batch of spots have appeared.
Children may return to school as soon as the last “crusts” have dropped off