HEALTH AND CARE: Stock up your medicine cabinet now
It always pays to be prepared '“ especially over the winter period when the weather can prevent us getting out and about.
That’s why the advice from Coastal NHS Clinical Commissioning Group – the NHS organisation that, together with GPs, plans and commissions health services for over 480,000 people across the area – is to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet for times when you or your family are feeling under the weather.
Having home remedies to hand means peace of mind, and “self-care” is often the best remedy in many instances.
Common ailments such as colds, sore throats and coughs do not always need to be treated with a visit to the GP and antibiotics.
Instead, the best cure is usually plenty of rest, keeping warm and a having a good medicine cabinet.
Stock up now with the following:
• Pain relief – paracetamol and ibuprofen are the most common painkillers and are available in tablet and liquid form. Aspirin and ibuprofen also reduce inflammation. Please note: aspirin should not be given to anyone under the age of 16.
• Anti-diarrhoea medicine – make sure you drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquid for the first 24 hours when symptoms appear in order to keep hydrated. Your pharmacist can also recommend rehydration drinks.
• Sore throat remedies – ask your pharmacist about sprays to ease soreness. Adults can also gargle with soluble aspirin to ease the pain.
• Cough remedies – ask your pharmacist about different types of linctus which will aid different types of coughs, i.e. dry and tickly or loose.
• Plasters and bandages – it always pays to be well-stocked in the event of minor cuts and scrapes. Ask your pharmacist about anti-allergy plasters.
• Thermometer – this can be useful if someone in the family develops a cold or if a young child becomes ill. As a general rule a temperature of over 37.5C (99.5F) is a fever.
• Antihistamines – these are useful for allergies and runny noses. Ask your pharmacist about the types available. Some antihistamines cause drowsiness and are not recommended if you are driving or operating machinery.
• Antiseptic cream – this is a medicine cabinet essential in the event or cuts and scrapes, as well as bites and stings (which are rarer in winter but can still occur.)
• Laxatives – constipation can occur at any time. Ask your pharmacist about the types available (tablets or sachets) and which ones are suitable for children or the elderly.
• Children’s medicines – there is a huge variety available to treat a whole range of minor illnesses and conditions. Ask your pharmacist about sugar-free varieties if your child is taking one regularly.
For further winter health advice, visit the NHS Choices website.
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