WonderBaba

Healthcare by a Pharmacist mum!


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Vitamin and Supplement Series – Vitamin A

What is it?

Vitamin A is a busy vitamin – it helps your childs immune system to work effectively, it promotes good vision in dark or dim light, supports bone growth and it keeps their skin healthy!

There are two sources of vitamin A – some plants and food from animals. Continue reading


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WonderBaba – The Ultimate Guide to Children’s Multivitamins!

Prescription-ConfusionWe always get advertising material into the Pharmacy from all of the different multivitamin brands making great claims about the benefits of their own products.  Even Pharmacists and Pharmacy staff can find it overwhelming trying to decipher what the actual vitamin content is and determine the benefits and downfalls of one product in comparison to another.  The vitamin market is a particularly busy one!  There are so many different products and all have strengths and weaknesses so I have done my best to select the 14 most popular children’s multivitamins and I have literally laid them side by side so we can explore which product meets your individual child’s needs.

veg wonderbabaI’d like to point out at the beginning that vitamin supplements are extremely useful – but there’s no beating a balanced healthy diet! However as an Irish mum as well as a Pharmacist I understand that there are guidelines in place which support the use of Vitamin D supplementation due to the fact the we live in one giant big grey gloomy cloud! Also I understand and have seen first hand that whilst I may make every effort to provide a fully nutritionally balanced diet for my kids (I said I may make every effort..most of the time…I’m not actually WonderMama…) they may still turn their noses up at it and refuse to eat it for many various reasons depending on what developmental stage they are going through or what illness is affecting them. Anyway I’ll get back to the review!

There’s a few things to consider before looking at the comparison… the first is that you will probably need to zoom in on the image to read the content as there is just so much information that it makes quite a detailed chart!! The next is that to put any sort of law and order on the products and to make any sort of logical comparison I had to compare by volume and not always by dose…this sounds complicated but in essence what is on the chart is the vitamin or supplement content per 5mls of liquid so depending on your child’s age and the product directions your child may need to take a different number of mls (2.5mls, 5mls, 7.5mls etc). It is important to take this into account when you are reading the chart.  Always check the dose for your child’s age group first so that you can draw a fair comparison of the products.  I have included all of the dosage and special information for all products in the ‘info’ section which is the lower section of the chart.  For tablets I have noted at the top beside the product name how many tablets are needed to deliver the quoted levels of vitamins.  I hope this chart will be beneficial to parents and Pharmacy staff alike in an effort to provide clarity and clear healthcare for our WonderBabas who deserve the best of our efforts to make the right choices – and information is power – and that is what WonderBaba is all about!

Allergens wonderbabaI have included information relating to the suitability of each product for vegetarians, coeliacs, diabetics, those with nut allergy, lactose intolerance, soy intolerance and more.  If you would like further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch via facebook messenger at the @wonderbaba page and I will get back to you as quickly as I can 🙂

In this blog I planned on summarising the benefits of each different multivitamin or supplement but due to the vast amount I have decided to break these up and I will produce the WonderBaba Vitamin and Supplement Series over the next few weeks where I will explain the benefits of each of the ingredients mentioned below so keep an eye on the blog and the facebook page to see these arrive day by day!

I hope you find this really helpful when trying to figure out the best choice for your WonderBaba. Here is a few general pieces of information you should be aware of before you make your choice:

  • It is recommended by the HSE that all infants, from birth to 12 months, whether
    breastfed or formula fed, be given a daily supplement of 5 µg (200 IU)
    vitamin D. This is available as ‘vitamin D drops’ in all pharmacies as a stand alone vitamin.
  • If your baby is exclusively breastfed and you are giving the recommended additional dose of vitamin D your baby will have a nutritionally complete diet up to six months of age.  At that stage milk consumption reduces due to the introduction of solids and so a balanced and healthy diet then becomes essential. I would like to add that whilst milk consumption often decreases the frequency and habits of feeding commonly do not so continue to enjoy your breastfeeding relationship in this case and remember the vast array of benefits you are providing to yourself and your child 🙂 According to WHO breastfeeding continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life – for the remainder your child is dependent on the food they consume.  So whilst I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding it is important to recognise the possible role vitamin supplementation may have if your child’s diet lacks a nutritional balance due to periods of sickness, loss of appetite or even fussiness.
  • Bottle fed babies who are having more than 500mls of formula a day do also not need further supplementation as their milk is fortified with the vitamins that they need.
  • In the Uk the Department of Health recommends that all children aged six months to five years are given vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C and D every day (other than those on more than 500mls of formula as it is possible to consume too much Vitamin A which can be harmful).
  • It is important to keep any supplements tightly capped and away from children’s reach.

 

Here is the comparative chart for the 14 top selling children’s multivitamins in my pharmacy – Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6.  Remember to check the dosage info to do a fair comparison depending on the age of your WonderBaba!

wonderbaba vitamin review print

 

From seeing the table you can see that each product does indeed have its own strengths and weaknesses.  You may feel your child has specific requirements and you may be able to fine tune your choice now that you can see the products side by side.  My overall view would be that for young children ages seven months to four years Vitabiotics Wellbaby liquid is a strong contender as an overall multivitamin. Remember that children who are consuming more than 500mls of formula a day should not receive a multivitamin as it may be harmful due to excess levels of fat soluble vitamin A.  These children should receive vitamin d supplementation only.  Vitamin D drops on their own are available by clicking here and should be given to all babies from birth to one year whether breast or bottle fed.

For children ages three years and up one of the clear leaders is Alive Childrens Multivitamins but this is closely followed by Pharmaton Kiddi Crunchy and Vitabiotics Wellkid which are both suitable from four years. As those three are all chewable tablets it’s important to mention that Vivioptal junior liquid would offer a reasonable alternative if your child will not take a tablet.

A most important thing for me to mention here is that this has been a completely independent review with zero bias involved.  None of the companies mentioned were even aware that I was doing a comparison so as always the results are transparent and I hope I have presented them clearly enough to you for them to speak for themselves.

ORDER HEREAll of these products are available to purchase from me online – just click HERE to get delivery to your door 🙂

 

 

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngI hope you found this information helpful and as always don’t hesitate to contact me on the WonderBaba Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) with any questions or for one to one advice for your little one! You can also consult with me in person at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 or over the phone on 012600262.

 

 

 

References

N.B All ingredient content was correct at the time of writing this review – 12/9/17 – changes may occur – always read the label.

 

 


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WonderBaba Guide – Suppositories versus Oral Medicine?

Well this is an interesting one as there are a few different factors which need to be considered.  For the purposes of this article I am speaking about the use of suppositories to treat fever and pain, and not referring to their use in constipation.  For more information on constipation and how it can be treated effectively click here.

Untitled design (17)The first thing I have to say is that suppositories are not as scary as some people think, they are just cone-shaped boluses of medicine which can be easily given to your child to treat pain of fever when a liquid is not suitable.  Suppositories available to treat fever and pain include ones based on paracetamol such as Paralink and Tipol, and ones based on ibuprofen such as nurofen.  These are both suitable from three months of age – just make sure to read the packaging to get the correct dosing for your child.

Before I go into the detail of how you actually use suppositories I’m going to get straight to the point and tell you when you SHOULD  use suppositories.

  • Use them if your child has a high fever or is in pain and will not or cannot take oral medication.
  • Use them to treat fever or pain when your child has vomiting.
  • My mummy perspective suggests using them when you are travelling to avoid having to carry lots of liquids.. I suggest this only for young children who are quite happy to use a suppository over oral meds.

What are the pros and cons?

question markUsing suppositories is more invasive than using oral medicine so a correct approach and a respect for your child’s comfort is essential.  I will explain in the next section how to use them but now I just want to emphasise that when used properly with a willing child they are so simple, easy and convenient to use.  I personally feel that a child who is still in nappies is an ideal candidate for this method of giving medicine – they are used to you cleaning and touching their nappy area and so will not be distressed when you insert the suppository – in fact many children will not even notice!! I also think it is a different situation when a child is out of nappies and unless you have the child’s permission and general understanding of what is going to happen I think the oral route of medicine is best when possible.  Another factor to consider is that suppositories have been proven effective for the treatment of pain or fever but they may actually take a little longer to take effect than oral medicine.

When faced with a vomiting child with a high temperature that needs to come down, or a child with a jaw so tightly clenched and unwilling to take oral medicine it is definitely a good idea to have suppositories on stand by.

So how to you use them?

For this bit I’m going to cheat and provide you with a perfect explanation from the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London:

“Remember – suppositories should never be swallowed.

  • Sit your child on the toilet to see if they need a poo.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Warm the suppository in your hands for a minute.
  • Remove the foil or plastic wrapping.
  • Get your child into any of these positions to give the suppository:
    • squatting down
    • lying on one side with one leg straight and the other bent
    • standing up with one leg raised
  • Gently but firmly push the suppository into your child’s bottom as instructed.
  • Push it in far enough that it does not slip out again.
  • Ask your child to close their legs and hold your child’s buttocks together for a few minutes.
  • Wash your hands again.

If your child needs a second suppository, wait until the first has dissolved before inserting the second.”

I will add that for younger children such as babies in nappies I would advise that you place them on their backs and proceed to change their nappy – when you have the dirty nappy off and area wiped clean I would hold their legs back gently towards them with their knees bent and insert the suppository then and continue with the nappy change as normal.

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngSome Useful Hints

  • If the suppository is warm before you open it you can run the wrapper under a cold tap or place it in a fridge for a few minutes to cool it as it can not be inserted when melted.
  • Being calm and confident will help your child to feel calm and confident in your actions.
  • If your child will take oral medicine and finds the use of suppositories distressing then do not persist – just offer oral medicine when necessary.
  • If you would like some tips on how to give your child oral medication then just click here!
  • Having a book ready so that you can scoop your child into your arms and settle them on your knee to read a story which will help them sit still to allow the suppository to absorb.
  • You should always consider the psychological welfare of your child and explain everything that you are doing – I even do it with babies even though they may have no idea what I’m talking about so that they get used to you respecting their personal space from an early age.
  • Sometimes the advice I have to give can make the process sound scarier than it really is – I assure you – babies in nappies most often are quite happy for you to administer a suppository and it can be such a great means to reduce a temperature that you may otherwise struggle to.

 

doctor-logo-red-white-mdWho should not use suppositories?

  • Children who have had bowel surgery unless prescribed by a doctor
  • Children who have an oncological condition or are otherwise immunocompromised.
  • Children who have irritable bowel disease.

 

websitefeetlogoI hope you found this information helpful and as always don’t hesitate to contact me on the WonderBaba Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) with any questions or for one to one advice for your little one! You can also consult with me in person at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 or over the phone on 012600262.

 

References:

 

 


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Should you give your baby calpol or nurofen before vaccinations?

This is a question that crops up time and time again – especially now since new guidance has been given with the introduction of the MenB Vaccine to the primary immunisation schedule.  I’d like to clear it up to help parents understand when you should or should not give your baby calpol or nurofen as a preventative strategy before vaccinations.

  • Ibuprofen (Nurofen) should not be given to prevent pain or fever before any vaccination on the childhood schedule.
  • Paracetamol (Calpol or Paralink) should only be given as a preventative measure at the time of the MenB vaccines only.  This recommendation applies only to the vaccines given at two and four months of age.
  • Paracetamol is recommended before the two and four month vaccines only as a result of the introduction of the MenB vaccine which may put your child at a higher risk of fever when given with the other vaccines.
  • At your child’s two or four month vaccines three doses of paracetamol should be given – the first dose of 2.5mls infant paracetamol (60mg) should be given at the time of vaccination or just after.  The second dose should be given 4-6 hours later and then the third dose should be given 4-6 hours after the second.
  • Paracetamol (calpol) does not need to be given routinely at the 12 month vaccines as your baby is less susceptible to the side effects of the MenB vaccination.

So basically other than before the two and four month vaccines you should not routinely try to prevent side effects of vaccines by giving medication.

However, it is important to stress that if your child is over six months of age and develops a fever over 39 degrees celcius or pain, swelling, headache or irritability after receiving a vaccine you can then use either paracetamol (calpol or paralink) or ibuprofen (nurofen) to treat their symptoms.

hugsOn a personal note I would recommend breastfeeding or if not bottle feeding your baby during or just after their vaccinations – and LOTS AND LOTS of cuddles and hugs…they are shocked and horrified by whats going on and a little love and reassurance is sometimes the best medicine!

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngI hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262. I’m always happy to help!

 

References

http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/hcpinfo/guidelines/

PSI Guidance 2017

 


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Antihistamines – A WonderBaba Guide!

Here is a little guide with everything you need to know about antihistamines!

Antihistamines are medicines that treat allergic conditions. They work by relieving symptoms rather than curing conditions.  They treat symptoms like itching, rash, hives, hay fever, runny eyes or nose due to allergy, irritation from bites or stings or even food allergies.

An oral antihistamine solution may be used if your child is over two years of age. Continue reading


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Why cant I get Dentinox cradle cap shampoo?

 

***Update*** 5/4/17 – New Information in BLUE!

I Spoke to the manufacturers of the product today who said a ‘reformulated’ Dentinox shampoo will be available at the end of October 2017.  They could not confirm the date and had no further information about what the difference in formulation would be but hopefully we will have more information soon!  I’m glad its coming back as it is a great product so I just hope the reformulation does not effect its efficacy!

cradle cap brushIn the meanwhile this cradle cap brush is brilliant to help gently work away patches of cradle cap!  http://www.milltownpharmacy.ie/p/pourty_cradle_cap_massage_brush

 

uriage shampooI use it with the gorgeous smelling Uriage 1Er Shampoo – http://www.milltownpharmacy.ie/p/uriage_1er_shampoo_200ml

 

 

Have you been left frustrated by the current shortage of Dentinox cradle cap shampoo?  I have, for personal reasons as well as professional!

I have spoken to the manufacturer of the product DDD Ltd in the UK who have assured me that it has not been discontinued – the problem relates to a production delay.  They have told me that it will be available for us to buy again but so far have not been able to offer any estimation of a date.  They have taken my details and will update me as soon as they have a date and I promise to update you all at that point too!

dentinoxIn  the meanwhile I would just like to say that there is no need to be stuck – there is an excellent alternative for this product available which is known as Capasal Therapeutic Shampoo.  It is suitable for use on cradle cap on children and is safe to use regularly.

We have this available online for all of you fellow frustrated mums so if you need it just CLICK HERE 

Dentinox and Capasal are excellent at treating persistent cradle cap but there is some more gentle options also available as described in my full cradle cap blog – CLICK HERE 

I hope this helps to clarify the current situation but if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me in Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy on 01-2600262 (Sheena) or by messaging me on the WonderBaba facebook page!


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Candida (thrush) infection of breasts – symptoms and treatment!

Nipple pain can occur in a breastfeeding mum for many reasons.  Obtaining a correct diagnosis is critically important for a successful continued breastfeeding realtionship. Breastfeeding is recommended exclusively for your baby’s first six months and then in combination with food right up until two years of age or beyond.  This article does not serve to prove the benefits of breastfeeding – it is universally accepted as the best source of nutrition for your baby and has many benefits for mum too.  No doubt I’ll write all about that at some other stage – today I am more focused on identifying those mums who are struggling with pain during feeding and would like to highlight thrush as a potential cause.  From experience I have found it is important to know the appropriate treatment when attending the doctors so that you can discuss the best treatment options available to you. Continue reading


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A WonderBaba Guide to Asthma in Children!

child-asthmaChildhood Asthma

Around 1 in 5 of Irish children are affected by asthma with boys being more likely to suffer than girls.  Happily the odds get a bit better with age but still approximately 1 in 10 adults are asthma patients  (470,000 people!) in Ireland.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease which is often not diagnosed and unfortunately uncontrolled which can lead to ill health in children.  The early detection and treatment of asthma in kids is essential to reduce illness and complications and to increase the quality of life of those affected and their families. Illness from asthma can be mild and cause moderate inconvenience such as missed days from school, however it can also present in a more severe form which can be serious and potentially life threatening. Modern medicine makes asthma an extremely well controlled condition in those with appropriate action plans and I can’t stress enough how important it is to work with your child’s doctor to ensure you are keeping their condition as well controlled as possible – this proactive attitude will help your child to lead a ‘normal’ life and reduce the number of doctor and hospital visits necessary. Continue reading


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Chicken Pox -Vaccination Facts for Parents!

What is the vaccine?

The Chicken Pox vaccine contains a laboratory weakened/altered amount of the Varicella virus which stimulates an immune response in the patients body so that they will be able to defend themselves from future exposure.  It is such a weak dose that most patients (98%) suffer no symptoms afterwards – in a very small minority the patient may show a very mild form of the disease. It is usually no more than 5-6 blisters in this case. Full illness causes 200-500 blisters in most cases. This type of vaccination stimulates an excellent immune response and will leave your child approximately 90% protected against the illness. Continue reading


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WonderBaba Medication Record

We all know how important it is to give your child the right medication, at the right time, at the right dose.  I’m not writing this to give you a lecture – if you are reading this you are already interested in the responsible administration of medication to your child.  I’m writing this to help you find an easy and effective way of doing it – no matter what your family or childcare situation!

The most common reason for medication errors that I have come across is a simple lack of communication between adults. It’s so easily done, everyone is in a hurry and has an awful lot of information to provide during ‘handover’ of responsibility from one parent to another, from a parent to a childminder or from a parent to a creche or school etc.  It’s simple to forget to let someone know that you have given a dose of medication, in fact with tiredness and stress involved I’d say its near impossible to be perfect all of the time!

Rather than beat ourselves up about not being ‘WonderParents’ all of the time I feel it’s a lot more constructive to identify that everyone is only human after all, and to try and find a system to put in place to prevent any medication errors from occuring.

I have designed the following record so that it can be used in a home, childminders, creche or school environment.  Ideally it could be stored in the box of the medication so that it is easily found but can even wrapped around the bottle with an elastic band or hair bobbin if needs must!  I really hope you find it useful as the most important thing is the health and welfare of our fabulous WonderBabas and I know this is a system we will be using in our house from now on when one of our three is unfortunate enough to need medication.

The Record can be downloaded and printed off by clicking the following link:

WonderBaba Medication Record download!

wonderbaba medication record download! pic

 

 

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I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262.  I’m always happy to help!