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. Continue reading


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Is there a right time to start potty training?

PLPOTTYPODgreyMilltownThe’right’ time for potty training is a topic of great debate! In America potty tends to happen before the age of two but in Ireland it’s much more likely to be over two or even approaching three! The right time is when your child is showing signs of readiness and most importantly you have the available necessary time to support your child through this large transition to avoid it becoming a negatively fuelled battle. There are certain pressures from society now which do encourage parents to take the task in hand a little earlier such as requirements by Montessori schools etc which now start earlier for many children with the introduction of a second free Pre ECCE year. This has changed the starting age for Montessori of many children to three rather than four.  Many montessoris have a requirement for children to be fully toilet trained before starting which would mean you would need to make a start on it at about two and a half years of age.

How do you know if they’re ready (are there signs to look out for)?

toilet-clip-art1-1-copyThere are many signs of readiness, these include: Continue reading


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Hyperemesis Gravidarum – support is here – Hyperemesis Ireland!

Hyperemesis is a crippling sickness of severe nausea and vomiting which effects less than 1% of pregnant women.  It is different to regular ‘morning sickness’ which affects a large proportion of pregnant women and usually clears up around the 16 week mark.  Hyperemesis is a serious condition which can lead to severe dehydration if not treated.  To understand the condition more and how it differs from regular morning sickness I’d like to ask you to read the following blog of a mum who suffered from the illness first hand as I personally was lucky enough to escape with the regular nausea that early pregnancy brings.

dripI have never read a blog that reflects the cruelty of the impact that this illness can have over a woman whilst she’s ‘glowing’ during her pregnancy. This blog is written by an old friend of mine and is well worth a read! http://www.wonkyeye.ie/wonky-eye-blogger/cgispm3anygqg3j5s5nwku8ahzimmv2017814

Hyperemesis Ireland is a new support network for expectant mums who are in need of guidance and care – as a healthcare professional and as a woman I am so glad that this service is now available in Ireland!
#hyperemesisgravidarum #youarenotalone

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.


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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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A WonderBaba Guide to Flat Head Syndrome!

 

IMG_7589In the early 1990s advice was issued for parents to place their babies to sleep only on their backs.  This recommendation was introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics as babies who sleep on their backs have been proven to be less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  I’ll write another article explaining all about SIDS soon but  it’s just important to highlight why we are correctly advised to place babies to sleep on their backs when we are discussing flat head syndrome.

Flat head syndrome is quite common, it affects approximately one in five babies. It describes the development of a flattened area on a babies head. There are two main types known as plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. Plagiocephaly is when the side of your babies head is effected and it can impact the alignment of a babies ears.  Brachycephaly is when the back of your babies head is affected and becomes flattened.  This can cause your babies head to appear wider also. Continue reading


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The Wonders Of Witch Hazel!

IMG_7589Childbirth is obviously a beautiful and wonderful thing, amazing and magical all at the same time! However when you look behind the magic and under all of that happy new baby bliss sometimes you find a mum who is struggling to recover from their vaginal birth due to an episiotomy, haemorrhoids or vaginal tears.  Not every mum will experience discomfort after childbirth but in all honestly a little tenderness and inflammation is to be expected at least.  So to all new mums I would like to help you focus purely on your mesmerising new WonderBaba by explaining how exactly you can relieve your pain and soreness so it is no longer an unwelcome distraction!

Let me introduce you to the wonders of witch hazel and some other natural wonder products! Continue reading


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12 simple tips to protect your child from pollen!

Spring and summer can be a little frustrating because you want to encourage you child to be out doors but every time you do they are struck down by hay fever! Hay fever is more common in older children than babies with more boys being affected than girls interestingly.  To read my full blog on hay fever and its medical treatment you can click here or if you just want some top tips to help to avoid pollen then keep reading!

If you suspect hay fever the best thing to do is to limit your child’s exposure to the allergen pollen. This sounds simple, but once children are involved is anything actually easy?! Here’s some top tips to get you started!

  • met.ie-logo (2)Keep your child inside if the pollen count is above 50 or high.  To check the pollen count on any given day you can look up the MET Éireann website – http://www.met.ie/forecasts/pollen.asp
  • Let your child wear wrap-around sunglasses to stop the pollen from contacting their eyes.
  • Keep windows closed on days of a high pollen count. This one is hard because it’s often quite warm on these days but needs must!
  • Don’t hang your child’s clothes or bedding outside to dry as they may become covered in pollen which will cause irritation at night or during the day.
  • Don’t keep fresh flowers in the house (a good excuse for the men not to buy any!!)
  • Hoover regularly.
  • Dust with a damp cloth regularly.
  • If outdoors avoid areas where grass is being cut or has recently been cut.
  • Keep car windows closed when driving.
  • recirculated-airIf using the air conditioning in your car set it to re-circulate the air in the car instead of drawing in new air which may be heavy with pollen.
  • The best time to play outside is after a heavy down pour of rain – Irish weather comes in handy here! This is when the pollen count will be at its lowest.
  • Wash your child’s hands and face once you’ve finished playing outside to remove the pollen. Also change their clothes.

If you cannot get your child’s hay fever under control please do talk to me, your local Pharmacist or your GP.  Further information on the medical treatment of hay fever is available here!

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!


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WonderReview – Mustela 123 Vitamin Barrier Cream

first 40 yearsAfter three children and five and a half years of continuous nappy changing its fair to say as a Pharmacist I have had a vested interest in trying out all of the many many nappy rash creams that are available on the Irish market!  I’ve had phases with little or no nappy rash to battle and phases where it has felt impossible to clear! For the last couple of months I have unfortunately been battling a particularly persistent case so I was excited and eager to try the new Mustela 123 Vitamin Barrier Cream which arrived on our shelves in Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy…yes I am that sad – this is exactly the kind of thing that makes my day at the moment!! Continue reading


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Is this heat rash?

heat rash wonderbabaHeat rash is also known as miliaria or prickly heat.  There’s a few different kinds and the rash can range from mild small pimples to deep red lumps.  Its generally a pink or red rash which can be made up of dots, spots or pimples – most often these affect the head neck and shoulders.  Heat rash occurs when your baby’s sweat glands become blocked and become swollen, itchy and generally uncomfortable! It often occurs under clothes where the heat is worst and the material rubs off it causing further irritation and friction. Continue reading