WonderBaba

Healthcare by a Pharmacist mum!


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Vitamin and Supplement Series – Vitamin D!

sunshine-wonderbabaVitamin D also known as The Sunshine Vitamin!

Vitamin D gets it’s name because it needs UVB sun rays to be made – you can see why this is a problem in Ireland! When you consider that you’re not really meant to have your babies exposed to any sun that does actually escape through the clouds it really indicates that we might need to consider other sources!  This is why we have a recommendation in Ireland that all babies  under one year of age should be given a supplement of 5µg of Vitamin D3 every day! This is true for both breast fed and bottle fed babies.

What do we need vitamin D for?

We need Vitamin D to help our bodies to use calcium which is critical for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.  If we don’t have enough our bones can become weak and in some cases even cause rickets in children.  Rickets involves a weakening of the bones which can result in bone deformities and increased likelihood of fractures.  The reason the guidelines say that supplementation is essential up to 12 months of age is because of an increased need for Vitamin D due to the speed that babies grow at during that period.  It’s worth noting that babies with darker skin are even more at risk of low levels of vitamin D.  Vitamin D also plays a role in promoting healthy muscles and even immune system.

 

What else is important to know?

  • You need to give vitamin D to your baby even if you took a supplement whilst pregnant.
  • D3 is the best form of Vitamin D to give your baby – that’s whats in most of the products now so you don’t really have to worry too much about choosing.
  • Vitamin D is fat soluble – this means that it can be harmful to take too much – always read the label.

 

Which one should I get and where can I get it?

abidec-vitamin-D3-drops-Milltown-Pharmacybabyvitd3-pump-milltown-pharmacyYou should choose a product suitable for babies with just Vitamin D3 in it – if you feel your baby needs other multivitamins you should read my full multivitamin guide by clicking here as there are a few vitamins which you can take too much of, vitamin D is one of these, so you have to be careful.  Vitamin D products differ in dosages in different formulations so always read the label on the product you buy to make sure you are giving a suitable dose.  Abidec Vitamin D3 drops comes in a slightly aniseed flavour which babies don’t seem to mind at all and you just need to give one drop! I found it useful to give it whilst changing nappy as I was more likely to remember when I saw it beside the nappy things and it was easy to drop into their mouths as they lay back.  BabyVit D3 pump also contains one daily dose per single pump and some mums prefer using this to drops – a personal choice!

 

 

cropped-cropped-feet1.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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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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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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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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


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Soothers – Should you or shouldn’t you!?

soother-in-mouthSoothers…. another one of those weird topics that instigate all manner of severe mammy guilt! I feel this is because we are bombarded with conflicting information as to whether or not their use is a good or bad thing! I’d like to be able to clarify whether there is a right or wrong answer to the argument but I’m afraid that will still remain the personal choice of a parent – all I can do is explain the evidence from both sides and for what it’s worth I’m happy to give my own opinion at the end!

Please note – I will use the word ‘soothers’ throughout this article to describe a device also known as a dodi, a pacifier, a dummy, etc etc etc….. Continue reading


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Updated Information on the Primary Immunisation Programme 2016!

Hi Mums and Dads of WonderBabas in Ireland!

There have been some recent announcements about the immunisations which your child will be offered.  It has been announced that the HSE intend to roll out a new Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme this year which will mean that all babies who are born on or after the 1st of October 2016 will receive two new vaccines as part of the programme.  The two new vaccines include MenB (at 2,4 and 12 months) and Rotavirus (at 2 and 4 months). The timing  if the 1st MenC vaccine will also change from 4 to 6 months and the timing of the third PCV will change from 12 to 13 months.  Currently Hib and MenC are given as two separate vaccines but will now change to one injection which combines the two vaccinations at 13 months.

I have updated my ‘Vaccination Schedule’ blog so that you have all of the information you need to answer any questions you may have relating to the changes and how they may or may not affect you and your baby.

The updated blog is available here:

https://wonderbaba.ie/2016/06/14/vaccination-schedule/

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngI hope you find 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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Bronchiolitis – the best ways to beat it!

The bronchioles are small little airways in your baby’s lungs. The lungs are vital in delivering the right amount of oxygen to your baby’s blood steam allowing healthy bodily function to continue.  Bronchiolitis occurs when infection affects the bronchioles.  The most common cause of this infection in the respiratory synctial virus (RSV).  This viral infection causes inflammation and irritation of the bronchioles which can make it difficult for your little baby to breathe. Continue reading


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Croup – A WonderBaba Guide!

inside the tracheaCroup is a scary and frightening condition which affects the upper airways.  Inflammation of the larynx (also known as vocal cords), the trachea (known as the wind pipe) and the bronchi (small passageways in the lungs) causes obstruction of breathing and a characteristic barking cough.  It can be due to a viral infection or it can be spasmodic. Viral infection can be passed by your child breathing in or ingesting infected air droplets which are present in an infected persons coughs and sneezes. Continue reading