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 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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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


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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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A Wonder Review Ear Band-Its!

There is nothing worse than trying to explain to a child that they can’t go swimming  or mess too much in the bath because they are not allowed to get water in their ears due to grommets or ear perforation due to a bad infection.  In addition to that consider the nightmare which exists when trying to bathe a child who hates to have water in their ears!  From both a parents and child perspective ensuring no water enters the ear canal is nothing short of a disaster!

From my experience there are two main situations which arise! One where a child is not allowed to get water in their ears for medical reasons such as infection or grommets and another where a healthy child hates the feeling of water in their ears and suggesting a bath makes you enemy number one!! In essence it involves a parent trying to explain or battle (let’s be honest here!) with a child who either wants to splash and dunk their head under the water or else coaxing and convincing a child that hates the bath that water in their ears is ok and there is no need to be afraid!  Well I don’t know about your WonderBaba’s but mine certainly seem to follow my logical arguments!!

I recently came across a genius little product which solves the problems associated with both of these ‘water’ issues!  May I introduce… Ear Band-Its! Continue reading


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Preparing to Breastfeed!

 

breastfeedingWhilst it is certainly true that breastfeeding is a natural and instinctive skill it is not always true that it will come ‘naturally’.  Personal experience has highlighted breastfeeding as one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer, but it has also taught me that support and knowledge are key to a successful breastfeeding relationship.  It is most likely that you will have an easy and straightforward breastfeeding experience but it is also very possible that you may stumble across a few hurdles on your way.  With only 10% of Irish mums continuing to breastfeed after four months it is clear that our support networks are somewhat lacking.  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