WonderBaba

Healthcare by a Pharmacist mum!


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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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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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WonderBaba – Miscarriage – Symptoms and Support.

Bleeding, severe pain and cramping, or the sudden loss of pregnancy symptoms can sometimes indicate a miscarriage.  I don’t even need to say it but a miscarriage causes a mother distress of the most harrowing nature. It is ironic that early pregnancy is often a ‘secret’ and so the time that you really need support and help is the one time you feel unable to reach out and ask for it.  I’m writing this article for those mums who need advice, for those who feel the may be suffering from a miscarriage, or those who have experienced one and are finding it hard to cope with or process.  I hope to provide some information about what is normal and what is not during early pregnancy and to highlight some of the amazing and supportive resources there are for women in this devastating situation in Ireland. It is important to know when to seek help and if you do find yourself in the heartbreaking position of grieving for your unborn baby its even more important to know that support is available.  A pregnancy can be planned, unplanned or unexpected but finding support during miscarriage, both physically and mentally, should not be overlooked.

What can be a sign of miscarriage?

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Can I give Calpol and Nurofen together?

Without any shadow of doubt the most common question I am asked is whether Calpol and Nurofen can be taken together.  To explain the answer fully it is important to first look at the active ingredients in these preparations, also what other products contain these active ingredients, and then how we can use them safely. Continue reading


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Hand Foot and Mouth Disease – A WonderBaba Guide!

mouthHand foot and mouth disease can affect any age group but is most common in children under ten years of age. They are most likely to catch it in the Summer or Autumn.  It should not be confused with foot and mouth disease which is a viral infection which affects animals such as cattle, sheep and pigs.

Hand foot and mouth disease is a viral infection most commonly caused by the following viruses: Continue reading


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A WonderBaba Guide to Teething!

Teething… some babies breeze through it barely noticing the arrival of their new teeth…some babies…well they feel every part of every tooth! In my experience if your baby feels it then you pretty much do too 🙂 On average teething begins at six months of age.  This can vary greatly as some babies are even born with teeth whereas some take over a year to cut their first one.  The good news is that most babies will have a full set of milk teeth by the age of two and a half so whilst it may feel like it will go on forever I can promise it won’t!  Teething early or even being born with teeth is not a problem really other than for two reasons. Continue reading


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Sore Throats in Babies and Children

Sore Throats in Babies and Children Wonder

Unfortunately sore throats are quite common, especially in children, and can occur for several reasons including viral or bacterial infections. One of the main viral infections which causes a sore throat is the common cold with it being responsible for a quarter of all sore throats. Other viruses which less commonly cause a sore throat in children are the flu viruses, the herpes simplex virus, the Epstein Barr virus (glandular fever), and the Adenovirus. Bacterial infections only account for a third of sore throats in children and are mostly due to streptococcal infections. Babies and children are particularly likely to suffer from sore throats as their bodies haven’t yet had time to build up resistance to the infections which commonly cause this nasty symptom. Continue reading


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Oral Hygiene for Babies and Children!

A regular dental cleaning ritual is an important aspect of your child’s hygiene routine.  You can actually begin with an oral hygiene routine before your baby’s first tooth has even appeared! The easiest way to do this is to use a damp clean facecloth and just wipe it gently over your baby’s gums.  This gets your little one used to the process and can also make it easier for you to identify when teeth are cutting through! You don’t need to use any toothpaste until the teeth actually appear so just warm water will do. Continue reading