A mum and a wife and sometimes just me

Monday 16 July 2012

Say no to drugs

We all hate it right...when our little one's get sick. The first time is the worst and I'm actually not sure it ever gets any better but at least you start to learn what you are dealing with. In the beginning there was more of a willingness though to check things out, just in case, make sure the wee man was okay and book an appointment with the GP. The thing is more often than not I was always told not to worry about it, calpol if they had a fever was the most you were offered. Once after weeks of my wee man suffering I decided that I had to keep going back because surely this was not good for him and the doctor had to do something about it. What seemed rather grudgingly I was actually given some antibiotics to give him and behold he became better. The next time he got sick he didn't have a fever and he was running about quite happily but he was just not keeping any food down. I was pretty lazy about taking him to the GP *NOT because I was not worried honest but what were they really going to do?* but he was starting to miss nursery because of it so that pushed my butt in gear. I was horrified to find out he had an ear infection and that this was his bodies way of showing it and he was severely dehydrated. Let's say that we won't just be looking out for a fever again!

I've been quick to realise that when it comes to babies, children and medicine there appears to be different approaches toward it depending on where you are. I really love the GP surgery I am at at the moment and thankfully at least they take the time to listen. It's a struggle sometimes though that if there are any general concerns over my little man it means a referral to a specialist and a long wait by which point sometimes the worrying rash or the persistent cough suddenly decides to disappear. They don't like to prescribe medicine for children here and usually just let them work their way through it. In Jamaica you go to a paediatrician not just a General Practitioner. I'm pretty lucky that my sister is one so she is not only a brilliant Auntie she is also a very useful host of knowledge for me as well. As soon as he arrived in Jamaica I was promptly told that he has allergies and should be on certain medication regularly which she quickly prescribed without thinking about it. While there he also came down with a fever after the first few nights and he was again quickly given a whole host of medication to help him get better because as my sister says 'It's much easier to prevent than it is to cure'. I trust my sister and wanted my son to get better and I did not even think twice about questioning whether it was right to give him medication or not.

As soon as we are back in the UK the constant sniffles, cough and rashes return and I'm back to second guessing about how I should respond. With the medication we had in Jamaica running out the question rears it's head again...does he need to take something or is he just going to grow out of it. Most of the over the counter allergy medication are 6 plus years. Anything for toddlers expressly says it's free of anything that was recommended to me when I was at home. So what do I do...should I go to the GP and argue the point that these are the medications which have worked please prescribe me some? The wee man is now teething and in obvious discomfort....the homoeopathic things are not working...I'm tempted to give some paracetamol...how much? how often? Is it really necessary? Is it really teething (that's another post)?

So do medicate or do you say no to drugs?


  1. Hmm. I tend to let things run the course for a few days unless there's a fever involved. Then I do over the counter. I assume that the govt/drug companies are overly cautious about the dosage recommendations to protect themselves so (for example) if the med says 1 tsp for a 6 yr old, I just do the math and divide by 3 for a 2 yr old. So I guess I'm somewhere in between not wanting to be too liberal with giving meds but also not letting things fester too long and have my baby feel bad unnecessarily.

  2. It's so tough. Laila was barely medicated when she was a baby, as we were in the UK. Although we were fairly liberal with the calpol and nurofen when she needed it.
    Max however spending those early years in France, has had tons of anti-biotics and all the other medicines. In my opinion it was too much too young, as he now catches more illnesses than Laila does. Her immune system is amazing, she just can't catch the chicken pox, no matter how many of her friends have it!!
    I was so skeptical when I first moved to France about all the nose sprays and decongestants they give each time a child has a cold, but actually I've come to see that they DO work and they prevent that cold turning into an ear infection or a chest infection or worse bronchitis.

    I have come to learn the signs of when they are really ill and when it's not too serious. Neither of my children ever get a high temperature, unless they are really really ill. So I've been known to take them in for a vaccination or general check up, only to discover they have an ear infection which I thought was just grumpiness from teething!

    I think you should go to the GP and explain what you were given while in Jamaica and how it worked. See what he can do, knowing the guidelines might be different, but try to get him to understand you're concerned over allergies.

    Good luck, and big hugs to the little man xxx


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