Minor Illness

Colds, Coughs and Stuffy Noses

These are caused by viruses and even in this day and age, there is no cure. Antibiotics can only kill bacteria which are completely different organisms. Paracetamol will relieve the headache, sore throats and aching muscles as well as bringing down the fever. The illness will last 5-6 days but the cough may persist for several more days. If you are concerned, you should see the Doctor.

Fever (Raised Temperature)

A fever is natural with most illnesses and simple measures to lower the temperature will make you feel more comfortable. Keep the room cool. Don’t wrap the patient up, even if the patient says they feel cold. Leave the body exposed to allow the excess heat to escape from the body, especially children. Take plenty of cool drinks. Take regular Paracetamol or Aspirin. Sponge down with tepid flannel—leave the patient damp and repeat when dry. *Do not give children Aspirin.

Vomiting and Diarrhoea

Prevent dehydration—drink plenty of fluids. Dioralyte or Rehydrat are available at your Chemist and are very useful for young children. If vomiting is a problem, take small sips of fluid every few minutes. Symptoms should settle in 24—36 hours. If symptoms persist, or if very frequent vomiting, see your Doctor.

Chicken Pox

Rash appears as small red patches with itchy blisters. The rash will dry up and crust over in 4—5 days. The patient is infectious until the last crusts have dropped off. Calamine lotion and cool baths will help the itch. Phenergan medicine from the Chemist can also help control the itch at night.

Headlice

Found in clean hair as often as dirty hair. Spread by head to head contact. A medicated head lotion can be obtained from the Chemist. Treat all members of the family and notify the school.

Threadworm

Small white worms seen in motion. Suspect if there is scratching around the anus, especially at night. They are spread by eggs under the nails and put into the mouth. Medicine is available from the Chemist. All family members should be treated.

Back Pain

Usually begins as a strain caused by poor lifting technique. Always bend your knees and keep back straight. Rest your back on a firm bed and maintain good posture when walking. Painkillers and rest are usually all that may be required.

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