Schools have been out for summer for a couple of weeks and it’s great to see so many of our kids out and about enjoying their time off. Whether they are playing in one of our many fantastic parks, enjoying the great outdoors or playing games indoors children get ill, it’s a normal part of growing up. The majority of illnesses and ailments our children get over the summer can be treated at home with over the counter medication and don’t need to be seen by a doctor. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen a child in clinic who could have treated a lot quicker by talking to a pharmacist rather than waiting for an appointment with a GP.
Buzzing bees, marching ants and humble wasps are as much a part of the British summer as deckchairs, picnics and ice creams. Insect bites and stings will usually cause a red, swollen lump to develop on the skin. There may be slight pain and in some cases can be very itchy, however most insect bites and stings are not serious and will get better within a few hours or days.
Another common ailment our kids experience whilst playing in the great outdoors are nettle rashes, which appears red and is usually very itching. Like stings and bites they will normally settle within a few days.
The other common condition at this time of year shows itself in sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. You’ve probably guessed – hay fever – mainly caused by allergic reactions to pollen. Unfortunately, there is no cure for hay fever. You can reduce your exposure to pollen, but this isn’t easy when you’re out and about enjoying yourselves.
The best treatment hay fever, nettle rashes, and reactions to insect bites and stings is to take antihistamines, a medicine that can often relieve symptoms, which can be bought over-the-counter from a local pharmacy or supermarket. Surprisingly, antihistamine tablets will work better than a cream in dealing with that troublesome itchy nettle type rash.
In Rotherham, over £700,000 of NHS was spent last year on antihistamine medication with 30 tablets costing twice as much on prescription as it does to buy locally.
So, don’t worry if your child gets ill this summer, there are simple ways you can effectively treat the common ailments without the need to see one of us. Remember to make sure they drink plenty of water, apply sunscreen frequently but most important is that they enjoy themselves whatever they may be getting up to in the holidays.