For many of us, the local physician is our first port of call for medical problems.
The local physician can make a diagnosis, prescribe drugs, and refer your child to more complete health services if required. But you do not always need to visit a physician if your child is under the weather. No one wishes to go to the family doctor unless they absolutely have to – there may be an effective DIY solution, but if not, you need to decide whether it is prudent to visit the family doctor.
- A well-stocked drug cabinet helps you treat a host of common illness and minor ailments at your house. A small supply of ibuprofen syrup and paracetamol drops really go a long way and may help a whole array of health problems, from toothache and fevers to coughs. Keep stocked up on paracetamol drops – fevers are more common at night hours, and the last thing you need at 4 a.m. is to find that the drug cabinet is bare.
- The local pharmacist is a great source of help. He is an expert on drugs and how they work and can give advice on ordinary childhood health complaints. The pharmacist can recommend safe over-the-counter remedies for your children and give proper advice on whether you should take the child to the physician.
Deciding whether to take your children to the family doctor or straight to hospital depend on the seriousness of the problem. If the problem is not urgent, you need to be able to get an appointment quickly at your local clinic – but remember to cancel it immediately if your child’s symptom subsides. The physician likely has an emergency service for urgent medical crisis that can’t wait until tomorrow.