When you become a parent for the first time, the knowledge of your support network becomes essential. It’s not just your family doctor who can help, with many new mums and dads relying on tips and tricks from their midwife and health visitor too. But did you know your local pharmacist can also help you treat the symptoms of common infant health conditions?
With many pharmacists open weekends and evenings, they can be an invaluable first point of call when your little one is under the weather.
Here are five common infant health conditions your pharmacist can help with.
All babies cry. But when your baby cries almost constantly – more than three hours a day, three days a week for at least a week – it might be colic.
Colic is one of the most common infant health conditions in babies under six months and usually involves your baby being hard to settle and very windy. Sometimes they may go red in the face, clench their fists or bring their knees up to their tummy.
The good news, though, is that there are several treatments for colic available at the local pharmacist.
Your pharmacist may recommend Dentinox, which uses dimethicone to help break the bubbles of gas in your baby’s tummy, or Colief, which helps break down lactose.
There are other solutions you can try at home, many of which your midwife will be able to give you information around – including baby massage, white noise (such as the radio turned down low, or even running the hoover) and swaddling.
Some mums also swear by the Babocush, which uses gentle vibrations and heartbeat sounds to soothe babies experiencing colic, gas or reflex. Although your local pharmacist is unlikely to have this in stock, you can order it direct from babocush.com.
Growing new teeth is hard, painful work that can leave your little one grizzly, grouchy or outright distressed.
There are tonnes of different solutions available in your local pharmacy and it’s all a case of finding what works for you.
Many mums swear by the classic teething solution, Ashton & Parsons Infants’ Powders. There’s every chance that your mum used it for you, or even your gran when your parents were small, as the traditional herbal medicine has been around for more than 150 years.
Alternatively, lots of pharmacists stock a good selection of teething rings and toys, including cooling options. Look out for brands including Sophie La Girafe and Matchstick Monkey which balance function with form in beautiful designs.
Curaprox also offer an impressive orthodontic teething ring, complete with a massaging toothbrush effect. Combining soothing properties with intelligent design, this is a teething ring will keep your little one occupied for hours.
Or, for babies too small or young to hold a teether toy up, a Baby Gumz Teething Mitten is a good choice. Your little one can chew on the soft silicone bumps, and it comes with a handy travel bag to stop it getting mucky on the go.
Chicken pox is a common, if unpleasant, illness. It starts with red spots anywhere on the body that fill with fluid and burst – which can be really itchy and distressing for young children.
If you’re sure it’s chicken pox, a quick trip to the pharmacist can help soothe symptoms. Cooling gels and mousses to help with the external itch are available over the counter, including PoxClin CoolMouse and ViraSoothe Chickenpox Relief Cooling Gel.
An extremely common condition, cradle cap is a harmless scaly skin condition that look like patches of greasy or yellow crust.
While this skin condition – which is usually found on the scalp, eyebrows, nose or nappy area – usually resolves on its own, your pharmacist can recommend gentle shampoos and cleansing products to help it on its way.
Known for their range of infant health products, Dentinox also offer a Cradle Cap Treatment Shampoo that is gentle enough to use from birth, making cradle cap easy to treat as part of your usual bathtime routine.
Alternatively, your pharmacist may suggest applying Loyon gel, which flows under the scales and crusts of cradle cap to gently remove them.
It’s not at all unusual for children to get sick on long car journeys, although some children are worse affected than others. When the symptoms are severe, this common childhood complaint can be distressing for children – as well as stressful for parents.
Your pharmacist can help you chose a travel sickness remedy that will help soothe your child’s symptoms.
Their shelves will often include acupressure bands such as SeaBand, which are suitable for children aged three years and over. A natural, non-medical solution, SeaBands exert gentle pressure on the Nei-Kuan accupressure point on the wrist to alleviate nausea.
For children over five, your pharmacist may suggest Sturgeron tablets. This medication uses Cinnarizine, an antihistamine that prevents you feeling or being sick.
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