Pharmacists warn parents of health risks when giving medicines to children
Added: 22/03/17 : 13:41:10
Pharmacists have issued a reminder to parents to be extremely careful when giving medicines to children and to always seek the advice of their pharmacist before giving a child any medication.
The correct dose of medicine can vary depending on a child’s age, weight and symptoms. As children grow, dosages can also change. Medicines meant for an adult should never be given to a child.
The Irish Pharmacy Union has produced a handy downloadable leaflet for parents on managing the most common ailments in babies and young children, including advice on medicine safety.
Ann Marie Horan, a member of the IPU’s Executive Committee and a community pharmacist, said, “When a child is sick, it is natural that parents want to make them feel better. Occasionally parents can unintentionally give young children too much medicine, especially when they are administering medicine regularly. Medicine dosages for children should be adjusted according to the age and weight of the child, particularly when it comes to common pain relieving medicines.
"Too little medication can be ineffective, while too much medication can be harmful. Your pharmacist will be able to advise you on the correct dosage for your child and I would encourage all parents to check with us - that’s what we’re here for.”
The following advice is a guideline for parents when giving medicine to a child:
· Read the leaflet. Always follow the recommendations on the information leaflet provided with the medication.
· Give the correct dose. The dose must be suitable for the child’s age and weight.
· Follow the directions on when the medicine is to be taken. Stick to the instructions, for example, with or after food, or with liquid.
· Use the proper sized spoon. Never guess the dose. Always use a 5ml spoon or dosage syringe provided with the medication.
· Follow age and weight limit recommendations. If the label says don't give to children under a certain age or weight, don't do it.
· Ensure the child takes all of the medicine each time it is given.
· Keep a record of how much you have given and when.
· Do not chill or crush medicine without checking it is okay to do so with your pharmacist as this could alter the effectiveness of some medicines.
· Never mix medicines without first checking with a pharmacist that it’s safe to do so. Many different-sounding medicines have the same ingredients and you can accidentally overdose as a result.
· Do not give aspirin to children under 16, unless it is specifically prescribed by a doctor.
· Store medicines in a cool dry place.
· Safety First. Keep all medicines well out of the reach of children.
“Parents should seek immediate medical assistance if their child shows any adverse reactions to a medication such as trouble breathing or swallowing, a rash, hives, vomiting or diarrhoea,” concluded Ms Horan.
Mammograms for Mother’s Day
Added: 20/03/17 : 05:59:25
BreastCheck, the National Breast Screening
Programme, is urging people to take advantage of the occasion of Mother’s
Day this year by encouraging their loved ones to have a free mammogram
that could help find and treat breast cancer at an early stage.
Professor Ann O’Doherty, Lead Clinical Director
for BreastCheck, says: “Mother’s Day is a day that we devote to celebrating
our mums by spending time with them. Whether treating them to a nice lunch
or even just making the time to have a long phone chat, Mother’s Day offers
an ideal opportunity to have a conversation about the importance of screening
for breast cancer and being breast aware.”
“If your mum is aged 50 to 65, have a chat
with her about registering for BreastCheck. The programme offers free mammograms
every two years to women aged 50 to 65. If your mum isn’t on the register
or she’s not sure, ask her to register or check her details.”
“The risk of breast cancer increases with
age and it is important that all eligible women avail of their regular
free mammogram, so that changes can be identified at an early stage.
If a breast cancer is found early, it is generally easier to treat and
there are more treatment options available.”
“A BreastCheck appointment only takes 30
minutes. It's quick, it's easy, it's free and it could save your mum’s
life. The vast majority of women screened are found to be perfectly healthy.”
“If your mum is outside the age range for
BreastCheck, talk to her about how to be breast aware. It is important
that all women, regardless of age or participation in screening, remain
breast aware at all times by getting to know what is normal and being on
the lookout for any changes. For any breast-related concerns, women should
contact their GP without delay,” urges Professor O’Doherty.
Getting on the BreastCheck register
All women aged 50 to 65 are advised to make
sure their name is on the BreastCheck register and that their details are
correct. Call Freephone 1800 45 45 55 or check online at www.breastcheck.ie.
Once your name is on the register, with the
correct contact details, you will automatically be contacted by post when
BreastCheck is screening in your area. If your appointment time or date
doesn’t suit, it can be easily rearranged. Any woman who receives an invitation
for a mammogram is encouraged to go for her appointment.
Be breast aware
BreastCheck urges all women to be breast
aware by knowing what is normal for them and what changes to look out for,
lumps or unusual thickening in your breast
puckering or redness of the skin
- A nipple
that appears to be pulled-in or flattened
- A rash
or flaky or crusted skin around the nipple
- A change
in the size or shape of your breast
in your armpit or around your collarbone
pain in one part of your breast or armpit.
Breast cancer is the most common type of
cancer in women in Ireland and the second most common cause of cancer death
in women in Ireland. On average, there are 2,883 women diagnosed with breast
cancer each year in Ireland while 711 Irish women died from the disease
in 2013. Since BreastCheck began in February 2000, the programme has provided
over 1.4 million mammograms to almost 500,000 women and has detected over