Do I need to be seen?
For a lot of common illnesses and ailments there is no specific cure and they will be relieved with time and simple remedies available without prescription. Therefore, please do not expect your doctor to prescribe a drug for every problem. Discussion and advice may be far more useful and free from side effects. We feel it is important that all households should keep a reasonably stocked medical cabinet at home to deal with minor ailments. Remember all medicines should be stored in a box or cupboard with a lock and kept well out of the reach of children. Always check the expiry date on medicines and do not keep them for future use, as they lose their effect or become dangerous.
Rest for two days. Take paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen. Apply heat in the form of a hot water bottle or electric pad to the painful area for 30 minutes at a time.
Allow cold water to run over the wound for 3 minutes. If the burn looks severe, go to the Minor Injuries Unit at Horsham Hospital (between 9.00am & 5.00pm Monday to Friday).
Colds and Flu
Rest, drink plenty of fluids and take Paracetamol every six hours to relieve the worst of the symptons.
Inhale steam from menthol crystals or vapour rub dissolved in hot water. Apply vapour rub to chest.
Inhale steam from menthol crystals or vapour rub dissolved in hot water. See doctor if there is a shortness of breath, a wheeze, pain on coughing, or blood stained sputum. Also see the doctor if prolonged temperature, prolonged cough, or prolonged loss of appetite.
If you are passing urine frequently which stings or burns, you may have cysititis which is sometimes caused by infection. Drink plenty of water or ask the chemist for Cymalon. If the symptoms do not settle in a couple of days, consult the doctor.
Diarrhoea and/or vomiting
Drink plenty of fluids. If more than 24 hours, purchase Dioralyte or Rehidrate from chemist. Anyone showing signs of dehydration, (baby dry nappies) or decreased skin elasticity (squeeze skin, it should flop back quickly if normal) should see a doctor that day.
Fever in children
Give them Paracetamol or Ibuprofen (if not asthmatic) and plenty of cold fluids. Sponge them down with tepid water in the armpits, the forehead, the neck and the groin. If using other medicines, check with the pharmacist that it is ok to use paracetamol and Ibuprofen.
These insects prefer clean hair and are not therefore a sign of poor personal hygiene. The hair should be washed and a good hair conditioner applied. While still wet the hair should be combed with a fine toothed comb. This should be repeated two or three times over a week or two. If the lice remain after this treatment it may be necessary to use a medicated lotion which can be obtained from the chemist without prescription.
Antihistamine tablets or syrup are available from the chemist. Wasp stings, apply vinegar. Bee stings, scrape away the sting but do not squeeze the venom sac. Apply sodium bicarbonate to the sting.
Minor cuts and grazes
Wash the wound thoroughly with water and a little soap or antiseptic. Apply direct pressure to any bleeding point. Apply a clean firm dressing.
Sit in a chair, leaning forward with your mouth open. Squeeze the nose below the bone for 10 minutes. Avoid the temptation to blow your nose for 24 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids and suck lozenges and sweets. Children should be given a paracetamol syrup. Those over 16 years can gargle with aspirin dissolved in water if not asthamatic. See the doctor after three days if the throat is still painful and the glands are swollen.
Take paracetamol or aspirin. Apply calamine lotion or emollient cream.
..Remember that your chemist can give advice about medicines..
The Family Medicine Chest
- SOLUBLE ASPIRIN TABLETS
For adults or children over 12 years of age. Good for headaches, colds, sore throats and painful bruises.
- PARACETAMOL TABLETS
For general pain relief in adults, particularly those who cannot tolerate Aspirin.
- PARACETAMOL LIOUID
For relief of pain or fever in young children.
- SEDATIVE COUGH LINCTUS
For dry or painful coughs but not coughs caused by the common cold.
- KARVOL CAPSULES
Add to hot water to make steam inhalations for treating catarrh and dry or painful coughs.
- VAPOUR RUB
Again, for steam inhalations. Also useful for children with stuffy noses or dry coughs. Rub on chest and nose.
- EPHEDRINE NOSE DROPS
For runny noses in children over 1 year old. Use before meals and at night, but not for more than 4 days.
- ANTISEPTIC SOLUTION
One teaspoon diluted in warm water for cleaning cuts and grazes. Also for treating septic spots, sores in the nose and grazes.
- CALAMINE LOTION
For dabbing (not rubbing) on insect bites, stings and sunburn.
3 inch wide crepe bandage - for sprains and strains.
- COTTON WOOL
For cleaning cuts and grazes.
- THERMOMETER / FEVER SCAN
For removing splinters.
Self Care Fact Sheets