Your children will have seral minor illnesses and injuries during the first few years of life! It is worth having some basic medications in the home, including:

  • Saline nose spray (for blocked and snuffly noses)
  • Rehydration solutions (for upset tummies/diarrhoea)
  • Probiotics (for upset tummies/diarrhoea)
  • Anti-cramp medications and possibly anti-nausea medications (these may require a prescription)
  • Antiseptic creams and plasters
  • A quick acting antihistamine eg cetirizine (for itchy conditions or allergic reactions. As a rule of thumb, an emergency dose would be, in mL, weight ¸ 2. For example, a 10 kg child who has an itchy response to an insect bite can be given 5 mL of cetirizine syrup)
  • Anti-fever and pain medicine syrup, including paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Ask your doctor about doses of fever/pain medication that need to be given. An example of commonly used fever medications are:

  • Paracetamol (eg Calpol syrup, Panado syrup at a concentration of 120mg/5 mL- NOT infant drops): 0.6mL per kg body weight 6 hourly, eg for a 5 kg child: Panado syrup 3 mL 6 hourly; for a 10kg child 6 mL 6 hourly
  • Ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen syrup at a concentration of 100 mg/5 mL) : 0.3mL per kg body weight 6 hourly. e.g for a 10 kg child: Nurofen syrup 3 mL 6 hourly

We do not recommend over the counter cough or flu medicines or sedatives for young children except if advised by your doctor. Generally the side effects outweigh the benefits.

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