Self Help

Many illnesses and accidents can be simply treated at home without needing to see a doctor.
 
COLDS AND FLU
The best treatment for a cold is rest, plenty to drink and aspirin or paracetamol for aches and pains or fever. Contrary to popular belief antibiotics will not help.
 
DIARRHOEA AND VOMITING 
Most cases are caused by a virus and only last for a few days. If you see blood in the diarrhoea or your symptoms go on for more than 5 days you need to see the doctor. There are many preparations available at the chemists to help with the symptoms. It is most important to drink plenty of fluids to replace what you are losing. CHILDREN under 1 year old can dehydrate quickly. If symptoms last more than 24 hours you may need to contact the doctor especially if they have any of the following signs of dehydration; dry lips, sunken soft spot, no wet nappies.
 
BURNS
Put the affected area under the cold tap as soon as possible for at least three minutes. If the area is more than 4-5 inches or the skin is broken or blistered go to accident and emergency.
 
CHICKEN POX 
On the first day a rash of small red patches about 3-4mm appears. After a few hours they turn into blisters. Calamine lotion will sooth the itching. Paracetamol should be used for fever or pain.
 
NOSE BLEEDS
Pinch the soft part of the nose firmly towards the bottom with the head tilted forwards over a bowl. After about 10 minutes (by the clock) the bleeding should have stopped.
 
SORE THROAT
Take paracetamol regularly to treat pain and fever. Drink plenty and suck lozenges or sweets. If it has not settled after 3-5 days or is severe make an appointment to see the doctor.
 
CHILDHOOD RASHES
If your child has a rash but is otherwise well there is no need to see the doctor as these usually settle in a few days. Avoid contact with other children and pregnant women.
 
FEVER IN CHILDREN
Most temperatures in childhood are caused by viruses and only need simple treatment. The following advice will help you bring your child’s temperature down and make them feel better. 
ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SUPPLY OF PARACETAMOL SYRUP (e.g. CALPOL OR DISPROL). If you wait until you need it the chemist may be shut.
 
  1. Give your child paracetamol (Calpol, Disprol). Give the maximum dose for their age.
  2. Dress your child in cool clothes and have the windows open so that they can lose heat from their body.
  3. Encourage them to drink plenty of cool drinks.
  4. Repeat the paracetamol every four hours if necessary. Do not exceed the stated dose!
  5. If your child does not improve after paracetamol or appears very ill contact your doctor. We will always see an ill child as soon as possible. Bringing your child down to surgery in a pushchair or chair will not make them any worse; the cool air may even make them feel better.
If you are still worried, please telephone the surgery for further advice.