This post is a collaboration with Ask Your Pharmacist
I was contacted by the team over at Ask Your Pharmacist, and they asked me to visit my local pharmacy to take on the “Ask Your Pharmacist Challenge.” I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to review my 5-year-old’s asthma medication before she starts school, stock up on medication for my kids before we go overseas, and find a product and get some trusted advice for my daughter’s mild eczema.
My 5-year-old is heading off to school and needs a spare inhaler and medication to keep with her in case she needs it throughout the school day. She’s on daily asthma medication due to being misdiagnosed for 6 weeks with a sudden onset of asthma by the children’s hospital. She had actually aspirated a piece of popcorn and the kernel was sitting in her lung, so it wasn’t asthma at all. Well, because of the time the popcorn sat on her lung, there had been some inflammation caused to her right lung, and she now requires daily asthma medication (inhaler and tablets).
I rounded up my kids and went to visit my local pharmacy. First up, I spoke to the pharmacists about my daughter’s asthma, her medication and the current treatment plan. It had been over a year since learning how to give my daughter her asthma medication via her inhaler, which was late at night in the emergency room. I must admit, I thought I was doing it all correctly, but I have been administrating her inhaler wrong for all this time and had no idea! The pharmacist sat down with us and showed me how to administer her inhaler correctly and also recommended the best compact spacer for school. She now has a new spacer, an in-date labelled inhaler and instructions to provide to her school. I’m so glad I took the time to speak to the pharmacist about my daughter’s asthma and medication, or I would never have found out that I wasn’t administrating it correctly which reduces the effectiveness of her Ventolin.
Now that I have her asthma medication sorted, it was time to get her eczema flare-up addressed and find a suitable product for her to bathe with that doesn’t irritate her skin. I had googled this previously and just got frustrated with all the conflicting advice that was online.
None of my other children have had any skin problems before, so when my daughter started to get dry, itchy patches on her arms, I wasn’t quite sure what it was. I took her to my local pharmacy when it first started to get some advice and to see if it was something contagious, or worse – a reaction to something, and he advised me that it was mild eczema. The pharmacy at the time recommended I try a few products, and they seemed to work well on her skin at first. Since the heat has gone up a notch in Queensland, she’s had another flare-up, so I spoke with the pharmacist and let him know what I had previously used that had worked and asked for some updated advice on how best to treat it this time around.
I purchased a different skin cream to soothe the area, as it’s a little itchy for her, and some goat’s milk bath wash that is mild enough that it shouldn’t cause any flare-ups. After a few weeks of using the products, her flare-up is gone, but I’m going to continue to use the new products permanently to avoid it returning during the warmer months.
While I’m on a roll, I told the pharmacist about our upcoming holiday to Hawaii and asked what medication he would recommend to take away with us for the kids. Last time we went away to Thailand, we had one kid that had an infected toe, one with a urinary tract infection and one that ended up with gastro, so this time I wanted to be fully prepared for anything.
The pharmacist worked with me to tailor a travel kit for my kids that included pain medication, child-friendly insect repellent, sunscreen, first aid supplies, spare asthma medication for my daughter and gastrolyte. One thing I really liked is the pharmacist made sure he provided me with medication that had a long expiry so this travel pack will be useful for other holidays we might take this year. I think it’s safe to say, we will be prepared this time around! I know you can buy medication abroad, but the issue is finding a product and advice that is the same standard as you would get at home.
Did you know pharmacists and their staff are trained to do more than just dispense medication? They also provide a range of different services, including flu vaccinations, diabetes management, and Mother & Baby clinics. I encourage you to head in to your local pharmacy to check out and take advantage of the services they provide families.