Within only a matter of days of being back at school, one of the kids came home with a minor injury. A new synthetic surface on the training oval at school, combined with diving for a try, saw a substantial amount of skin removed from his leg.
I knew it wasn’t significant enough to warrant a trip to emergency, but with the amount of skin removed from his leg and with him being required to play a game on that same field in a matter of days, I knew we needed to have someone look at it.
Thankfully our local pharmacy is open until 8pm weekdays, which meant I could still serve and eat dinner with the family, get the younger kids off to bed and then take the wounded one off to see the pharmacist.
Pharmacists are trained to do significantly more than dispense medicines and they have been a huge help to us over the years. I knew they would be able to offer expert advice on how to treat the wound.
The service provided exceeded my expectations. I expected to go home with some creams and bandages, but after the pharmacist recommended the best course of action, we were directed to a consultation room where the pharmacist assistant, cleaned and dressed the wound for us. This was even before I let them know I was participating in the Local Ask Your Pharmacist Challenge #AskYourPharmacist!
As we waited for the assistant to gather the necessary items, I reflected on the number of times seeking advice from a pharmacist has helped me as a parent.
When the kids were much younger, many evenings my sleep was saved by being able to duck to the local pharmacy for some quick, expert advice on whether the baby with a fever needed to see a doctor or just a dose of baby paracetamol. When a baby has a fever it is distressing, so to be able to have someone examine our baby and give professional advice, it always provided me with great peace-of-mind and I would leave the pharmacy with a plan of action (love a plan!). I would know what to do upon immediately returning home, what to do in the next 24 hours and what to do if things deteriorated.
It was also a pharmacist who provided us with the excellent advice on how to manage allergic reactions one of the kids had to spider and insects bites. One allergic reaction when he was a toddler saw him in hospital as it was so severe. After that incident we had been advised by our GP to give him a dose of antihistamine as soon as were aware of a bite, but I was always so worried that it would get out of control again.
When purchasing the antihistamine for a bite on his arm that had started to swell, the pharmacist asked us a series of questions and I explained my concerns to him. The pharmacist drew a black circle around the bite on our son’s arm that encompassed the area which was red and swelling. The pharmacist advised that this ring was to be our guide. If after giving the antihistamine some time to work, the redness and swelling crept outside this ring, then we needed to take him straight to a doctor. I felt much better leaving the pharmacy; again I had a plan of action on how to deal with our child’s health issue.
Then of course there have been the numerous visits to our local pharmacy for the common kid-related ailments of gastro, head lice, warts, headaches and the like. Not every time do I need to speak directly to the pharmacist, but I know that there is always one on duty if I need to seek their professional advice. And each time I do ask to speak to one, I am always impressed at the professional service they give, the interest they take in the kids and the plan of action they give me to help them get better.
So as our son’s wound was being cleaned and I was given a plan of action on how to dress and look after the wound, I was feeling very grateful to have this service just around the corner from me.
As a parent, I have been heading to the pharmacy for advice and support on the family’s health needs for almost 20 years! Given that our youngest is only nine, I figure I have another 9-10 years of visits and chats with the pharmacists, who can give me plans of action to help with the health needs of the kids.
If you haven’t already made friends with your local pharmacy, head here to find a pharmacy near you and take advantage of the professional advice and care a pharmacist can give your family.