Must-haves for the medicine cabinet to deal with everyday aches and pains.
Your medicine cabinet sits out of reach of little children’s grabbing fingers but once you have kids, those shelves are at risk of becoming crammed with tried-once-and-abandoned children’s remedies.
However there are some good stand-by creams and medicines that have proved their worth over many years and deserve a place in any medicine cabinet. The best ones — step up, Sudocrem — double as a go-to remedy for a range of ills. Sudocrem is great for nappy rash but also works well on grazes and dermatitis.
Another useful cream to have on hand for all occasions is arnica cream. This is one you may not have heard of until you had children but the research shows it’s good for the whole family.
Use it on bruises or other injuries but not on broken skin. It’s said to reduce swelling and pain.
Products such as Dettol and Vicks have been around for generations — just the antiseptic aroma will take you back to your own childhood. But it’s not all about nostalgia, Vicks, which hit the market more than 100 years ago, has a proven track record of helping with congestion.
In the not-so-distant past Vicks released a Baby Balsam specifically for the littlest patients in the house. Just rub it over the chest, back and on the soles of the feet.
Meanwhile Pamol (liquid paracetamol) takes the top spot as the best cure for sudden temperature surges or those mysterious 24-hour bugs that lay a child low. But remember, Pamol, like Nurofen, is for short-term use only.
There are two different strengths of Pamol. Strawberry flavour is 120mg/5ml and best for very young children. But for those over six months you can try the orange flavour which is 250mg/5ml. Your GP can prescribe liquid paracetamol for children or you can buy Pamol over the counter at the pharmacy.
The dosage is based on your child’s weight, so make sure you recalculate if you haven’t used it for a few months or if you want to use it for a different child.
There’s a really helpful calculator that works out the correct dose based on your child’s weight at eastmed.co.nz/paracetamol-dose-calculator.
Many parents also like to have Nurofen For Children (ibuprofen) as back-up.
Nurofen is advised if symptoms persist after an hour of giving Pamol. For things such as severe earache it’s probably best to give both at once. But Nurofen is not considered quite as safe as Pamol as it can have significant side effects, so medical staff recommend trying Pamol first.
To head off ills and chills there’s now a new product gaining traction. Kaloba is a plant-based tonic for preventing colds before they take hold. Other products such as echinacea and zinc are said to do a similar thing and many parents swear by them.
Kaloba (50ml) SRP$29.99 • Nurofen Children (100ml) RRP$16.49 • Pamol (250ml) RRP$21.99 • Dettol Disinfectant (125ml) RRP$6.99 • Vicks Baby Balsam (50g) RRP$9.69 • Sudocrem (30g) RRP$7.49 • Band-Aid Tough-Strips (40s) RRP$5.69 •Nature’s Kiss Arnica Cream (90g) RRP$19.99
(Prices correct at time of publishing - April 2013)