Colds, Care and Calpol

Colds, Care and Calpol

17th July 2020By nanhoodadminNo Comments

What a lot of colds. 

I was told that typically a small child can have 12 colds in one year. I caught many of them in the boys first years. In fact I have never ever had so many colds in my life as when there were multiple boys taking turns in sneezing their way through the day. 

Addressing the drips

The obvious answer is tissues, a box on every surface. I never quite got the ‘wipes for wiping wet noses’ approach. Why use something wet to wipe something wet. Nothing wrong with the old paper tissue I felt. Letting each of my boys wipe their own nose or lean into me  to pop their runny nose into a tissue was less likely to result in screams and shouts. 

The calpol conundrum

When the Duncan was screaming unhappily with his first burst of ill health what should I do? With a rising temperature I turned to …. Calpol. Everyone advices Calpol…. ‘Calm him down’ , ‘drop his temperature’ ‘ help him sleep’ . What I realised it was all too easy to rely on it. Every busy parent welcomes fast solutions. Calpol  could easily become a  nanny, helping put Duncan into restful sleep or break a screaming pattern.

But maybe our boy was not really sick… maybe there was another problem? There has been research questioning the safety of Calpole, even a TV documentary about it https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/health-44140151/are-we-using-too-much-calpol . What a surprise find just how addictive it is.

One day Connor saw his bro being given Calpol for a sore gum due to his teething. He sidled up to me and said ‘Nan can I have some ?’ , as if it were a treat. ‘No, you are not ill’….’But Nan I have sneezed today and anyway I like it’. I stood my ground. On another occasion the he really was unwell, high temperature and rather floppy. The Calpol came out at tea time. Two younger brothers, one still in a high chair, simultaneously waved their arms at the bottle , screaming  and called for their own dose. It wasn’t forthcoming but what amazed me was their recognition of the bottle and their memory of the content. One was only 13 months old and had probably had it 2-3 times in his life. They were attached before the age of 3.

To expect such small ones to understand it is a medicine and it is not a treat underlines the importance of adult control and care with drugs. Pronouncing on the sugar content or the dangers of an overdose do not work with a one year old. The only answer has been to ensure no others are around when the bottle is out and impress upon them the dangers of ‘enjoying medicine’ …

Well when Kevin reached heights sufficient to reach behind the curtain in their bedroom, he one day found a bottle of Calopl there. Mum or Dad had used it some weeks earlier and forgotten to put it back in the medicine cupboard. There was a child safe top in it so not problem…but there was.

By 3 years of age it seems that a child can open the bottle. Duncan woke Mum and Dad saying that his brother had been drinking medicine. An empty Calpole bottle was found. A call to 111 bought many questions and no clarity so Mum and Kevin raced to A&E, even though in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. excess paracetamol can be a killer.

Painful blood tests made the point that drinking medicine which you remember because it is sweet and sticky is not a good thing. Thankfully Kevin had raised levels but not anything to cause him damage or death.

To Calpol I ask. ‘why so sweet, thick and sticky’?  Even the low sugar version has sweet tasting additions to keep the sugar craze going. 

Top Tips:

Bulk buy small boxes of tissues ..you will need them!

Be discrete about using Calpol

Think twice before using Calpol.. Maybe talk to your health visitor … If you are lucky enough to have one… Or GP on the limits of its use

Read the side effects properly before you use it.

If there is accidental excess consumption go to the hospital  straightaway.