Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Dreaming of a healthy Christmas?
Ten essential items to keep in your festive first aid kit
As news emerges of the extent to which the restrictions will - or won’t - be relaxed over the next few weeks, one thing’s for sure; this year is set to be a festive season like no other. As you go through your shopping list to make sure you have everything you need to keep your spirits up, don’t forget to stock up your medicine cabinet.
According to Roisin McHugh, dedicated GP for www.oxfordonlinepharmacy.co.uk, these are the key essentials you will need to ensure you are ready for whatever ailments the season has in store!
We’ve all become accustomed to having our temperature checked on a regular basis, preempt the drama of being turned away from your favourite restaurant by checking your temperature at home, before you head out.
Whether it’s paracetamol or Ibuprofen, these cupboard staples should always be replenished, especially at this time of year. Paracetamol is the first choice in treating symptoms of COVID-19 as well as a myriad of other ailments including headaches, toothache and tummy ache. Ibuprofen is excellent at bringing down temperatures and can help with flu-like symptoms. It is important to note that Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are not suitable for everyone and can cause side-effects - especially for people with asthma, heart and circulatory problems, kidney disease or stomach problems such as heart burn.
As they say, prevention is better than cure! Even if you are stuck indoors, make sure you have plenty of sanitiser on hand. With packages arriving at the house, people dropping off gifts, even home grocery deliveries, the chances of coming into contact with any virus are increased. Wash your hands frequently, make sure you have sanitiser available and use it often.
This is a tiny device which you clip to your finger and which measures your blood oxygen levels. Because COVID-19 affects your lungs, a pulse oximeter can detect how well oxygen is being transferred into the bloodstream. It is important to know that not everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 has reduced oxygen levels, so it is not an effective test of whether or not you have contracted the virus. It is however, a helpful tool for checking oxygen levels, so that if they are on the low side, this can be caught early. Pulse oximeters are particularly useful for those with a pre-existing lung disease, heart disease and/or obesity, as well as active smokers.
These sachets provide essential electrolytes to replenish the system when you are dehydrated due to flu, sickness or diarrhoea (or drinking too much eggnog!).
Overindulging on Christmas dinner can lead to a miserable evening on the sofa, clutching your tummy instead of enjoying time with your family. Make sure you have indigestion medication to hand, so you are prepared if you do have one mince pie too many!
A staple of any first aid kit, antihistamines ensure that allergic reactions can be managed. Whether it’s a reaction to something unknown, or a hidden ingredient you weren’t expecting to come across, when it comes to allergies it is better to be safe than sorry.
The recent announcement by the Government that it will be offering free vitamin D supplements to more than 2.5 million vulnerable people in England this winter, is an indication of just how essential this vitamin is to boosting bone and muscle health. This is particularly the case during periods when our access to natural sunlight is limited. So, even if you don’t anticipate getting your daily dose for free, make sure you stock up.
Your usual medication:
It may seem an obvious one, but every year I see people booking last minute appointments at the surgery because they have run out of their essential meds. My advice? Plan ahead! Whether that’s your contraceptive pill, asthma inhaler or ED meds get your prescription request in early and make sure you aren’t caught short.
Please remember this isn’t a definitive list. Always seek medical advice if you think something is wrong.