Children and medication, a question

The latest in the Isabel tummy bug saga: Salmonella.  And another R230.00 worth of medication.

And no, it’s not about the money, it’s about the confusion.  First it was a tummy bug, then it was constipation and now it’s salmonella after they grew a culture for 48 hours.  And we would have known it wasn’t constipation had we only taken an x-ray.

Which reminded me of something I wonder about often: do we overmedicate our children?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first one to run to the doctor (more homeopath these days) with a sick child and nothing leaves me feeling more powerless than not being able to ‘fix’ a sick child.  But are we not creating sicker adults by wanting quick fixes to common childhood ailments by pumping our children full of medicine?

I also often wonder of the predicament doctors are in and the pressure us worried parents put on them to ensure our children get better sooner.  And whether this pressure doesn’t lead to more children being over-medicated as a result.  I grew up believing that doctors are the be all and end all, but since I’ve had children I have realised that they are also only human.

Consider this:

  1. At what point do you medicate for a fever?  And what do you give for a garden-variety fever?
  2. When you get a script from a doctor, do you take all the medicine prescribed and charge it to your medical aid or do you interrogate question what everything is for and what it’s meant to do.
  3. Do you question the quantities of medicine that gets dispensed so you aren’t stuck with weird and wonderful stuff that just fills your medicine cupboard?
  4. Do you have MSA? (Medical Savings Account)  If you do, do you believe it is the best way to manage your medical expenses?

These are some real questions we have had to deal with the last 5 years and we all just want the best for our children, but are we really acting in their best interest?

I’ll come back tomorrow and tell you what we do 🙂

 

15 thoughts on “Children and medication, a question”

  1. I do believe we overmedicate, not only our children, but ourselves.    The oldest generation never had the “benefit” of anti biotics and many other medicinal wonders, but by rule they have been a much healthier generation. 

  2.  I have been so lucky with my kids – they dont get sick and when they do its usually flu/tonsilitis – usual stuff that is “easy” to medicate.
    At what point do you medicate for a fever?  And what do you give for a garden-variety fever? I always medicate for a fever – usually with whatever I have at home – I dont leave it longer than 24hrs without going to the Dr.When you get a script from a doctor, do you take all the medicine prescribed and charge it to your medical aid or do you interrogate question what everything is for and what it’s meant to do? I check what I have at home or what I dont feel is necessary – leave that and then charge the rest to the medical aid.Do you question the quantities of medicine that gets dispensed so you aren’t stuck with weird and wonderful stuff that just fills your medicine cupboard? My doctor doesnt really ever prescribed more than 2/3 things so I generally take it all.Do you have MSA? (Medical Savings Account)  If you do, do you believe it is the best way to manage your medical expenses? The kids are on their dads medical aid – so I use as much as I can since he pays for no other expenses.

  3. My 6 yr old twins are generally very healthy with just a few of the “common, garden variety” childhood illnesses so far.  I’m lucky to have a wonderful family practitioner – a woman – and she has seen to the twins since their birth.  In my opinion peadiatritions are a waist of money if you and you family use a good doctor who knows the whole family and their health issues.  I also use a very good health pharmasist and she (also a woman!) is often the first stop before the doctor.  She’ll often rather prescribe natural and homeopatic meds before the serious stuff.  She has also known the kids since “before birth” and it’s wonderful to have that personal relationship with your healthcare professional.

    Re. your questions:  With fever I have learned not to panic BUT use my common sense.  If it’s higher than 40º – straight to the doctor, especially if vomiting is involved.  If not too high, I try and break it with various meds within 24 hour.  Depending on severity, I start with Pegasus homeopatic “magic pills” (according to twins) or then on to Myprodol ped. syrup or a combination of that and Voltaren sups.  I never travel without these because it helps like a bomb within a few hours.  (PLEASE just check dosages and frequency with a doctor or pharmacist according to child’s weight etc.) 

    Regarding scripts – I am a bit anal about meds and what it is for etc. etc. If I do not ask the dr, I ask my pharmacist. I sometimes ask not to be given certain stuff.  At home I scan the inserted pamphlets and google!! I frequently end up with left-overs BUT then I use it at a later stage after discussion with dr or pharmacist – by phone!

    We do have a MSA but I often pay cash for the meds and not claim from the account.  To me a MSA is the same as a personal savings account.  The money comes straight out of your pocket anyway each month and with it being linked to a medical aid, it’s just easier at the pharmacy! 

    Oh and then, do not forget Ouma and Aunties and their “Boere-raat”.  Some Lennons potions and Puma and a cold bath etc. has got it’s place in my house!

  4. I never buy anything over the counter on the medical savings account so in general is keeps for the year.

    I question every medicine, but after my own last script I will question amounts too. Our Paed is in general a “low medicating” one, but I wonder about the GP’s .

    For a common fever I do a bit of Panado – if it gets serious, I do empaped. And the doctor.

  5. I have Panado syrup(generic) and Lotem syrup for fevers.I don’t take temperatures with a thermometer(I know shock I am a bloody nurse)but i just by the forehead touch and how the kids is generally.
    I very seldom take all meds prescibed or tell Dr what I have already,so usually only need antibiotics(Tell them NOT to prescribe mabomba hectic top of the range ones too)
    We do not have a medical aid,only a hospital plan,so all comes out of our pocket.
    Having a huge medical knowledge does help as many over the counter meds are sufficient for the niggly illnesses. 

  6.  At what point do you medicate for a fever?  And what do you give for a garden-variety fever? –  Immediately.  Untreated fever can become dangerous. If the fever is still there withing 24 hours I go to the Dr. When you get a script from a doctor, do you take all the medicine prescribed and charge it to your medical aid or do you interrogate question what everything is for and what it’s meant to do. –  I pay cash as far as possible (I want my Medical Aid to last all year) and I DO question what everything is for. Our paed is lovely and even makes notes for me about how to use the meds and exactly what they are for. I keep these in a little file for future reference for purposes of self medication and so that I don’t have to keep going back to the Dr. Do you question the quantities of medicine that gets dispensed so you aren’t stuck with weird and wonderful stuff that just fills your medicine cupboard? I do stick to the quantities. Am not into experiments. And if the medication for any reason doesn’t agree with my child or if the side effects are horrendous then I phone back and have the doc prescribe something else.Do you have MSA? (Medical Savings Account)  If you do, do you believe it is the best way to manage your medical expenses?  Yes and Yes. 

      1. That file has saved me on many an occasion and I would highly recommend it for anyone. You can even use a little notebook for this purpose. Forgot to mention that I do Ponstel or Stopayne for fever. If this doesn’t work or if it takes too long then I will first do a tepid bath and then add Empaped to the mix. 

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