Self Treatment

Colds, Coughs and Stuffy Noses

  • These are caused by viruses and, even in this day and age there is no cure
  • Antibiotics can only kill bacteria which are completely different organisms
  • Paracetamol will relieve the headache, sore throat and aching muscles as well as bringing down the fever
  • The illness will last 5-6 days but the cough may persist for several more days
  • If you are coughing dirty sputum you should see the doctor

Fever (Raised Temperature)

  • A fever is natural with most illnesses and simple measures to lower the temperature will make you feel much more comfortable
  • Keep the room cool. Don’t wrap the patient up, even if the person says they feel cold
  • Leave the body exposed to allow excess heat to escape from the body, especially children
  • Take plenty of cold drinks. Take regular Paracetamol
  • Sponge down with tepid fluid – leave patient damp and repeat when dry.

Vomiting and Diarrhoea

  • Prevent dehydration – drink plenty of fluids
  • Dioralyte or Rehydrat are available from your chemist and are useful for young children
  • If vomiting is a problem take small sips of fluid every few minutes
  • No milk or solids should be given for 24 hours
  • Symptoms should settle in 24-48 hours
  • If symptoms persist or if vomiting frequently, see your doctor

Chicken Pox

  • Rash appears as small red patches with itchy blisters
  • Rash will dry up and crust over in 4-5 days
  • Child is infectious until the last crusts have dropped off
  • Calamine lotion and cool baths will help the itch
  • Phenergan medicine from the chemist can also help

Head Lice

  • Found in clean hair as often as dirty hair
  • Spread by head to head contact
  • A medicated head lotion can be obtained from the chemist
  • Treat all members of the family and notify the school

Thread Worms

  • Small white worms seen in motion
  • Suspect if there is scratching around the anus, especially at night
  • Spread by eggs under the nails put into the mouth
  • Medicine is available from the chemist
  • All family members should be treated

Back Pain

  • Usually begins as a strain caused by poor lifting technique
  • Always bend your knees and keep your back straight
  • Rest your back on a firm bed and maintain good posture when walking
  • Painkillers and rest are usually all that is required


  • Very common in women
  • Causes a burning sensation in passing urine
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • If your symptoms last more than 24 hours consult your doctor


  • Immediately apply large quantities of cold water
  • If skin is unbroken but blistered apply loose dressing
  • If burn is large or skin broken contact the nurse


  • Sunburn is bad for your skin
  • Children are especially susceptible
  • Cool the skin with cool water and apply Calamine Lotion
  • Paracetamol and an antihistamine will reduce the reaction
  • Use appropriate SPF’s to prevent

Help Yourself To Health

  • Be a non smoker
  • Take alcohol in moderation
  • Be a reasonable weight
  • Take regular exercise
  • Eat a high fibre, low fat diet
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun