Inspiring cough and cold session at Aboriginal centre

For the next little while, my pharmacist colleague and I are visiting community groups and giving a talk on how to safely manage coughs and colds in children under 6. In December 2008, Health Canada issued the directive that manufacturers of OTC (over the counter) cough and cold medications should relabel them to state they should not be given to children under 6 years of age. We are giving talks to parents of young children to ensure that they understand the message and more importantly, how to safely manage cough and cold symptoms in their children. The essence of the talk is:

  • there is no cure for the common cold as it is caused by a virus
  • hand-washing is the best way to prevent a cold
  • many over-the-counter cough and cold medicines are no longer recommended for kids under 6 years of age
  • it is okay to treat fever and pain
  • use non-medicinal ways to help with symptoms

Our first session was at an Aboriginal Centre program, Surrey. We talked to an audience of 6 attentive parents and were thoroughly impressed by their insightful questions which even went beyond the scope of the topic. My pharmacist colleague was able to answer their questions and it was eye opening for them to learn that they can ask their pharmacists for information and clarification. We encouraged them to share the ways they used to alleviate the symptoms in their children. One of the questions however threw us off because they wanted advice on whether they should get flu shots or not – and they insisted on us telling them what our personal choice was. From this it was clear that they would benefit from knowing where to get accurate health information in order to assess their risks and make informed decisions.

Explore posts in the same categories: Consumer health, workshops


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