Guest blog: Parenting with medical mishaps: Why pharmacies are my secret weapon
Mat and his family

Guest blog: Parenting with medical mishaps: Why pharmacies are my secret weapon

Care have collaborated with family bloggers to bring you a parenting survival series, exploring the trials and tribulations of caring for a family. Welcome to the final instalment, written by Mat Riley, also known as The Life Of Riley. Follow us on social to read more from our guest bloggers.

When you become a parent you are the authority over your new small person, but what you learn very quickly is your authority is not absolute. Your child will look to you for reassurance, permission and of course all general life-sustaining necessities. But who do you turn to when the answers are beyond your knowledge?


Let me give you an example from an exhaustive list of ‘I don’t know what to do here’ moments. Child number one sits on the sofa and slowly turns his head to face us… we are confronted with a nose gushing with blood.

The scene is made more dramatic by him wiping the blood over his entire face. He isn’t upset, he isn’t in pain but he is preoccupied with something up his nose. My wife and I soon deduce that he has lodged something up there that is too far to retrieve at home and it’s at this point we seek professional help. Eight hours later the button has been removed by a brisk nurse wearing a head torch. 

It’s these medical moments that are repeated in various forms on a near weekly basis that have you wishing you had been more focused at school and knuckled down to a medical degree. If you are one of those people, I applaud you and would like to apologise for all the minor ailments this non-medically-trained-parent has had to bother you with. 

Not all medical mishaps are as visually dramatic as button-up-nose-gate, nor do they all require a hospital visit. My toddler responds to run-ins with a stinging nettle with the same earth-shattering upset as he would a broken bone. Whilst my wife and I can have a giggle at his dramatic commitment, we also need to placate and comfort. This is where the hero product steps in – novelty plasters. Never underestimate the power of a plaster – we don’t leave the house without them – seriously!

Pharmacies are a secret weapon

On another note, what about those things that fall between plasters and A&E? Those times when you know it’s not quite enough for a doctor appointment but you want some advice none the less? Pharmacies are a smart parents’ secret weapon. 

Knowing how important pharmacies are is part of the reason I have teamed up with Care – they are the No.1 brand sold through UK Pharmacy* and have over 80 tried and trusted everyday family remedies. 

Not only do pharmacies stock medicines and novelty plasters, but dispense advice too. Our local pharmacist has talked us through a number of ailments – whether it’s how best to help our kids through a cold** or a seemingly never ending bout of teething, they are always there. 

I think our local pharmacist could sense our despair when we went in with our son who had cut his nose four weeks previously and, whilst it wasn’t a major cut, it was seemingly irresistible to pick. Our son just would not let it heal. In the time it would take one of us to sneeze, our son would have removed the entire scab with surgical precision and covered his entire face with blood. If we had managed to stop him doing it in the day he would just do it in the privacy of his own bed. Quite the bloody scene to walk into when we went in to check on him. We were exasperated and I’ll confess I was losing my sense of humour about it. 

Our pharmacist recommended pyjamas made for kids with eczema – essentially, it covered their hands with silk so they couldn’t scratch. She also gave us some healing cream which we applied at night like medical ninjas. I am pleased to report there is no sign of that cut anymore!

Kids are germ magnets

Mat and his children

There is a fundamental shift when you become a parent – the health of your kids is paramount. But, the truth is, kids are germ magnets. You can do everything within your power to keep them well but kids will get sick, they will get scrapes***, mystery rashes appear from nowhere and sometimes you find yourself out of your knowledge depth. There is no shame here – we can’t all be experts on everything and let’s just be grateful experts exist and their help is free. 

So what’s the take-out from my post? It’s OK to not know everything when it comes to looking after your kid’s health. When you’re not sure, just visit your local pharmacist! If you do visit your pharmacy, ask for the Care range! Care has you covered for those TLC moments (well lots of them anyway!). 

Visit your local pharmacy and ask for the Care range or like our Facebook page @CareRemediesUK for more health advice.

Mat is author of @thelifeofrileyfamily, documenting family and parenting trials and tribulations as his young children grow up.

*For verification please write to Thornton and Ross Ltd, HD7 5QH

**Care Ibuprofen for Children Oral Suspension. Contains Ibuprofen 100mg/5ml. Effective relief of pain and fever. Always read the label.

***Care Antiseptic First Aid Cream. Contains Cetrimide. For treating minor burns, abrasions or nappy rash. Always read the label. 

Read our previous blog by Daddy to Triplet Girls here.


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