1. Give your child pain relief.
It does not mask anything, health care professionals will find the pain, or take your word for it. They will also believe you if you say that your child had a fever.

2. Give your child pain relief.
It helps health care professionals do a better assessment on the child. Your child will be less fearful, and be able to point out where it hurts better, rather than ‘everything’ hurting.

3. Take some pain relief yourself. For all of the above reasons.
Some suggestions?
1000mg (2 tablets) of paracetamol (Panadol) every 4-6 hours.
400mgs (2 tablets) of ibuprofen (Nurofen) every 6 hours.

4. Take your pain relief regularly. If you take the simple stuff regularly, it stops the pain from fluctuating. Ask your health professional about it.

5. Change your expectations of pain relief – it is meant to relieve some of the pain, not make it disappear. Think of your pain as a score of 0-10. Some simple pain relief measures can reduce your pain from a 6/10 to a 3/10 – what a relief! Hence its name. It is not called ‘Pain disappear’, though sometimes, the pain just might!

6. Learn about RICE for injuries – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. It is good, simple stuff, and it might help and will not harm your injury.

7. Know your and your child and partner’s medical history – just the highlights. Let the professional decide what is important after you have told the whole story.

8. Drink more water. And if you are sick in almost any fashion, drink more water.
Generally, if your urine is yellow or orange, you are not drinking enough water. If you have a headache, have you drunk enough water? If your child is sick, give more fluids.

9. Early rather than later. Seek advice for a condition, or illness early rather than later. It will often be a simple fix then, rather than a complicated solution.

10. All health professionals are not created equal – seek advice from an appropriate person. You would not ask your florist for advice on the best fruiting trees to plant. Do not ask your nutritionist for advice on medication changes. Do not ask your physio for advice on your eye sight.

11. The internet – use it wisely. As a general rule, the Royal Children’s Hospitals in Australia have a site associated with excellent patient information on conditions. Stay away from websites that do not have; ‘.org/.gov/ .edu/.med in their web address. Use Wikipedia by all means, but do not take it at face value – scroll to the bottom of the page and check out the references used to make the article. Remember that anyone can make a website these days and type ANYTHING they want, based on their agenda. By going to the websites I mentioned, you ensure that you are getting information that is accredited, peer-reviewed and legitimate.

12. Use your local and accessible professionals – go see the Pharmacist for advice on over the counter remedies. These are supplied without a script. And your pharmacist has studied for a long time to know enough about everything in the pharmacy to guide you. And it is free.
See your physio for pain and injuries. See your optometrist for eye issues, they will advise you if you need to see someone else.

13. When talking to your health professional, be aware that they may not know everything. After all, your GP is a GENERAL practitioner, not an expert or a specialist.

14. And in all dealings with health professionals, do not hold anything back, that information could be vital. And remember, that despite your misgivings, we are trying our best to help you.