Is this right?

I have just watched an advert on television that has really got me thinking. It was for ibroprophen for infants. The parents on the video explained that when the little one woke with a fever during the night, they can confidently give them the medicine which settles them so everyone gets a better night.

I can’t remember how old I was when I was given or took over the counter medicine for pain. It certainly wasn’t before I was a teenager. If I had a pain that lasted longer than a couple of hours I was taken to the doctor. If  the thermometer signalled I had a fever I would be kept quiet and monitored. If it went on for too long the doctor would be called.

I have really been thinking about this and realised it is all about balance. When should you take a child to the doctor? I have been in hospital A & E departments where children are waiting to be seen and yet are running around quite fit and healthy. I presume they had been showing signs of being poorly earlier and had been brought in.

As an adult I visit the doctor rarely mainly to have my prescription for thyroid tablets renewed. I’m not someone who takes much over the counter medicine either, preferring to let nature take it’s course. I am feeling quite concerned that giving children medicine too early in their lives will not help build resistance in their immune systems and as adults, will have to take stronger medication.

I know we don’t like to see anyone in distress or pain particularly a child. However, perhaps the ease of access to a pain killer that can be administered to a child is part of our need for immediacy that is now prevalent in society. We can’t wait and build our resilience it seems. I worry that we are building problems for our children’s future by too easily self medicating.

How old were you when you took your first Asprin? Am I worrying unnecessarily?


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  • I don’t remember ever taking pills except once when I was about 9 I was given anti-biotics for an ear infection. I couldn’t swallow the hideous tasting things so my gran tried putting one into an orange to take the taste away – it didn’t work and I didn’t take any more. I think I’ve had them twice since then and I rarely get colds and suchlike. If anyone around my office gets bugs I take Echinacea as a precaution.

  • I don’t know how old I was for first medication. I had a tooth pulled before starting school and I don’t believe I even had aspirin. I was terrified giving my daughter baby aspirin when she had a fever without a stamp of approval from our doctor.
    When my daughter gave children’s Tylenol to her kids when they were teething, I drilled her about how often she used it.
    I agree with you. Too much and too early. A false sense of security.

  • I see the same problem, and it’s just as serious for adults as it is for children — especially as we have more and more governments moving toward socialized medicine and government-funded (and thereby government-controlled) medical programs. When people’s immediate response to a physical problem is to run to the medical profession and ask them for medication and/or treatment of any kind, they are building into themselves an ever-growing dependence on that system. And, quite simply, when we are DEPENDENT on any system of “specialists” to take care of our needs, then we are DEPENDENT upon the people — fallible, greedy, self-serving people — who control that system. We ultimately become CONTROLLED by them as well because we “can’t live” without them. I know what I’m saying sounds like shades of “Big Brother” or Orwell’s “1984,” but, quite frankly, that’s exactly what it is becoming.

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