Are you suffering from Maskne?

Are you suffering from breakouts from wearing a mask daily? You may be experiencing Mask Acne, or “Maskne”

Wearing a mask is mandatory in all shops and public areas to help against the fight of Covid-19, but how can we fight what’s happening under the mask – skin irritation and “maskne”

What is “Maskne”?

The medical term for “maskne” is Acne Mechanica which is acne, a skin condition brought on by prolonged wear of facial coverings which cause excess friction & rubbing of the mask on the skin or a heated / moist environment from breathing, talking, sneezing or coughing in your mask.

What are the signs?

When pores get clogged up, you may notice skin irritations such as spots, pimples, whiteheads and blackheads, as well as dry itchy skin.

What are the potential areas of concern?

Anywhere on your face where your mask is positioned on the skin, so the bridge of the nose, cheeks and chin area. If you are prone to acne you will know the areas of your skin which tend to be oily or experience regular breakouts.

What can I do to prevent a breakout?

  • When choosing your face covering, you’ll want a fabric that’s soft enough to sit on your skin without any discomfort. The more uncomfortable you are, the more likely it is you will touch your face or fix it, so first things first – make sure the mask fits correctly.
  • Wear a mask made from good quality natural fabric such cotton or silk with multiple layers, which are ideal for sensitive acne-prone skin.
  • Keep your mask clean and wash it daily in a fragrance free detergent or soap. Fabric softeners are too fragrant and will make wearing your mask difficult to breathe in.
  • If you are wearing a mask for a length of time, it’s a good idea to bring 2 or 3 with you and change regularly throughout the day. Your worn mask contains dirt and oil and can become a breeding ground for bacteria from your nose and mouth.
  • Treat your mask like underwear – keep it clean, don’t share it with anyone and make sure the fit is right so you are comfortable in it at all times.

How can I care for my skin when not wearing a mask?

  • Clean your face before putting on your mask. It’s important to cleanse twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening.
  • Choose an active cleanser with Salicylic acid that exfoliates and decongests your skin. La Roche Posay Effaclar fresh, foaming gel facial wash is specifically formulated for oily and blemish-prone skin. Gently cleanses the skin thanks to its high tolerance foaming power.
  • Keep your skin hydrated and swap out heavy moisturisers to more lighter formulas to keep your skin balanced and healthy. Vichy Aqualia Thermal light moisturizer is expertly designed to intensely hydrate & moisturise dehydrated skin
  • Protect and nourish your face with a hydrating moisturizer rich in ceramides and hyaluronic acid. CeraVe Facial Moisturiser with 30 SPF has a light but long-lasting formula which releases a steady stream of hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides throughout the day and night.

Call in to your local Haven Pharmacy for advice on what skincare routine is suitable for your skin, as well as over the counter treatments

Now is the time to book your Flu Vaccine

As we prepare for the winter season amid the Covid-19 pandemic, now is the time to think about pre-booking your flu vaccine with your GP or Pharmacist.

The HSE have confirmed that the flu vaccine for at-risk groups will be available from the end of September 2020. The Nasal Flu Vaccine for Children will be available from the end of October 2020.

Contact your nearest Haven Pharmacy to pre-book your Vaccine and beat the queue to beat the flu!

The following Haven Pharmacy stores are providing a Flu Vaccination service:

  • Haven Pharmacy Brennans – Ballyboden 01 4951664
  • Haven Pharmacy Brosnans – Kenmare 064 6641318
  • Haven Pharmacy Butlers – Birr 057 9120189
  • Haven Pharmacy Faheys – Tullamore 057 9321540
  • Haven Pharmacy Hollys – Ballinasloe 090 9645676
  • Haven Pharmacy Hollys – Ennis 065 6828568
  • Haven Pharmacy Hollys – Liosban 091 750054
  • Haven Pharmacy Kavanaghs – Dunshaughlin 01 8259801
  • Haven Pharmacy Kennellys – Tralee 066 7121042
  • Haven Pharmacy Loobys – Palmerstown 01 6264574
  • Haven Pharmacy McAleers – Finglas 01 8342619
  • Haven Pharmacy McLaughlins – Walkinstown 01 4557354
  • Haven Pharmacy Moloneys – Ballyfermot 01 6264131
  • Haven Pharmacy Murphys – Clonard 053 9184444
  • Haven Pharmacy Murrays – Killiney 01 2852538
  • Haven Pharmacy Raffertys – Cornelscourt 012893191
  • Haven Pharmacy Raffertys – Stillorgan 01 2880153

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine contains protection against 4 strains of flu virus. These are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the strains most likely to be circulating this season.

The four strains are:

  • an A/Guangdong-Maonan/SWL1536/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • an A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus

There is no thiomersal (mercury), gelatin or porcine gelatin in the 2020/2021 flu vaccine.

The 2020/2021 HSE seasonal vaccination programme will offer the Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (split virion, inactivated) manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur for people with long-term health conditions.

Patient Information Leaflet and the Summary of Product Characteristics are available from www.hpra.ie

What is the Flu?

Seasonal flu (also known as influenza) is a highly infectious illness caused by the flu virus. The virus infects your lungs and upper airways, causing a sudden high temperature and general aches and pains, headache, weakness and exhaustion. Symptoms can last for up to one week. You may need to stay in bed until your symptoms get better. Flu affects people of all ages. In some people flu can cause serious complications such as pneumonia.

How flu is spread?

If you are carrying the virus, you can spread it by coughing or sneezing. This can happen from 1-2 days before symptoms develop and up to 5 days after symptoms develop. Flu can survive on worktops and objects, especially in low temperatures and low humidity. You can get flu by touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose. The virus can live on a hard surface for up to 24 hours and a soft surface for around 20 minutes.

How serious is Flu?

The Flu virus is an unpredictable virus. If you are healthy you will usually recover in 7 days. But Flu can be severe and can cause serious illness and death. Complications of flu include bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections and rarely acute encephalopathy (swelling of the brain). Serious complications of flu are more likely if you have a chronic medical condition or if you are aged 65 years or older. Pregnant women are also at increased risk of flu complications. In Ireland, between 200 and 500 people, mainly older people, die from flu each winter. Every year, around the world, flu causes between 3 and 5 million cases of severe disease and up to 646, 000 deaths.

The Flu Vaccine

This year, the seasonal flu vaccine protects against the 4 strains of flu virus recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the strains most likely to be circulating this season. The flu viruses that are circulating change every year. This is why you need to get a new vaccine each year. You should get your flu vaccination from September to be protected for flu season. People 10 years and over should get the vaccine from their GP or Pharmacist or Occupational Health Department. Younger children should get the vaccine from their GP. The flu vaccine is free if you are in an at-risk group or if you have a medical card or a GP visit card. The flu vaccine doesn’t contain any live viruses – it cannot give you the flu.

How it works

The flu vaccine helps your immune system to produce antibodies to fight influenza virus. If you have been vaccinated and you come into contact with the virus, these antibodies will attack it and stop you from getting sick. The flu vaccine starts to work within two weeks.

Who should get the Flu Vaccine?

The HSE are strongly urging people in at-risk groups to get the flu vaccine. Vaccination is recommended if you are

  • are 65 years of age and over
  • are pregnant (can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
  • are a child or adult with a long-term health condition such as diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, lung or neurological disease
  • work in healthcare
  • a cancer patient
  • have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
  • an adult or child aged 6 months and older with down syndrome
  • are a carer or household contact of anyone at increased medical risk of flu
  • live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • in regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl
  • a household contact for an at-risk person

Who should NOT get the Flu Vaccine?

You should not get the flu vaccine if you have had a severe allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction to a previous dose or any part of the vaccine. Don’t get the flu vaccine if you are taking medicines called combination checkpoint inhibitors (e.g. ipilimumab plus nivolumab). Vaccination should be re-scheduled if you have an acute illness with a temperature greater than 38°C.

Where can I book my Flu Vaccine?

You can make an appointment in selected Haven Pharmacy stores nationwide. Administration of the Flu Vaccine is free to all Medical Card, Doctor Visit Card, 2015a Card & HAA Card holders who belong to one of the at-risk groups listed above. Recently, the Minister for Health announced that the flu vaccination programme will be extended and made available free of charge to all children aged 2-12 years and to those in at risk groups. This is to minimise the risk of a second wave of  COVID-19 during the winter flu season. Eligibility criteria are subject to change by the HSE.

 

 

Children’s Fever Advice

Your child can get a slightly raised temperature from the simplest things. But how do you know if they really have a fever? Here is some advice on how to look after your little one when they’re running a temperature

It’s not unusual for children to get a mild fever. So it’s good to feel sure about what’s normal and be confident you can tell when your little one is definitely unwell. From taking their temperature to doing all you can to bring down their fever, there’s lots of ways you can help your child feel better.

What is a normal temperature?
When it comes to a ‘normal’ temperature, every young child is slightly different. Your little one’s temperature range can vary quite widely, and go up and down quickly as their body hasn’t yet worked out how to control how hot they get. Generally, if they have a temperature above 37.5°C, then it’s classed as a fever.

How do I know if my child has a high temperature?
Your little one may look flushed or hot, but to be sure that they have a temperature, you’ll need to use a thermometer. To get a fast and accurate reading it’s best to use a digital thermometer.

How to take your child’s temperature
If your child is under 5, you should take their temperature under their armpit not under their tongue, as you’ll get a more accurate result. Pop the digital thermometer under their armpit and hold their arm against their body for as long as the thermometer’s instructions tell you (keep watch or they may try and play with it!) Try to keep a note of the reading as this will help you track how your little one is doing. Remember, any temperature above 37.5°C is usually classed as a fever.

As a parent it can be very worrying if your child has a high temperature. But it is very common and often clears up by itself…

While it lasts, here are some ways to help your little one feel more comfortable:
If your child is distressed, you can use a paracetamol-based medicine to reduce a fever. CALPOL® Infant Suspension, which contains paracetamol, gets to work on fever in just 15 minutes. It’s suitable for most babies from 2 months.

Handy tips:

  1. Make sure your child gets plenty of restful sleep.
  2. Try not to overheat your house. Your child should be more comfortable in a well-ventilated room at a normal temperature.
  3. Your child might lose their appetite – this should only last a couple of days. Just let them eat when they are hungry.
  4. Make sure they have plenty to drink. If they have started eating solid food, offer lots of cool drinks, especially water.
  5. Undressing your child to their nappy or underwear then covering them in a light cotton sheet can help them feel more cool & comfortable

How long will it last?
When your little one is suffering from a fever, it can be a sign that their body is fighting an illness, like an ear infection, the flu, or chickenpox. So it can last for anything from a few hours to a few days, depending on what they’re fighting off and how poorly they are.

When to call the doctor
Although it can be hard to see your little one feeling so hot and bothered, most fevers will soon clear up.

But you should get in touch with your GP if:

  • your baby is less than 3 months, and has a temperature 38°C or over
  • your child is 3 to 6 months, and has a temperature 39°C or over
  • as well as a fever, your child has other signs of being unwell, such as floppiness, drowsiness, persistent vomiting or refusal to feed.

The information on this page is not exhaustive. You know your child best, if you have any concerns about your child, you should contact your GP.

For more advice and information contact your local Haven Pharmacy 

 

 

Tips for Fussy Eaters

Our nutritional demands are never greater than during the phases of life in which we are growing. Newborn babies, toddlers, children and teenagers going through a ‘growth spurt’ have incredibly high rates of growth which need to be matched with diets that are rich in nutrients to support this growth and supplements can be a welcomed addition during these life phases.  During these formative years the brain has much to get to grips with and as school starts the cogs of learning, language, memory recall, speech and behaviour all start to turn. Omega 3 fats play an important role in helping all of these areas of brain development to light up. However these essential fats are found in oily fish, a food which many children struggle to eat because of the strong flavour. So making sure your child eats a balanced diet and gets enough Omega 3 every day can be quite a challenge, especially with fussy little eaters!  Cleanmarine have the answer…

Cleanmarine for Kids come is kids sized capsules contain omega 3 wrapped up in a layer of ‘phospholipids’ which make it especially potent due to it’s easy absorption and speedy effectiveness. Taken daily, this will ensure your little ones get the omega 3 goodness they need but without the dinner table drama. Plus, there are no fishy repeats unlike fish oils.

 

Another area of children’s health that’s really important to take note of is bone development. Why is this important for bone health? Well the body uses vitamin D to control the amount of calcium that is absorbed from food AND it also helps the body deposit the calcium that’s been absorbed into bone tissue. So without a decent supply of vitamin D bone health can suffer, this is why vitamin D supplementation has become such a hot topic. Fortunately Cleanmarine Orange Burst Liquid for Kids contains Vitamin D helping to make sure that your kids have the D factor covered!

 

Most children will go through phases of fussy eating or food refusal. Generally, it is not a cause for concern and the phase will pass. Usually, this phase occurs between the ages of 2-5 years. If your child is in this phase, you may experience mealtimes like a “battle” between you and your child. The following tips are helpful in setting up healthy food routines and in managing fussy eating:

Tips to try to stop fussy eating

Make sure your child doesn’t have drinks or snacks close to mealtimes.

Encourage your child to touch, smell or taste their food.

Eat with them as often as possible and praise them when they eat well.

Make positive comments about the food.

Help your child eat well

  • Involve your child in preparing and cooking
  • Offer a variety of foods
  • Include your child’s favourite foods
  • Give your child smaller portions – if they finish, praise them and offer more
  • Let your child eat food first and give them the drink at the end of the meal
  • Limit distractions, turn off the television, tablet or phone
  • Finish the meal after about 30 minutes and accept that is all your child is going to eat.
  • Take away uneaten food without comment.

Avoid dinner time battles

  • Do not force your child to eat or use food or sweets as a reward or punishment. This can often lead to unhealthy associations with food.
  • Eat with other children of a similar age if possible. Seeing other children eating healthy foods can encourage a child to try these foods.
  • Try to focus on the good things they are doing, such as trying a new food, even touching it to start. Lead by example by eating healthier options.
  • Ignore the fussy behaviour, lots of attention may make them keep it up.
  • If you have another child who is eating well or sitting the right way, give them the plenty of praise.

Causes of fussy eating

Your child may be:

  • unwell
  • recovering from being unwell
  • eating too many snacks between meals
  • drinking too much milk or other drinks
  • showing their independent streak

Remember it can take up to 10 to 15 tries before your child will accept a new food.

Track your child’s eating

Children’s appetites are not all the same.

Track your child’s eating by:

  • making a list of all the food your child eats over a week
  • reviewing the list weekly
  • checking to see if there are foods from the 4 main food groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there are foods from the 4 main food groups, and there is some variety in each group, your child’s diet is probably okay.

For more advice on your children’s health and vitamin intake, speak to your local Haven Pharmacy.

 

 

Wear Sunscreen Daily

Did you know you should wear SPF everyday?

Sun protection factor (SPF) plays an important preventative role against the long term effects of overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun including: sunburn, skin damage, premature ageing of the skin and skin cancer.

There are two types of UV radiation that we need to be concerned about: UVA and UVB

UVA rays penetrate more deeply through the layers of the skin than UVB. It is associated with Skin Ageing (wrinkles, lines, age spots) but also associated with Skin Cancer. UVA can pass through window glass and is present year round, even on cloudy days.
UVB rays are mainly responsible for sunburn, can’t pass through window glass and are strongly associated with two types of Skin Cancer: malignant melanoma and basal cell carcinoma.
SPF is more accurately the sun burn protection factor, as it primarily shows the level of protection against UVB, not the protection against UVA. SPF Ratings are on a scale of 2-50+ based on the level of protection they offer, with ratings between 2 to 14 forming the least protected end of the spectrum and ratings of 50+ offering the strongest forms of UVB protection.

Broad Spectrum SPF refers to sunscreen which offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Originally, sunscreens were designed to protect against just UVB rays, which cause sunburn but only account for a small portion of the full UV spectrum. UVB rays were once thought to be the only rays that could cause harm and UVA rays were thought to produce a “healthy” tan. Now we know that UVA rays contribute to premature skin aging and some forms of skin cancer. According to the EU recommendation, the UVA protection for each sunscreen should be at least a third of the labelled SPF. A product that achieves this requirement will be labelled with a UVA logo which is the letters “UVA” printed in a circle.

UVA ratings range from 0-5 stars and indicate the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVA rays, compared with the level of protection it provides against UVB rays (i.e. the ratio between the level of UVA and UVB protection offered by the product). The higher the number of stars, the greater the level of protection against UVA. Sunscreens with a low SPF can still have a high number of stars, not because they are offering high UVA protection, but because the ratio between UVA and UVB protection is the same as offered in sunscreens with higher SPF.

That’s why it’s important to choose a high SPF as well as a high UVA protection (e.g. a high number of stars).  A good broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 and a UVA rating of 4 – 5 stars is generally considered as a good standard of SPF. So why not introduce an SPF as part of your daily skincare routine – we should all wear a minimum of SPF 30 or 50+ on the face, neck and décolletage everyday.

For more information, call in to your local Haven Pharmacy for expert advice on the best UVA & UVB protection for you and your family. Remember, SPF is not just for the sunny days- but all year round!

Information Source: The Irish Skin Foundation

Why is Folic Acid important?

Research shows that half of pregnancies are unplanned, so if there is any possibility you could become pregnant it’s important you take a folic acid supplement every day

What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin that we can get from our food (called folates) or from supplements or foods that have it added to them (folic acid). Folate also helps our tissues to grow and the cells in our bodies work. It has many functions including helping to form red blood cells and helping to break down, use and create new proteins. It is also essential for the production of DNA, the building block of our bodies and which carries our genetic information. It is especially important in unborn babies because it helps the nervous system develop.  In the very first weeks of pregnancy, the neural tube closes and fuses.  The neural tube later becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord.

Why should I take Folic Acid?

Folate (Folic Acid) cannot be stored in the body, so we need it in our diets every day to maintain enough quantities in your body. This is because folic acid is water-soluble (dissolves in water) and leftover amounts leave the body through the urine. So if you do not take folic acid tablets for even a few weeks, the amount in your blood can become very low.

Ideally, you should start taking a folic acid supplement about two months before conception and continue taking it until you’ve reached the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is why doctors recommend that all women of child-bearing age take folic acid supplements daily to prepare for pregnancies, both planned and unplanned. You will also find folic acid in your daily diet and foods rich in folate include orange juice, cereals, spinach, broccoli, peas, lentils, melon and asparagus. It is rare that women eat enough of these foods every day to reach the recommended amounts, so a supplement is advised.

How much Folic Acid should I take?

All adults need 200 micrograms per day and we can get this from eating a healthy, balanced diet. Women and teenagers who might become pregnant within the next year need 400 micrograms of folic acid as a supplement every day, as well as eating a healthy diet. Research shows that half of pregnancies are unplanned, so if there is any possibility you could become pregnant it’s important you take a folic acid supplement every day for at least 3 months before you get pregnant and continue to do so for the first 3 months of your pregnancy. It helps reduce the risk of serious birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects (or NTDs)

What is NTDs?

Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) happen when part of the unborn baby’s brain or spine doesn’t develop properly. Spina bifida is the most common NTD and literally means “split spine”. The spinal cord and surrounding bones (vertebrae) do not develop correctly and a gap or split occurs in the spine. The spinal cord may also be damaged. Taking folic acid daily as a supplement could potentially prevent up to two thirds of neural tube defects every year. 70% of cases of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, could be prevented by taking a daily folic acid supplement in the correct dosage, at the correct time. In some cases there are other reasons why NTDs occur, but taking folic acid can help to prevent most NTDs.

Where can I get Folic Acid?

Folic acid tablets are available in all Haven Pharmacy stores nationwide, this vitamin doesn’t require a prescription and doesn’t cost more than a couple of cents a day. You can buy a single folic acid supplement or many multivitamin formulas for women also contain 400mcg of folic acid but to be sure always check the labels – some multivitamin supplements also provide Vitamin A, which is not recommended during pregnancy.

For more information contact your local Haven Pharmacy for advice.

Tips & Advice for Hay Fever Sufferers

Met Éireann has warned hay fever sufferers that the pollen count will be very high today, Thursday 25th June

Not good news for Hay Fever or Asthma suffers, but rest assured you can trust your local Haven Pharmacist to advise you on the right Anti-histamines for your allergy symptoms.

Here are some helpful tips and advice to help you survive the next few days:

Signs and Symptoms

Allergic reactions usually happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to Pollen. Common symptoms of Hay Fever include:

• Sneezing
• Runny or blocked nose
• Red, itchy, watery eyes
• Fatigue
• Headaches

Treatment for Hay Fever Sufferers

In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible. These are a just few examples of how to limit exposure to allergens:

• Keep windows closed in your bedroom at night
• Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen days
• Don’t keep fresh flowers in the home or office
• Stay away from grassy areas, don’t cut grass or walk on grass
• Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
• Wear wrap-around sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
• Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period
• Avoid drying clothes outside, or shake them outdoors before bringing them in to your home
• Keep pets outdoors as much as possible and wash them regularly
• Minimise your contact with pets who have been outdoors and are likely to be carrying pollen
• Vacuum your house regularly and dust surfaces with a damp cloth
• Consider a purifier with a built-in air quality sensor to remove allergens and pollutants from the air

There are a range of very effective over the counter remedies from your Haven pharmacy to help reduce the symptoms of allergies.

Please ask your local Haven Pharmacist if you would like advice on which treatment is best suited to your needs.

Haven Pharmacy, you’re in expert hands

25th June 2020

Covid-19: Face Coverings

A cloth face covering is a material you wear that covers the nose and mouth. Wearing a cloth face covering is recommended in situations where it is difficult to practice social distancing, for example, in shops or on busy public transport. Wearing of cloth face coverings may help prevent people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others.

Wearing a cloth face covering in public may reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. It may help to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from people infected with COVID-19

Cloth face coverings may help to stop people who are not aware they have the virus from spreading it.

When to wear a face covering

You may choose to wear a cloth face covering:

  • when staying 2 metres apart from people is difficult – for example, in shops, shopping centres or public transport
  • in an enclosed space with other people

What are face coverings made from

Cloth face coverings are made from materials such as cotton, silk, or linen. You can buy them or make them at home using items such as scarfs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

Click here to view a video on “How To Make a Face Covering”

Who should not wear a face covering

Cloth face coverings are not suitable for children under the age of 13 and anyone who:

  • has trouble breathing
  • is unconscious or incapacitated
  • is unable to remove it without help
  • has special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the face covering

How to wear a face covering

A cloth face covering should cover the nose and go under the chin and:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include at least 2 layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction

How to wash your face covering

Wash daily in a hot wash over 60 degrees with detergent.

If using a washing machine, you should be able to wash and machine dry it without damage or change to shape.

You do not need to sterilise cloth face coverings. Wash it in a washing machine or by hand as you would any other item of clothing.

Wash hands before and after use.

When to throw out your face covering

You should throw out a cloth face covering when it:

  • no longer covers the nose and mouth
  • has stretched out or damaged ties or straps
  • cannot stay on the face
  • has holes or tears in the fabric

How to use a face covering properly

Do:

  • clean your hands properly before you put it on
  • practice using it so you are comfortable putting it on and taking it off
  • make sure it is made from a fabric you are comfortable wearing
  • cover your mouth and nose with it and make sure there are no gaps between your cloth face covering
  • tie it securely
  • carry unused masks in a sealable clean waterproof bag(for example, a ziplock bag)
  • carry a second similar type bag to put used masks in

Don’t:

  • touch a mask or face covering while wearing it – if you do, clean your hands properly
  • use a damp or wet medical mask or reuse a medical mask
  • share masks
  • do not lower your mask to speak, eat and smoke or vape – if you need to uncover your nose or mouth take the mask off and put it in the bag for used masks
  • do not discard masks in public places

Taking off a face covering

To take it off properly:

  • remove it from behind – do not touch the front of the mask
  • do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • clean your hands properly
  • put disposable masks in a bin straight away

If you wear a face covering, you should still do the important things necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

These include:

  • washing your hands properly and often
  • covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
  • not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • social distancing (keeping at least 2 metres away from other people)

Source: HSE.ie

Covid-19: First Aid in the Home

With everyone staying at home these days including Grandparents ‘cocooning’, Mum or Dad working from home, Children being home schooled & Toddlers out of crèche,  it is advisable to keep a First Aid Kit in a convenient location at home, easy to access when dealing with minor injuries.

Here’s a list of the recommended first aid supplies that you should have in your first aid kit:

Plasters – variety of sizes for minor cuts, blisters and sore spots.

Adhesive Tape – to hold dressings in place.

Bandages – crepe bandages are useful for support or holding a dressing in place. Tubular bandages are helpful when a child has strained a joint and needs extra support. You can also buy triangular bandages that you can use for making a sling.

Sterile Gauze Dressings – for covering larger sore areas and cuts.

Antiseptic Cream – can be applied to cuts or grazes after cleaning. This will help prevent infection and some numb the pain.

First Aid Spray – rinse free, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, kind to skin it’s suitable for cuts and scrapes, burns and scalds as well as eye irritations.

Burn Gels –  should only be used if you are not near cool running water. The best first aid treatment for burns is placing it under cool running water for 20 minutes.

Antiseptic Wipes – handy way to clean cuts and grazes and help prevent infection. To use them, take a fresh wipe and clean the wound. Work gently away from the centre to remove dirt and germs.

Absorbent Pads – lightly apply pressure to a wound that is bleeding. Do this until the bleeding stops. Make sure there is no object stuck in the wound first.

Thermometer – digital or electronic thermometer. These are quick and accurate. You can also use them under the armpit. Always place the thermometer under the armpit for children under 5.

Saline Solution – washing dust or loose particles out of sore eyes.

Small Scissors – for cutting clothes and also plasters & tape to size.

Safety Pins – these are used to secure an arm sling in place around the elbow area.

Tweezers – use tweezers to remove stones, thorns, splinters and ticks. Never use tweezers to remove objects from nose, mouth or ears – seek medical attention.

Hand Sanitiser – wash your hands before and after you give first aid, but if you do not have access to water, hand sanitiser is a good option.

Disposable Gloves – protect you from infection when giving first aid.

The above list provides a general guide on the recommended contents for first aid kits in the home. All supplies or similar are available in your local Haven Pharmacy, so please ask one of our expert staff for advice on what you need.

Useful Tips:
1. It’s a good idea to keep the supplies sorted in separate zip-close bags to save time rummaging for what you need in an emergency.
2. Never store medication in your first aid kit because a young child might take medication from it, this could easily happen while you are attending to another child who is injured.
3. Put a list of emergency phone numbers into the kit: 112 and 999, your home’s Eircode, your nearest hospital emergency department, your GP & your local GP ‘Out of Hours’ service and your local Haven Pharmacy number.
4. Keep your first aid kit up to date, check use-by dates and always replace used items.
5. Remember, if someone else is caring for your children, let them know where you keep the kit.
6. Your first aid box should be easy to carry and stored out of the reach of young children.

Those most at risk from a home accident are the 0-4 years age group, boys are more likely to have accidents than girls and generally most accidents in the home occur during the summer, during school holidays and at weekends – however the risk is much higher now as everyone stays at home.

Stay Safe. Stay Home. Stay Safe in the Home.

Covid-19: Pollen or Pandemic?

Perhaps you’ve developed a cough or you’ve noticed some shortness of breath. While it could be any number of things, it’s not unusual to link your symptoms to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. With so much discussion about the virus and its symptoms, it’s understandable you might start worrying you’ve picked it up.

The main warning signs of COVID-19 the disease caused by the new coronavirus, are fever, fatigue and a cough. Here is a quick guide differentiating the symptoms between Hay Fever and Covid-19:

If you usually get seasonal allergies and your symptoms are all present on the green column of the list above, the most likely explanation is that you’re experiencing seasonal allergies. People sometimes call allergies “Hay Fever,” but they don’t actually give you a fever.

Examples of common seasonal allergens are:
• Grass and tree pollen
• Dust and mould allergies
• Insect bites and stings

Tips for allergy sufferers:
• Talk to doctor or pharmacist about taking medication to prevent / reduce symptoms.
• Keep windows closed in your bedroom at night
• Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen days
• Stay away from grassy areas, especially when grass is freshly cut
• Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
• Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
• Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period
• Avoid drying clothes outdoors, or shake them outdoors before bringing them in
• Minimise your contact with pets who have been outdoors and are likely to be carrying pollen
• Consider a purifier with a built-in air quality sensor to remove allergens and pollutants from the air

There are a range of very effective over the counter remedies from your Haven pharmacy to help reduce the symptoms of allergies. Please speak to one of our trained advisers or ask your Haven Pharmacist if you would like advice on which treatment is best suited to your needs.

If you’re still unsure, ask yourself these questions:

What are your initial symptoms?

Runny nose and itchy eyes? Allergies. Aching muscles? It could be the flu. As for COVID-19, expect symptoms similar to the flu, but with fever coming on strong (and possible shortness of breath in advanced cases). It’s important to remember that coronavirus can present with mild symptoms—in fact, up to 80% of cases are considered mild—so be sure to monitor how you’re feeling carefully.

When did your symptoms start?

Seasonal allergies last over a series of days or a week, since allergens are increasing every day, with trees budding and pollen spreading. The flu, however, tends to come on suddenly, and norovirus is even faster. There’s still much to learn about COVID-19, but current reports suggest that it begins slower than the flu—typically with a fever first followed by the symptoms mentioned above between two and 14 days after exposure.

Are symptoms getting progressively worse?

You should hit a plateau with allergies, although that can drag on for months. With a flu or COVID-19, you’re looking at around a week to 10 days with a milder case. But if your symptoms are worsening, you may be headed for pneumonia with either the flu or coronavirus. If your breathing starts to feel labored or you have a high fever that persists for days or doesn’t respond to OTC medication, seek medical attention.

Have you been traveling?

If you think you have COVID-19, you’re likely to be asked if you or someone you have direct contact with has been traveling—especially to hot spots where the virus is prevalent.

For more information visit www.hse.ie or phone 1850 24 1850