Quit Smoking with Haven Pharmacy

1 in every 2 smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease. It doesn’t have to be that way – you can quit!

Have you tried to give up smoking in the past? Have you managed to give up for long periods of time and then one little slip spiralled you back to your former full-time smoking self?

The disappointment in returning to this bad habit might off trying to quit again? Don’t let it… Never give up giving up!

Giving Up
With our customers health in mind, we have put a plan in place for anyone that wants to quit, so please speak to one of our trained advisers or ask your Haven pharmacist if you would like advice on which Nicotine Replacement Treatment (NRT) is best suited to your needs. There are a range of very effective over the counter remedies available from your Haven pharmacy to help stop smoking.

Health Benefits 
Straight away you will have fresher breath, hair & clothes and

Straight away you prevent staining your fingers & teeth and delay premature aging

Straight away you will have more money in your pocket!

Within 20 mins your blood pressure and pulse rate begin to return to normal

Within 1 day your risk of heart attack begins to fall

Within 2 days you will have a better sense of taste and smell

Within 3 days you will feel fitter as you will be less breathless as the nicotine is gone from your body completely

After 2-3 weeks your lung function will improve

Within 2-3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%

After 1 year your risk of sudden death from a heart attack is almost cut in half, while your risk from cancer is also reduced

After 5 years the risk of smoking related cancers will be greatly reduced

After 10 years the risk of a heart attack drops to almost the same as a non-smoker

Did you know Ireland has more quitters than smokers?

Join the Quitters and start your journey today! Here are some helpful tips to guide you on the road to a smoke free life…

  1. Decide to Quit

Write down all the reasons why you want to quit so you can refer to them in moments of weakness.

  1. Make a Date

Pick a date that you feel you will be relaxed and focused on quitting and then stick to it. Throw out all your cigarettes including any emergency supplies as quitting outright is more effective than cutting down gradually.

  1. Talk to Your Support Team

Friends and family can offer wonderful encouragement when trying to quit. Talk to your Haven Pharmacist for advice in our private consultation room or contact the National Smokers’ Quitline on 1850 201 203 for Free Support

  1. Avoid Your Triggers and Temptations

Know your trigger situations and prepare in advance. Many of our customers find it difficult to avoid a cigarette when drinking alcohol. Try to remove this trigger in the first couple of weeks/months after quitting.

  1. Learn how to cope with cravings

Cravings can occur frequently in the first week of quitting. Remember cravings intensify over 3 to 5 minutes then subside.

Practice the Four D’s:

  • Delay acting on the urge to smoke – it will pass
  • Deep breathing, calm your nerves
  • Drink lots of water, it will decrease the need for snacking
  • Distract yourself, do something else to take your mind off it
  1. Make positive lifestyle choices

Increase your level of exercise as this helps improve mood and manages your weight. Many quitters experience a spike in appetite after giving up initially, this is your body and mind adjusting to a habit and it will level out. Avoid snacking on sweets, choose healthy snacks like fruit and nuts instead. Go for a brisk walk or jog to get rid of your anxiety or stress – it will help your body and mind.

  1. Stay positive!

In moments of weakness remember why you are quitting and believe in the strength of your will power. Look back at the list of reasons you put together when you decided to quit. This will shift your focus back to the long term goal.

  1. Reward yourself

Cigarettes are expensive! Get a money box, work out how much money you were spending each week on cigarettes and put it away. Buy yourself something as a treat instead. The important thing is, be kind to yourself. Don’t see quitting as a punishment, see it as a liberation and a step on the road to a happy and healthier life!

For more information on starting your Smoke Free journey – contact your local Haven Pharmacy who will help you with your plan and start you on the right NRT products from Nicorette- we have a range of patches, gum, quick mist, lozenges and inhalers. Using these NRT products increases your chance of successfully stopping by up to 70%!

Sign up for your Quit Plan from the HSE and start your smoke free journey today to look forward to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

Good luck, YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

 

Stroke – Would You Know What to Do?

The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen. Always err on the side of caution and seek emergency medical advice if you suspect that you or someone you know might be having a stroke.

 

What Causes a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel, which is carrying oxygen and nutrients to an area of the brain bursts or is blocked by a clot. This can damage or destroy brain cells which will affect abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control. A stroke is a medical emergency. Therefore, recognising the symptoms and accessing treatment immediately can be crucial.

What Are the Symptoms of a Stroke?

How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much of the brain is damaged. However, there are key factors that can help to identify when a stroke may be occurring. These include:

  • Numbness, weakness, or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Slurred speech, difficulty thinking of words or understanding other people
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Sudden blurred vision or sight loss
  • Being unsteady on your feet
  • Severe headache

 

Act F>A>S>T

Face – Can the person smile? Has their Mouth or eye drooped?

Arm – Can the person raise both arms?

Speech – Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

Time – Call 999 or 112 for an ambulance immediately if you spot any one of these signs

DON’T wait for the symptoms to go away

KNOW your Eircode so that the ambulance can reach you as fast as possible

Types of Stroke

Ischemic Stroke (blocked artery)

Over 80% of strokes are caused by a blockage of an artery supplying blood to the brain. This is known as an ischaemic stroke. Ischemic stroke can be broken into two main types: thrombotic and embolic

A thrombotic stroke occurs when diseased or damaged cerebral arteries become blocked by the formation of a blood clot within the brain.

An embolic stroke is also caused by a clot within an artery, but in this case the clot (or emboli) forms somewhere other than in the brain itself. Often from the heart, these emboli will travel in the bloodstream until they become lodged and cannot travel any farther. This naturally restricts the flow of blood to the brain and results in near-immediate physical and neurological deficits.

Ministroke/Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

TIA is a temporary period of symptoms  similar to those you’d have in a stroke. A temporary decrease in blood supply to part of your brain causes TIAs, which may last as little as five minutes.

TIAs are caused when a clot or debris blocks blood flow to part of your nervous system – but there is no permanent tissue damage and no lasting symptoms.

Having TIA puts you at greater risk of have a stroke. If you’ve had a TIA, it means there’s likely a partially blocked or narrowed artery leading to your brain or a clot source in the heart.

Always seek emergency care if you fear that you might be having a TIA,  even if your symptoms seem to clear up.

 Hemorrhagic Stroke (destroyed artery)

Up to 20% of strokes are caused by a bleed into the brain from a burst blood vessel. This is called a cerebral haemorrhage and causes the more serious kind of stroke. It is often not obvious why someone should have suffered a stroke. Even though many people believe it to be a factor, stress is not a cause of stroke.

How Can I Prevent Having a Stroke?

Many factors can increase your stroke risk. There are steps that you can take in order to limit your risk of stroke. These include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Keeping physically active
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
  • Avoid the use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines
  • Don’t smoke
  • Controlling high blood pressure
  • Controlling diabetes

 

If you would like to avail of expert advice around stroke prevention or anything detailed in this article, drop into your local Haven Pharmacy where we have expert community Pharmacists ready to help you to improve your health and look after yourself.

How to care for someone with Flu at home

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 can I care for someone with flu at home?

If you are at home with flu or taking care of someone at home, follow these tips to help stop the flu spreading to others:

  • If you have the flu stay in one room with the door closed and, if possible, open a window for fresh air
  • Family members should limit time spent with someone with flu and avoid sharing dishes, books, toys, etc
  • Avoid face-to-face contact with someone who has the flu
  • Discourage visits from people not living in the house
  • If you have flu, cover your nose and mouth with disposable tissues when sneezing or coughing. If tissues are not available, coughing or sneezing into your arm or sleeve (not hand) is recommended
  • Used tissues should be put into a bin and the bin sealed in the room and immediately taken outside for collection
  • Wash hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub, especially after coughing and sneezing
  • Everyone in the house should frequently clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after every contact with someone with flu or their room or bathroom
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with your hands as this helps spreads the flu virus
  • Surfaces and items inside the house should be cleaned regularly with bleach-based household cleaners

How is Flu 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.

At-risk groups

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

  • are 65 years of age and over
  • are pregnant
  • are a child or adult with a long-term health condition
  • work in healthcare
  • 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

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.

The Flu Vaccine

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. 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 but you may be charged a consultation fee, unless 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.

The seasonal flu vaccine is available from October 2019 until the end of April 2020

Speak to your local Haven Pharmacist about the Flu Vaccine. You can make an appointment in selected Haven Pharmacy stores nationwide.

 

For more information about Flu and it’s symptoms check out the HSE website

 

 

Everything You Need to Know About the Common Cold

Ever wonder why the symptoms of a cold tend to vary greatly? That’s because the common cold is caused by any one of more than two hundred viruses!

Adults tend to get two to four colds a year but children (especially preschoolers) may have up to eight to ten colds annually. Both adults and children are more susceptible to the common cold in the autumn and winter months when children are in school and people are spending a lot of time indoors.

Haven pharmacists have shared some of their expert advice so that you know what type of cold you have and how best to treat it. Also, we highlight the importance of self-care and dispel some “old wives” tales.

How Do We Catch a Cold?

The cold virus enters your body via your mouth or nose through contact with another carrier who has sneezed or coughed close to you. It can also spread by hand to hand contact with someone who has a cold or by using shared objects such as cutlery, towels, toys or telephones. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth after such contact or exposure you are likely to acquire a common cold. Other “old wives” tales about how you catch a common cold, such as going outdoors with wet hair for example, have never been proven with clinical studies.

What are the Symptoms of a Cold?

These symptoms generally gradually develop over a few hours and occur one to three days after exposure to the virus. They usually last about seven days. Some symptoms, such as a cough, may persist after the worst of a cold is over. Symptoms of a cold include:

  • Runny/blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Aches and pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Although you may feel hot when you have a cold it is unlikely to be a temperature. The presence of a fever may be an indication of flu rather than a cold.

During the summer months, you may have symptoms like nasal congestion, sneezing and irritated watery eyes but these are likely to be due to allergy or hayfever.

Who is Most at Risk?

Children

  • Children are more likely to get a cold because they haven’t developed resistance to most of the viruses that cause them. They also spend lots of time with other children who aren’t as careful about washing their hands – making it easier for the cold to spread.

Allergy sufferers

  • If you suffer from seasonal allergies (hayfever) or ongoing allergic reactions to dust, moulds or pet hair, which affects your nasal passages, you are more likely to develop a cold than people who do not have allergies.

Those living or working in close quarters

  • Viral and bacterial infections spread easily anywhere people gather – childcare centres, classrooms, hospitals, offices, prisons and military installations.

What are the Complications of the Common Cold?

Children, the elderly (especially those that are frail, malnourished or suffering from other illnesses), asthmatics and smokers have an increased chance of suffering from complications due to the common cold.

Acute ear infection in children

  • The most common complication of common colds in children is an acute ear infection (otitis media), which occurs when bacteria infiltrate the space behind the eardrum. Typical signs and symptoms include earaches and, in some cases, a green or yellow discharge from the nose or the return of a fever following a cold. Children who are too young to verbalise their distress may simply cry or pull on the affected ear.

**Unlike a common cold, ear infections may require treatment with antibiotics. Young children and children with chronic health problems are most likely to need antibiotics to treat an ear infection.**

Sinusitis

  • In adults or children, a common cold that doesn’t resolve may lead to sinusitis. Other secondary infections that may develop following a cold include strep throat, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia. These infections need to be treated by a doctor.

When Should You Seek Medical Advice?

A cold generally goes away in about a week, although it may not disappear as quickly as you’d like. If your signs and symptoms last longer than a week, you may have a more serious illness, such as flu or pneumonia.

Seek medical attention if you have:

  • Temperature greater than 102 F (38.9C)
  • High temperature accompanied by achiness and fatigue
  • Temperature accompanied by sweating, chills and a cough with coloured phlegm
  • Symptoms that get worse instead of better

Seek medical attention if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Temperature of 103 F or higher, chills or sweating (39.4C)
  • Temperature that lasts more than 72 hours
  • Vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Severe headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent crying
  • Ear pain

What is the Best Treatment for the Common Cold?

There is no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics are of no use against cold viruses, and over-the-counter cold preparations won’t cure a cold or make it go away any sooner. However, over-the-counter medications such as decongestants and cough expectorants can relieve some symptoms so make sure you talk to your local Haven Pharmacist for advice.

One of the most important things to do, if you have a cold, is to look after yourself. Follow these self-care tips to make yourself as comfortable as possible:

Drink lots of fluid

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarette smoke, which can cause dehydration and aggravate your symptoms.

Get some rest

  • Consider staying home from work if you have a temperature or a bad cough, or are drowsy from medications. This will give you a chance to rest as well as reduce the chances that you’ll infect others. Wear a mask when you have a cold if you live or work with someone with a chronic disease or compromised immune system.

Adjust your room’s temperature and humidity/steam yourself

  • Keep your room warm, but not overheated. If the air is dry use a vaporiser or humidifier. A cheaper and quite effective method is to boil a kettle several times in a room and place a small bowl of water on top of the radiator (if it is heated). The use of a steam inhalation hydrates the upper respiratory tract and helps loosen phlegm. Menthol and eucalyptus inhalants may also provide relief from the congestion caused by the common cold.

Soothe your throat

  • Gargling with warm salt water several times a day or drinking warm lemon water with honey may help soothe a sore throat and relieve a cough.

 

What is the Best Prevention for the Common Cold?

No effective vaccine has been developed because so many different viruses can cause a common cold. However, you can take some other precautions to slow the spread of cold viruses:

Take a vitamin C supplement during the winter months

  • Vitamin C is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. Supplementation during the winter months may help to boost the immune system so the body can fight off cold and flu viruses more effectively.

Wash your hands

  • Clean your hands frequently and teach your children the importance of hand washing.

Keep things clean

  • Keep kitchen and bathroom countertops clean, especially when someone in your family has a cold. Wash your child’s toys after play.

Use tissues & dispose of them carefully

  • Always sneeze and cough into tissues. Discard used tissues right away.

Sharing is not always caring

  • Don’t share drinking glasses or utensils with other family members. Use your own glass & cup when you or someone else is ill.

Steer clear of others with a cold

  • Avoid close, prolonged contact with anyone who has a cold.

Choose your child-care centre carefully

  • Look for a child-care setting with sound hygiene practices and clear policies about keeping ill children at home.

Both COVID-19 and the common cold are highly contagious and can spread through the air, close personal contact and when you touch infected surfaces and then your face before washing your hands.

For more advice contact your local pharmacist. Trust Haven to put your family’s health first this Winter.

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.

 

 

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.

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