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Monday, February 28, 2011

Parents too readily give children paracetamol and ibuprofen for mild fever

Parents too readily give children paracetamol and ibuprofen for mild fever, the Telegraph reports. There are problems with dosage and over-dosage for children, and with combining the use of each of these drugs in turn, and with the very decision to try to lower the fever anyway, since fever is one of the ways in which the body seeks to fight infection.

Personally I deplore giving these painkiller drugs to children at all. Children should be protected from pharmaceutical drugs and their many potential and actual adverse side-effects. But parents are assailed by frequent advertisements for painkillers, and doctors' training is laced with over-reliance on the prescribing of drugs, i.e. the treatment of illness rather than the promotion and maintenance of health. Painkillers for children were unheard of when I was a child and we were all the better for not being given them. I'm sure we are all better off without most drugs and without their harmful side-effects.

Making sure we eat nutritious meals and get sufficient vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D and calcium, the vitamin and mineral most often deficient or depleted in people's diets, is the best protection from infection, and prevention is always far better than cure.