Summertime kids' health: July '14

Publish date: 11/07/2014

Tags: children

Debbie Hawkins and Hema Love from our Health at Hand team answered your questions surrounding your children's summertime health, here is the discussion:

Lorelei asked: Hi there I had pneumonia about 7 weeks ago now I've no energy always tired sweating can't taste or smell and can't hear out right ear my partner also is run down and on steroids we are always on antibiotics I have 3 children and no energy :(

Debbie Hawkins and Hema Love answered: Hi Lorelei. Sorry to hear you are still feeling unwell. Normally once given antibiotics for pneumonia you start to feel better after about three to five days. Your other symptoms may not be related to the pneumonia and I would suggest that you visit your GP so that you can be examined and if required be given treatment. Having repeated infections weakens you immune system and then you become vulnerable to all kinds of things so discuss this with your GP as he may wish to take a blood test and advise a way forward to help you. Although I am unable to advise which one, you may benefit from taking a tonic which you can purchase over the counter in most chemists, Holland & Barrett or other similar outlets. Debbie

MM1973 asked: My wife has just had a bowel resection and a full hysterectomy following severe endometriosis. Wondering about recovery time for this type of procedure??

Debbie Hawkins and Hema Love answered: I am sorry but unfortunately I  am unable to answer this question on the Q&A chat line, the reason being we need to know more information. For example, was the hysterectomy and resection laparoscopic or open surgery, what part of the bowel was resected and does your wife have a stoma. Please feel free to phone the Health at Hand line we are open 24/7 on 0800 003 004 when we would be more than happy to speak to you with regards to your wife’s recuperation and any other questions you may have. I wish your wife a speedy recovery. Debbie


If you missed our live chat and have any further questions relating to summertime kids’ health, then why not ask our panel of experts a question?


Lucy asked: Can I please ask you advice about eczema and suncream?  I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old who both have eczema on their joints and applying suncream just seems to aggravate it - I've tried all sorts of different cream and just wondered if you have any other ideas? 

Debbie Hawkins and Hema Love answered: Hi Lucy. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had problems with sunscreen preparations. The best way to enjoy the sun safely and protect your skin from sunburn is to use a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen. When the sun is strong or you’re at risk of burning so it’s a good idea to

  • Ensure your children spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm.
  • Make sure they wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses.
  • Use a sunscreen, particularly the nose, ears and lips with at least factor 15 and a high star rating. Use it generously and reapply regularly.
  • Use trees, parasols, awnings, tents or wide brimmed hats, preferably that shade the neck area to provide shade when they are out in the sun.

When choosing a sunscreen for your children avoid fragrance and other ingredients that are associated with sensitization such as Amyl cinnamal, Benzyl alcohol, Hydroxycitronellal and Benzyl salicylate These are just a few examples.
Sun preparations which contain mineral based reflectors are less irritating to the skin and so are preferred by eczema sufferers. However Titanium Dioxide can leave a white sheen so can be off putting. We are all individuals so allergic reactions can vary from person to person. Generally apply an emollient moisturizer about half an hour before applying the sunscreen preparation, avoiding greasy or oily emollients. This will prevent your children’s skin from becoming dry and so aggravating the eczema. Always read the instructions on the packaging and remember to reapply the sunscreen every two hours during the day and after swimming. Examples of suitable sunscreen products include

  • E45 Reflective Sunscreen Sun Lotion SPF30
  • Nivea Sun Children’s Pure & Sensitive Spray SPF50
  • Soltan Sensitive Hypoallergenic Suncare Lotion SPF 30
  • Sunsense Toddler Milk Sunscreen SPF 50

These are suitable for both your children. You can find more information on the National Eczema Society website

AXA PPP healthcare asked: We've had a question from twitter - @AXAPPPhealth my 3 year old itches a lot when she's hot, should I be applying some creams/lotions or just making sure she's cool? thanks

Debbie Hawkins and Hema Love answered: In the first instance make sure she’s cool by making sure she is wearing light cotton clothes and she is in a shady area with plenty of fresh air. If she is out in the sun avoid the sun between 11am-3pm. When she is out in the sun make sure that you use a sunscreen with the highest factor and a high star rating. Use it generously and reapply regularly.
If she is itchy then you can apply calamine lotion, calamine cream or Eurax lotion to sooth the itchy skin.
If you can see a pin prick rash visit the local pharmacy or the GP to check that it is an allergic skin reaction. You can give her an antihistamine such as Piriton liquid (Chlorphenamine) or Benadryl Allergy Children’s 1mg/ml  oral solution contains Cetirizine which you can buy over the counter from a pharmacy. This will help calm the itch.
Piriton liquid is suitable for children over 1 year but may cause drowsiness. Benadryl Allergy Children’s 1mg/ml  oral solution suitable for children over two years old and for most children it will not cause drowsiness.
Take care to read the label and not to confuse it with Benadryl allergy Childrens 6+liquid as this preparation is suitable for children over 6 years old so unsuitable for your three year old.
Enjoy the summer.

Debbie Hawkins and Hema Love asked: Here's some top tips....

Enjoy the sun by protecting your skin from the sunburn using a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen.
Shade: Protect yourself  and your children from harmful UV rays is to spend some time in the shade.

  1. Trees
  2. Umbrellas and parasols
  3. Canopies and awnings
  4. Going indoors
  5. Tents and shelters
  6. Wide brimmed hats and quality sun glasses

The UV rays in England are strongest in the UK between 11am and 3 pm and the highest risk months are May to September. Remember that this can change when travelling abroad.

Clothes:  Loose clothing and a wide brimmed hat and good quality sun glasses. The more skin that is covered the better the protection. Close weave materials are better as they block out more of the UV rays.

Sunscreen:   Useful protection for the skin however, they will not protect us completely which is why it is recommended using sunscreens together with shade and clothing.

  1. The higher the SPF the better
  2. Apply sun screen properly otherwise it will not work. Apply generously and regularly.
  3. Check out the NHS Choices website for more information on how to apply sun cream properly

Enjoy your summer

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