kids

The exact questions a pharmacist gets asked by parents every day.

Guardian Pharmacy
Thanks to our brand partner, Guardian Pharmacy

Every parent knows that it takes a village to raise a child – and that village can include their local pharmacy, where parents will always find a pharmacist who has a wealth of knowledge.

Most helpfully for mums, dads and other caregivers, the pharmacist is often someone who’s a parent themselves so they understand the concerns that come along with having a child who is unwell.

A pharmacist such as Lili Cosic (pictured above), who has been in the same pharmacy – Guardian Corrimal Court Pharmacy in the Illawarra region of NSW – firstly as a trainee and then later as an owner, for 30 years.

“I have a 22-year-old and an 18-year-old and my customers have seen my kids grow up,” Lili tells Mamamia. “So, for most of the time I’ve been a pharmacist, I’ve also been a mum. That’s why I really understand when parents come in with questions.”

Explaining further what happens when parents come in, Lili adds, “I get it. They can see it’s not an emergency, and they don’t need to go to their GP immediately, but then they can also see their child doesn’t seem quite right.”

It’s a situation Lili has seen repeatedly over the decades.

“The kids may feel warm to touch. So what parents really come in wanting to know is what’s the ‘normal’ range for a temperature,” she says. “They’re wondering whether it’s actually a fever. It’s the most common question I’m asked.”

A pharmacist is an essential part of every parent's 'village'. Image: Getty
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Lili sees her role as pharmacist as being much more than simply about customer service.

"My role is to reassure a parent, who might be stressed out, and tell them what's normal, and recommend a course of action - the correct dosage of Panadol, for example."

But Lili says that's when she needs to ask a parent her most commonly asked question; what is your child's weight?

"Dosage of medications depends on weight, so that's what I ask parents all the time," Lili says.

The other important question Lili will often ask a parent is whether a child is still drinking and eating - or whether that behaviour has changed.

"That also helps us work out if something is more urgent," she says.

Another way Lili helps is by providing written information - and this is where the free Guardian Angel Healthy Kids Guide comes in.

"The pharmacy releases an update version of the handbook every year," Lili says, adding, "We've nicknamed it the 'Bug Book', but it's so much more than just about bugs your kids can get."

The guide gives advice and suggestions on the most common concerns parents have when the come into the pharmacy; everything from basic first aid to oral hygiene, and even gastro and ear health.

The quick reference guide also has a section on something that happens in most families once a year: head lice.

"I see many parents come and tell me their children have a headful of lice at home. It's a very common worry, and they're usually quite stressed, because they think it's something they have done wrong.

"But it isn't. It's just part of childhood."

The Guardian Angel Healthy Kids Guide is available in hard copy in Guardian Pharmacies, and also online, and is designed to be more than a reference for parents.

"The Guide is useful to parents in a couple of other ways," Lili explains.

"There are two tearable pages that you can stick to your fridge or a wall. There's a DRASBCD (danger, response, action, send, airway, breathing, CPR, defibrillation) emergency action plan - and it's actually the most asked-about thing in the book.

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"I always tell customers to keep it somewhere obvious as a quick visual guide for emergencies."

The other tearable page is the Immunisation Schedule.

"I've found that parents are often vigilant about the first round of immunisations," Lili notes. "But they sometimes forget about the second round of immunisations, which happen at about the four-year stage. The tear-out page just helps keep the schedule in their minds."

So, now we know what parents routinely ask Lili, what is the most uncommon thing she's been asked about?

"Well, I have had some small children come in with things stuck in their noses," she laughs.

"It's not life-threatening, and usually the most stressed person is mum or dad, so we do always have a laugh with the family about it after."

For more information, visit Guardian Pharmacy on Facebook, and on their website.

This content is brought to you with thanks by our brand partner, Guardian Pharmacy.

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Guardian Pharmacy

At Guardian Pharmacy, we know being a parent is a rewarding and joyful experience, but it can also be a challenge and sometimes it can be scary, that’s why we created the Healthy Kids Guide. Our guide is a tool and source of knowledge for parents and guardians. From dental care to sun care, asthma to fevers, our guide has you covered. For more information, visit your local Guardian Pharmacy or www.guardianpharmacies.com.au/healthykidsguide

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