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Many common complaints can be simply treated at home without the need to consult a doctor. Viral illnesses are unpleasant but self-limiting. We  may advise that these illnesses almost always get better in time and will not always give you a prescription. If you receive medication, please give it a few days to work .


Cold/Common Cold

The doctor cannot cure the common cold. Discomfort can be relieved with nurofen or paracetamol, by drinking plenty of warm fluids, resting and relieving the congested nose/catarrh with steam inhalation.


Cough occurs when there is something to be cleared from the air passages (e.g. mucus, infection, dust). To suppress this with cough mixture can cause harm. Inhaling steam and drinking honey and lemon  can help. See a doctor if cough persists more than a week after a cold has cleared up or if there is yellow, green or bloodstained sputum, chest pain or shortness of breath.

Diarrhoea & Vomiting

Often comes from a change of diet or virus or bacterial infections. It is often accompanied by cramp-like pain in the tummy and may be preceded by vomiting. Treat it by drinks of water and miss the next 2 meals. See the doctor if it doesn't settle in 24 hours or if the pain is continuous.

Adults- Vomiting- take nothing by mouth for 12 hours then try small frequent sips of water every 15-20 minutes, progressing to a light diet for the next day or two. Most cases settle within 24-48 hours. If not, contact the doctor. You could try placing  Buccastem 3mg under upper lip  twice daily. Buccastem is available in any pharmacy without prescription.  Diarrhoea- usually caused by a virus or food related . Imodium can help if frequency becomes a problem. A fluid or very light diet should be taken avoiding any greasy foods.

Gastroenteritis in children and babies- Click here for advice. if your child is causing concern, please do not hesitate to contact your health visitor or doctor for advice.

Scrupulous cleanliness at home is necessary to avoid passing on infection to your family.

Fever in Small Children

It is usual for children to have high temperatures with minor illnesses. It may be that this is nature's way of doing some harm to the virus. You can try to cool the child down by dressing lightly and putting a fan in the room (not to point at the child). Maintain a high fluid intake give paracetamol /neurofen .If necessary  sponge with tepid water. However if concerned  consult a doctor. Beware: Children can get fits due to high fever (febrile convulsions)


Follow the above advice, according to the symptoms and REST. The body will then be more able to fight the virus. Viruses are not killed by antibiotics. If you are in the 'at risk' group ,please make sure you get your flu jab on time.

Indigestion and Constipation

Indigestion is best treated with a warm glass of milk or  some antacid tablets or mixture from the chemist. If it persists make an appointment at the surgery. The chemist can supply a simple laxative treatment  for constipation although it is a good idea to eat plenty of fibre ,fruits and drink  plenty of fluids to avoid constipation.

Minor Burns

Immediately submerge in cold water until the pain subsides. This can take 10 or 15 minutes but is invaluable in diminishing the damage done. Unbroken blisters should be left alone, protected if necessary by a loose dry dressing. Large burns or those in which the skin is broken should be seen by the doctor or nurse.

Minor Cuts and Grazes

Clean the wound thoroughly with an antiseptic. Firm pressure for five minutes will stop most bleeding. A clean dry dressing can then be applied.

Nose Bleeds

Alarming but try to keep your cool. Firm pressure applied with fingers and thumb below the bone must be maintained without letting go for ten minutes. Be very gentle afterwards and do not dab or pick it! You may try ice on the nose and back of the neck.

Sore Throat

Gargle with salt  water and avoid cold drinks. Repeat 4 hourly. Drink plenty.


A cold compression (e.g. crushed ice or a packet of frozen peas) is invaluable if applied as soon as possible for 15-20 minutes. Apply a firm crepe bandage and rest the sprain subsequently. Sprains may take several weeks so try not to provoke them during this period.

Sprains, Strains or Bruises remember R.I.C.E.

Rest the affected part and gently return to movement as the pain goes. Ice - place a bag of frozen peas over a cloth on the injured part for 10 minutes every 2 hours. Compression - apply a firm (not tight) crepe or tubigrip bandage. Elevate - raise the injured part above the level of your heart (use a sling, cushions, etc.). This helps the swelling drain away and speeds healing.


Small children burn easily and should not be left in the sun. There is concern about the development of skin cancer in dedicated sun worshippers. Always use a high factor sunscreen. If you get burnt, cool the skin in cold water, use aftersun. Paracetamol is also useful.

Teeth and Gums
Doctors are not trained to deal with dental problems. Dentists are obliged to provide emergency cover. Register with a dentist now in case you run into problems later.


Drink (sip) small amounts of water every 2 hours. As it settles, take simple foods such as dry biscuits before gradually returning to your normal diet. See a doctor if there is continuous pain, if it lasts more than 24 hours or if there is a raised temperature.

Reflux ( bringing up food) in babies and children  is a common problem  . Click here for advice to parents.

Crying in Infancy

Crying in infancy is described as a loud, high-pitched sound made by infants in response to certain situations.

Infants have a cry reflex that is a normal response to some stimuli, such as pain or hunger. Older children and adults cry for emotional reasons such as pain, fear, sadness, or frustration. Premature infants may not have a cry reflex, so they must be monitored closely for signs of hunger and pain.


A cry is the infant's first verbal communication and can be interpreted as a message of urgency or distress. The sound is is nature's way of ensuring that adults attend to the baby as quickly as possible, because few people can simply listen to a crying baby.

One common cause of crying is hunger. Another is pain caused by gas and or intestinal spasms after feedings. The pain develops if the baby has been fed too much or not burped enough.

Many infants between the ages of 3 weeks to 3 months develop an crying pattern associated with colic. Colic is a normal part of development that may be triggered by many factors. Colic usually occurs in the late afternoon or evening hours.

Discomfort, such as from a wet diaper, can also lead to crying. At times, infants may cry for no apparent reason, but in general crying is a response to something. It may just be that parents are unable to figure out what is bothering the infant at that time.

Crying is probably part of the normal development of the central nervous system. Many parents report the ability to hear a difference in tone between a cry for feeding and a cry caused by pain.

While almost everyone recognises that infants cry for many reasons and that crying is a normal part of infancy, the stress and anxiety that parents experience in response to frequent or constant crying can be considerable.

After all, the sound is perceived as an alarm, and it is very frustrating not to be able to figure out what's wrong and soothe the baby. Parents, especially first-time parents, begin to question their ability to cope if the child frequently cannot be comforted.


When unsure of why your baby is crying, try eliminating the sources that you can address:

  • Make sure the baby is breathing easy and there are pink and warm fingers, toes, and lips.
  • Check for swelling, redness, wetness, rashes, cold fingers and toes, twisted arms or legs, folded earlobes, or pinched fingers or toes.
  • Make sure the baby is not in pain.
  • Make sure the baby is not hungry.
  • Make sure you are feeding the child the proper amount and burping the baby correctly.
  • Check to see that your baby is not too cold or too hot.
  • Check to see whether the nappy needs to be changed.
  • Make sure there is not too much noise, too much light, too much wind, or inadequate stimulation and interaction.
  • Try using soft, gentle music for comfort.
  • Talk to your baby. The sound of your voice may be reassuring.
  • Change the infant's position.

Hold your baby close to your chest. Sometimes, infants need to experience familiar sensations like the sound of your voice in your chest, your heartbeat, the feel of your skin, the smell of your breath, the movement of your body, and the comfort of your hug. In the past, babies were held constantly and the absence of a parent meant danger from predators or abandonment. You cannot spoil a baby by holding him or her during infancy.

Place the baby in a car seat and walk  around with gentle 'rock movement of the seat' or keep the baby in car seat ,place seat on the floor and gently rock with your foot . Some parents  take the baby for a short drive !

If the crying continues for longer than usual and your baby is not consoled by any of the means listed above, contact health visitor/doctor  for advice.

Try to get adequate rest. Exhausted parents are less able to care for a baby. Use the resources of family, friends, or outside care givers to allow yourself time to recover your energy. This will also be helpful for your baby. It does not mean that you are a bad parent or are abandoning your child.

For most of human history, people raised their children with the aid of extended families, so there was less pressure on the parents than there is now. A baby's grandparents may be very helpful. Don't worry that they won't do everything the way you would. As long as they are taking safety precautions and comforting the baby when necessary, you may rest assured your child is well cared for during your break.

Seek medical advice  if your baby's crying is associated with any significant findings such as fever, vomiting, rash or  breathing difficulty.


Vulvovaginitis is girls

Recurrent soreness and discharge can be a troubling problem in girls and commonly occurs between 2-7 yrs of age . Click here for advice leaflet from Department of Paediatrics , UCL Medical school

Always talk to us if above common  conditions do not settle or if you have any concerns.

How to protect accidental overdose by Kids

Keep Children Safe by Child Proofing Medications

It is possible to keep children safe by taking simple precautions:

  • Store all medication out of a child’s reach preferably in a locked cabinet. Medications should not be stored in places where children can access easily, like a purse or hand bag.
  • Maintain an inventory of ALL medications stored in cabinet. This is important in the case of an accidental overdose when determining what medication was ingested.
  • Keep medications in original labelled container
  • Properly dispose of old prescription medications
  • Request child-resistant or child proof packaging and keep the containers properly sealed. Remember that child resistant packages are not necessarily child proof.
  • Children should never be allowed to play with medicine bottles
  • Avoid taking medications in front of children; they may attempt to imitate an adult
  • Medicine should never be made to sound attractive to children (do not refer to medicine as candy or juice.)


Back pain leaflet


Dr  S S Shashikanth
West London Medical Centre
20 Pield Heath Road,Hillingdon,UB8 3NGTel: 01895 233 881 
Fax: 01895812773
Email: admin@londongp.org.uk