Be prepared for Common Illnesses this Festive Season.

People across the Forth Valley are being encouraged to check they have basic home remedies in ahead of the Festive and New Year holidays to avoid having to find a pharmacy on a bank holiday.

NHS Forth Valley’s Medical Director, Andrew Murray, says most seasonal illnesses can be looked after at home with self-care and things like paracetamol:

‘Christmas is a fun but hectic time for most people. It’s easy to get swept up in the festive atmosphere and forget that health should be on your priority list.

‘Making sure you have home remedies for common ailments will save you time and help you focus on the celebrations. NHS 24’s 111 service is there to help if you need urgent health care support, but we know that roughly 30% of people who call 111 need self-help advice on common illnesses and conditions that can normally be managed at home.

‘Avoiding the need to call 111 means the service can help those who need urgent help more quickly, and also save you the bother of trying to find a local pharmacy.

Mr Murray continues,

‘I would recommend you have pain relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen at home. For little ones get age-appropriate pain remedies which you can also get in liquid form. In the case of fevers, a thermometer is also a good idea as it means you can monitor temperatures accurately.

‘To cover accidents, I’d recommend reviewing your first-aid kit and make sure it is stocked with things like plasters, antiseptic, and bandages. For common conditions such as rashes, tummy upsets and earaches, NHS inform has lots of information on how to treat these at home and when to seek medical help.

The advice is part of an NHS Scotland national health campaign ‘Healthy Know How.’ The campaign provides advice on how to stay well and enjoy the festivities, avoiding the need to get medical help over the holidays. Tips include:

  • Know how to stay on top of prescriptions. Order only what is needed and in plenty of time before the festive holidays.
  • Know how to be prepared for common illnesses. Ensure you have some remedies in the house.
  • Know how to check symptoms if you do become unwell. NHS inform’s symptom checkers can give you all the health advice you need online.
  • Know how to get the right care, in the right place. Further medical advice can be found during the week by contacting your GP, pharmacist, dentist or optometrist. For out of hours or during holiday closures call NHS 24 on 111.

More details on the Healthy Know How campaign can be found here –