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Aibu to think some parents serious hypochondriacs?

(88 Posts)
dolphinsandwhales Thu 27-Mar-14 08:20:16

I am keep in loose contact with a birth group online and have a few mum friends in rl. It seems to me that a proportion of them are terrible hypochondriacs and spend a lot of time dosing up their children with calpol, nurofen and hounding doctors for antibiotics.

Comments I've heard/read in the past few days include 'calpol is a godsend, I have given it to ds at least every other week since birth, he can't do without it for his coughs/colds/headaches'(he's two). 'i've just got dd her second round of antibiotics from the doctor, she's got a virus and I've had to get the out of hours doctor out twice' and finally, 'I phoned am ambulance last night as ds had a temperature and was coughing in his sleep, the paramedics looked at him and we're sympathetic but said he would be ok'.

Of course if someone has serious illness or suspects it then doctors, ambulances etc should be called, but all the ridiculous hypochondria over common coughs and colds from the same parents all the time means the NHS has even more pressure on resources. Someone having a heart attack could lack an ambulance if it's dealing with Billy's cough and antibiotics for viruses are not effective and overuse is contributing to superbugs (I understand from what I read).

Am I just a mean parent and grumpy probably

fivepies Thu 27-Mar-14 08:29:23

YANBU. I've notced this too. It works in reverse also - my MIL replies to every mention of illness, even when it's the kids, with 'what did the doctor say?'. If you say you haven't been, the illness is deemed not serious enough to warrant further discussion. I don't see the point of seeing the doctor with a virus as antibiotics don't do anything. But you can be really quite ill without needing to see the doctor.
I too know kids who are regularly dosed up on calpol.
It's almost competitiveness with pills/doctor/a&e. I wonder if it'd be the same if we had to pay at source for all these things?

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 27-Mar-14 08:31:15

To be fair though it's partly the GPs fault for handing out the antibiotics for a virus.

dolphinsandwhales Thu 27-Mar-14 08:38:18

I agree if they had to pay they'd be less likely to over use. I also agree doctors should be firmer about not doling out antibiotics, but it's this same section of parents who rant about GPs being overpaid, being rubbish and I've heard it said that they'll go back daily until they get what they want.

FederationPresidentBarryFife Thu 27-Mar-14 08:38:54

YANBU but parenting small children makes otherwise sane people into anxious nutters who diagnose meningitis at every sneeze. As god is my witness I too have wasted the GP's time with a perfectly well baby.

MoominsYonisAreScary Thu 27-Mar-14 08:44:35

Yanbu I know someone who called an ambulance because her son was bitten by a hamster

ScarletFedora Thu 27-Mar-14 08:45:55

I'm on the other end of the scale. DC1 (two years) has had calpol a couple of times in her life (we monitor fevers, sponge down and let them run their course), DC2 (few months old) never has. Neither has had anti-bs. They've had the normal level of coughs, colds, fevers, colic etc. (probably less than their peers TBH) I'm just loathed to introduce drugs of any kind into tiny systems unless they are absolutely necessary. When they are necessary as deemed by a doctor then of course we'd give them.

I'm pretty sure I get judged by other mums just as harshly for NOT giving calpol for every ailment. I think we're all just doing our best for our kids and that takes different forms. If I was genuinely scared for my child's health I'd want to think I could call an ambulance and not get a hard time...

itsmeitscathy Thu 27-Mar-14 08:47:30

Oh dear, when are people going to learn that antibiotics can't fix everything and the more you take them the more likely they are to become ineffective?! YANBU OP

thebody Thu 27-Mar-14 08:52:18

scarlett are you a nurse like me?I too parent like you but was brought up short with dd4 as I was a bit too complacent about her cough at 2 weeks old. I left it a while until it turned out to be whooping cough and she was rushed to hospital seriously ill.

it's a balance.

funnily enough I am far more fussy and anxious now over their health and that are 24/23/15/14. wierd.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 27-Mar-14 08:53:32

I think unless you have a child who picks up everything under the sun you won't understand. I remember going through a period where ds was constantly poorly, we'd get over one thing and within 2 or 3 days he'd go down with something else, it was awful.

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 27-Mar-14 08:53:33

YABU, some kids just are often ill kids. Also, it's the GP's fault for giving ABs if it is viral infection.

thebody Thu 27-Mar-14 08:54:44

my sil practically fed her dd on calpol as a toddler. every time she cried it was calpol. in the end I had to tell her that it wasn't a good idea. people don't seem to realise its a drug. she really didn't get it until I told her.

GreenLandsOfHome Thu 27-Mar-14 08:57:28

Yab a tiny bit u.

I don't give calpol frequently. But if in doubt, I do use it if there's a temperature.

I used to be the 'oh it's just a fever, it'll pass' type until ds1 had an 'extended' febrile convulsion at 16 months. It was the most terrifying experience I've ever had. He was fitting for 6 minutes.

When we got to hospital, the Doctor asked me when I'd last given calpol for his fever and I hadn't, as it hadn't been a really high fever. He gave me a telling off and said that if in doubt and your child's too warm, there's no harm in a bit of calpol. Had I given it he may never have spiked and ended up convulsing.

There are no prizes for giving the least amount of medication either.

thebody Thu 27-Mar-14 08:59:17

dame agree with that and it reappears in the teen years too.

dd3 has had tonsillitis 3 times this year allready and is anaemic and generally pretty weak.

I think it's the case of body growing and developing too quickly and so the kid gets 'run down' illnesses seem to pile on top of each other.

toddlers and teens are quite alike. more ways than one! grin

DomesticDisgrace Thu 27-Mar-14 09:01:56

YANBU but I've been very lucky with almost 3yr DD. Not so much as a sniffle, never been to a doctor for anything other than injections, never had an antibiotic so I think my luck with her makes me a bit eye rolly at others sometimes which isn't really fair.
A girl I know is constantly tagging herself on Facebook at the children's hospital and always saying how her sick little boy will be having a day off school. I'm not sure if her two kids are just very sickly or she's a nutjob.

thebody Thu 27-Mar-14 09:02:19

green that doctor is an idiot. my ds2 had a febrile convulsion. he was in his pushchair under a plastic rain canopy ( never used one since) and he spiked a temp. I didn't realise and I am a nurse.

it's very common and very scary. but not your fault. flowers

GreenLandsOfHome Thu 27-Mar-14 09:04:25

Thanks thebody.

UriGeller Thu 27-Mar-14 09:09:39

I give calpol for pain or discomfort, like I wouldn't deny myself a couple of paracetamols if I felt achey and coldish (or teething which must feel horrible to a baby, when you see how adults moan about toothache).

Bacterial infections in children can quickly turn serious so I'd definitely take them to see the GP if I thought an illness was something more than a virus. If It turns out I'm over-reacting, well then I'd rather over-react than under-react iyswim.

I guess the difference is I don't advertise my kids every sneeze on Facebook grin

MoaningMingeWhingesAgain Thu 27-Mar-14 09:10:17

But some people just don't know how to treat minor ailments at home and don't have a clue what's serious and what isn't.
Our children have two hcps for parents and we rarely feel they need the doctor. But we are lucky because we can make that call and be fairly confident what we are doing.
but yes I am frequently amazed how often people take their well children with minor fever or cough to the gp and expect a cure
or complain that the gp said it was just a virus and say they were fobbed off. When it most likely was erm just a virusgrin

but I would rather they were too cautious than too complacent.

CabbagesAndKings Thu 27-Mar-14 09:11:50

YANBU to think that some people can get very weird over their child's health. I know a few people like this. One has an entire Facebook album, called something like 'Poorly DD' and it is basically filled with pictures of her DD when she has been sick over the last few years- child with chicken pox, child with red flushed fever face. It's a big topic of conversation too. She's otherwise completely sane, just incredibly odd about that

dolphinsandwhales Thu 27-Mar-14 09:14:08

Btw I agree there's a need for calpol for fevers etc and have used it, just not every other week in and bragged about in rl, Facebook etc

Koothrapanties Thu 27-Mar-14 09:14:13

Yanbu but the other extreme is much worse. The mother of my god daughter wouldn't get her dd checked out for anything. She was 2 and was really poorly and I managed to convice her to call an ambulance after I found a rash and did the cup test. She had meningitis and nearly died. If I hadn't have been so pushy about it she would probably be dead now.

Supercosy Thu 27-Mar-14 09:15:37

the body I could've written that same post. Well, I'm not a nurse but the bit about being complacent about a cough with my Dd. I was TOO worried about making a fuss and her chesty cough turned into pneumonia one night and she was soon going blue and struggling to breathe. It was terrifying. Even now I struggle to forgive myself for that. For years after that I was very fussy about her when she was ill. I'm not now though, I'm definitely balanced about it.

At school I see some parents who are fussy in the way you describe OP but I also see parents who send kids in with d and v, with, in the parent's own words when I called them "yeah..we thought she had chicken pox", and with raging temps feeling so ill they can hardly keep their eyes open. Most parents are somewhere in between. It's a hard one though.

fluffyraggies Thu 27-Mar-14 09:16:56

My 3 older DDs seemed to get through their early years with just a dose of calpol once in a blue moon. And maybe a yearly bottle of bannana medicine each grin

SIL seems to really struggle with her 2 boys. Really every other week MIL is telling us about the latest D&V outbreak at SILs house or terrible ear infection.

Luck or judgement? Dunno.

Babiecakes91 Thu 27-Mar-14 09:26:16

I could have looked like one of those people as my son was constantly ill as a baby and everyone said it was colic but I knew different. We found out our answer when he was 6 months old and started seizing and stopped breathing and needed to be resuscitated that he had a milk allergy and silent acid reflux.
I would rather people get their children checked as it's safer and my son needs calpol as soon as he gets a temp as if it goes up to fast he will have a febrile convulsion or an asthma attack and then there is need for an ambulance, he will be 3 in May and been in over 20 ambulances and all of them have been due to the above.

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