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To be baffled by British attitudes towards suppositories?

(197 Posts)
AnotherGirlsParadise Thu 13-Nov-14 15:30:30

I spent a few years living in Paris, where suppositories are pretty much favoured over oral medications - they work FAST, even for a sore throat, and you don't have to deal with your DC spitting out a load of Calpol and not getting any better in the process. I recently brought a haul of children's paracetamol suppositories home after a visit, and the response I've had from other parents here has been frankly quite upsetting, ranging from 'inappropriate' to 'surely that's abuse?'

So, AIBU to think people should be a little more openminded? And for the record, a suppository is easily popped in, involves no more touching than using a wipe does, and doesn't distress the child in any way. It just seems to me that because it goes through the 'other end', it's all WRONG WRONG WRONG to some.

SnakeyMcBadass Thu 13-Nov-14 15:33:02

Well. Tell the haterz to stick it up their bum.

AnotherGirlsParadise Thu 13-Nov-14 15:35:09

Snakey, I think I love you grin

EvenBetter Thu 13-Nov-14 15:35:13

I can't imagine how the subject would come up in conversation, but surely it can't be that hard to imagine that for some people, shoving things up your arse isn't a pleasant idea and it'd be better to take a tablet instead?

Lovehorror Thu 13-Nov-14 15:35:15

My dd had those in hospital,she refused oral meds.

Bulbasaur Thu 13-Nov-14 15:37:59

Having had the pleasure of watching my baby spit Tylenol across the room and then having to suffer the next 3 hours because I couldn't give her another dose, yes I think I'd be open to suppositories.

But it's not exactly polite conversation to be all like "Hey, so guess what I shoved up my kid's ass this morning".

MajesticWhine Thu 13-Nov-14 15:39:17

Involves no more touching than a wipe does? Er not really, you have to actually insert the suppository, you don't insert a wipe.
I used some recently after a minor operation. I hate that feeling that there's something up there that needs to come out.

AnotherGirlsParadise Thu 13-Nov-14 15:44:07

It didn't actually come up in conversation like that, Bulbasaur - it was some nosy bugger rummaging through my medicine cabinet looking for paracetamol, and she came across the suppository packet. Cue a lot of questions and a lot of gossip at nursery, because apparently she has nothing better to talk about hmm

LittleBairn Thu 13-Nov-14 15:44:08

I must be mistaken because I assumed you actually had to stick it up their arse? Not just touch the area with a wipe.
I can't understand why you wouldn't want to use oral?
Obviously its different if they refuse the oral meds and they need them.

One of my charges was like this when young but after a few years of not needing meds and forgetting 'how it was done' she was horrified at age 5 when her mother went to give her some medication and tried to take down her knickers. grin needless to say she was more than happy to take Oral medication.

NorwaySpruce Thu 13-Nov-14 15:44:26

The 'attitude' is really just because suppositories are so unfamiliar to people in the UK.

I get the idea of how they work, and in theory I should love them, but... I'm sitting here wondering about administration.

At what age to children self administer them?

The drama involved in getting my 8 year old to swallow anything has to be seen to be believed.

I actually, literally, can not imagine the conversation that would ensue if I had to instruct him on the finer points of inserting a suppository grin The neighbours would be beating down the door to find out what I was subjecting the poor incredulous child to!

Or is it only for toddlers and babies?

LittleBairn Thu 13-Nov-14 15:46:33

It is a visceral reaction to the idea of a child being upset at taking medication being held down and putting something up their rectum without their consent.
We teach our children now a days that their body is private and no one get to touch it without consent. By doing this I would be worried about the blurring boundaries for my children.

AnotherGirlsParadise Thu 13-Nov-14 15:48:28

NorwaySpruce, the ones I have are just for babies and toddlers - I think I'd rather take constant spitting out of medicine and endless screaming than trying to give a school-age child a suppository! grin

AnotherGirlsParadise Thu 13-Nov-14 15:54:23

LittleBairn, I totally get that, but it only seems to be people over here who really rail against it. If either of my kids had shown ANY kind of distress, no way would I have used suppositories. I'm just curious as to why they're so broadly accepted in such a closely neighbouring country - which also has similar attitudes to bodily autonomy - and not here.

TinyTear Thu 13-Nov-14 15:54:48

In Portugal they were fairly common...

I think I put them by myself around the age of 7 or 8 and until then my mum did it... but then started telling the doctors I wanted tablets instead...

Of course now at the ripe age of 41 had to have 12 weeks of twice daily progesterone suppositories in this pregnancy, so got used to it again as I knew it was for a good aim...

NoMarymary Thu 13-Nov-14 15:56:49

Suppositories are brilliant for vomiting feverish kids. Wish they did antibiotic suppositories. Used to live in Germany and they are popular there too.

AnotherGirlsParadise Thu 13-Nov-14 15:58:57

My youngest DS is 3mo and struggles to take oral meds due to reflux - I'm not willing to see him in discomfort if he's poorly when I know there's another, perfectly good way of treating him. Our GP has no issue with it either - suppositories for children are available on the NHS, just uncommon.

PacificDogwood Thu 13-Nov-14 15:59:07

They are common in all of Europe, except the UK - and by extension not in the US grin

On every c-section thread on here I urge people to accept (or ask for) and Voltarol/Diclofenac suppository in theatre (if they can take antiinflammatories) - 'tis the bee's knees in terms of post-op pain relief as far as I am concerned. And much less side-effecty than morphine… <shudder>

I grew up with suppositories and gave them myself (from about 8 or 9? cannot remember as it was a total non-event).

I think you Anglo-saxons over think it a tad tbh grin

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 13-Nov-14 15:59:46

I'm British and live in the US. All my mum friends here take their babies' temperatures anally by inserting thermometers. I can't think of anything worse. My friend's little boy had constipation and the paediatrician used a thermometer to prod about a bit, which led to some kind of poo explosion. The Americans can't understand my revulsion and I can't get my head around parents who aren't medically trained inserting things into their children's bottoms. One of those great cultural divides I guess...

PacificDogwood Thu 13-Nov-14 16:00:04

Paracetamol suppositories for children/babies are incredibly expensive here - cheap as chips in Germany, I used to stock up when I went home.

IEatBadgers Thu 13-Nov-14 16:00:12

I'm in Ireland so not British but I think they are quite widely used over here. I used the all the time with my medicine hating ds, my only issue is that they are so expensive, about 10 euro for a pack of 10.
Ds never minded me inserting them, it was quick, easy and painless. Giving him meds orally was far, far more distressing for him.

FannyFifer Thu 13-Nov-14 16:02:53

Paralink suppositories are pretty commonly used in Ireland, they were a life saver when I had vomiting kids with high temps.

OffallyAwfulOffler Thu 13-Nov-14 16:04:19

I got paracetamol suppositories on prescription for toddler DS as he is notoriously difficult to get medicine into. Sometimes I can hide it in raspberry or strawberry yoghurt, but if he is in complete shutdown mode, up the bum it is. Surprisingly easy, a little push and then the bum hole almost swallows it grin.

LurkingHusband Thu 13-Nov-14 16:06:33

Oral administration of any medicine intended for the bloodstream is probably the worst possible method ... having to withstand the vagaries of peoples erratic digestive system makes for a vast spread of responses.

Far better to place it in direct contact with blood-rich membranes, and let it be absorbed in a controlled manner.

Winterbells Thu 13-Nov-14 16:08:03

Suppositories are widely used where I come from and I was also completely surprised by the comments I received when I once mentioned I used them on my children (it was relevant to the conversation). Someone even threatened to report me to social services. It's absolutely ridiculous. People here think nothing of holding their young children down and forcing liquid medicine in to their mouths and watching them splutter/choke/vomit which then renders the medicine useless! But if you mention suppositories then you are considered a child abuser.

ArgyMargy Thu 13-Nov-14 16:10:09

YABU. Every British child is in love with the taste of Calpol.

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