Advanced search

WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. 5. If one topic or question threatens to overwhelm the webchat, MNHQ will usually ask for people to stop repeating the same question or point. More here.

Live webchat with Dr Dawn Harper this Friday, 4 Sept, at 1pm

(79 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 02-Sep-09 11:46:28

Hello, we're kicking off our post-hols webchats by welcoming Dr Dawn Harper this Friday at 1pm.

Dawn's a part-time GP in Gloucestershire and you may well have seen, read or heard her giving medical advice because she's a regular on lots of programmes and in the press.

She's married to another GP, they have three children and in her spare time (she has any?), she's a backing vocalist for a Motown/70s dance band.

She's joining us for a timely chat, sponsored by Kleenex Anti-Viral Tissues, about how to avoid catching colds and flu, and how to prevent them taking out whole families if one of you gets a horrid lurgy.

Because of tight timing, Dawn won't be able to answer advance questions, but we're checking if she can answer any that she doesn't get to during the webchat afterwards.

Hope you can join us.


alypaly Wed 02-Sep-09 14:02:29


DrDawnHarper Wed 02-Sep-09 16:09:45


DrDawnHarper Thu 03-Sep-09 09:55:48

thank you Geraldine

rubyslippers Fri 04-Sep-09 09:03:38

may not be able to post but if there is time would be interested to know whether those sprays and things which promise to kill 99.9 % of bugs are any good?

also, what is the point of anti bac hand gel when viruses are on the loose - surely good hand washing is the best thing?

thanks smile

StripeySuit Fri 04-Sep-09 11:18:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UnquietDad Fri 04-Sep-09 12:48:37

My mother is obsessed with the children hand-washing "properly" all the time, i.e. between fingers and backs of hands too. Is she right or does she fuss too much?

And I say, that is a gorgeous photo. grin

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-Sep-09 12:57:59

Hi, Dr Dawn Harper will be online shortly to answer any questions you've got about colds and flu, and the best ways to stop them spreading.

morningpaper Fri 04-Sep-09 12:58:28

Can you tell me the correct procedure involving alcohol gels and handwashing?

What is the best way to teach one's children's hands of germs without turning them into Lady Macbeth?

DrDawnHarper Fri 04-Sep-09 12:58:31

Hello Unquiet Dad - I'm afraid for once mum probably is right! Most germs are spread via our hands and simple washing wit soap goes a long way to keeping bugs at bay. Between the fingers and the base of the nails are common places to be missed.

DrDawnHarper Fri 04-Sep-09 13:00:30

Hello Morning Paper
I know what you mean - you don't want to turn your children into neurotics but hand washing before eating and after visiting the toilet is a good habit to teach them. Soap and water are effective against most of the bugs but if they aren't available then an alcohol hand wash will do the same thing

belgo Fri 04-Sep-09 13:01:51

Welcome to mumsnet Dawn smile.

I have two questions:
To keep a child's high temperature under control, should ibuprofen and paracetamol be used alternating, or one or the other?

Would you recommend vitamin supplements for children during the winter months? What about for a breastfed baby?

StripeySuit Fri 04-Sep-09 13:03:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hairycaterpillar Fri 04-Sep-09 13:03:34

Seriously anti-viral tissues...surely there cannot be any evidence base to show they are any better than just normal tissues being disposed of hygienically?

DrDawnHarper Fri 04-Sep-09 13:03:40

Hello ruby slippers
To be honest I don't mind whether people use soap and water or sanitising gels - both will do the trick. As for looking after ill people - you can minimise the spread of infection by cleaning hands and surfaces regularly and coughing or sneezing into a tissue and disposing of it immediately. Viruses can live for up to 24 hours in an ordinary tissue but 99.9% of them are killed within minutes in an anti-viral tissue so worth considering if you are out and about

DrDawnHarper Fri 04-Sep-09 13:05:23

Hello hairy caterpillar 0 you are right - if tissues are disposed of hygenically and quickly then that is good enough but in fact viruses can live for up to 24 hours in an ordinary tissue so if it is left lying around it is possible that someone else could pick it up. It's not always possible to "bin it" immediately and that is where anti-viral tissues are useful

DrDawnHarper Fri 04-Sep-09 13:06:59

Hello Stripey Suit - the kleenex anti-viral tissue has a middle layer which traps and kills viruses within minutes of contact whilst an ordinary tissue will trap the virus but it could survive for up to 24 hours so could easily be passed onto anyone who touched that tissue

CMOTdibbler Fri 04-Sep-09 13:08:32

But surely the point of tissues is that you bin them after use, and it's not like the viruses are going to be jumping out of the bin are they ?

Any actual evidence for whether using antiviral tissues will actually cut down on transmission rates ? And the 99.9% figure is always suspicious to me smile

DrDawnHarper Fri 04-Sep-09 13:09:54

Hello Belgo - Bothe paracetamol and ibuprofen will help bring a child's temperature down so I often advise using them in alternation. There is some evidence that ibuprofen is slightly more effective so worth trying first. As for vitamin supplements - if you child has a good balanced diet he should be getting all the vitamins he needs without needing to supplement. In some cases there are specific indications for supplementing but unless your doctor has advised this I'm a firm believer in trying to get all a child's nutrition into him with food

plus3 Fri 04-Sep-09 13:10:44

is this just a rolling advert for kleenex?

oneopinionatedmother Fri 04-Sep-09 13:11:53

dont you think too much concern over hygeine makes people less resistant to bugs and more prone to allergies? hence the vast increase in allergies in recent years, particularly in cleaner homes?

belgo Fri 04-Sep-09 13:12:07

Thank you for answering my non-kleenex related questionsgrin

DrDawnHarper Fri 04-Sep-09 13:12:14

Hello CMOTdribbler - you are right - we should be disposing of tissues straigt away and that is the whole point of the "Catchit, Bin it, Kill it" campaign but there are times when that isn't always practical - like when you are travelling in which case an anti-viral tissue is a good solution. The viruses don't jump about you are right but it surprises most people to learn that 80% of bugs are passed by had not by coughs and sneezes so leaving dirty tissues around could leave other people exposed to your bugs

DrDawnHarper Fri 04-Sep-09 13:14:40

Hello oneopinioated mother (I like your nickname!) - there has been a lot of debate about our obsession with cleanliness and one theory for the rise in allergic diseases is that we have become too clean which has left our immune systems with something else to look for, and I'm not a fan of bleaching and disinfecting everything in sight but handwashing should be routine and is an important part of preventing the spread of coughs and colds from person to person

belgo Fri 04-Sep-09 13:15:06

That's very interesting about the high number of viruses passed on by tissues being left around - would that be a case for going back to using old fashioned hankerchiefs, which should be keep in your pocket and not left lying around?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: