Calling all dads

November 8, 2012

This week is Ask Your Pharmacist Week where men – including dads – are being encouraged to take a more active interest in medicines and wellbeing.

Steve Jones, a father, tells us: “The demands of having a sick child place the whole family under pressure and medicines are usually an important part of most treatments. As a father and also a husband, we tend to avoid becoming involved in medicines.”

A report by the National Pharmacy Association shows men aren’t taking full advantage of the NHS support to maintain good health that is available on their doorsteps:

  • More men than women admit that their understanding of medicines is poor
  • Men are twice as likely as women to take a new prescription medicine without first reading the patient information leaflet or seeking professional advice.
  • Men tend to rely on their female partners to stock the household medicines cabinet

Thousands of pharmacies throughout the UK will be displaying Two Small Steps for Man’ window posters, encouraging men to step inside the pharmacy and enquire about the support for themselves and their children.

According to the Men’s Health Forum, pharmacies have many characteristics that men look for in a service, such as accessibility, flexibility and informality (Racks of make-up and no spanners: An action research project into men’s use of pharmacy to improve their health, Men’s Health Forum, 2010.)

Steve is a member of our parents and carers panel. He notes, “It can be difficult to strike a balance between too much and too little information but this is where the Medicines for Children leaflets are so helpful. I would advise fathers to speak to their pharmacists – ours is a great help – and avoid the scares you can find by trawling less reputable websites.”

So, Ask Your Pharmacist or visit www.askyourpharmacist.co.uk. And, to find more information about children’s medicines, look through www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk.