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What to do when kids need medical care on holidays

Holidays are an important time for families. They give us a chance to rewind, reconnect and rejuvenate, and they can offer great memories that last a lifetime. But, though it may feel like being in a sanctuary impervious to the inconveniences of daily life, itís important to know what to do when things go wrong; the reality is that kids can still get sick on weekends, public holidays or while youíre away travelling, and if youíre unable to get in touch with your regular GP, this can be a significant source of stress for families.

So what should you do when your littlies get sick when you canít get in touch with your usual GP? Weíve rounded up a few top tips to help you.

1. Stay calm

Donít let stress take over the situation. Your kids can sense it, and if they feel frightened it will likely aggravate the stress their own body is under.

2. Ask an expert

If youíre worried about the symptoms your tots are presenting, you can call Health Direct. This is a government hotline where you can talk to a registered nurse and get some professional advice. The Health Direct website is helpful, too, with a symptom checker that can help you narrow it down.

3. Know where to go

Once you know what you need to be armed with, find an open pharmacy. Hereís a national list of late-night pharmacies that are open on public holidays.

4. Get tech-savvy

Modern technology can make this experience less stressful if you know how to use it. Instant Consult is a free app that connects patients with an Australian registered GP through video call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can get in touch with somebody you can trust no matter where you are in Australia.

5. Leave 000 for emergencies

If you need medical assistance but it isnít emergency, itís important to save 000 for life-threatening situations. If you need to see a GP face-to-face outside of normal business hours, you can call 13SICK to get in touch with the National Home Doctor Service, who visit patients at home on weekends and late at night.

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