Liz decided to make her idea a reality and co-founded the Family HQ app with her sister, Dr Sarah Gleeson, a GP and rural emergency doctor.
Family HQ, launched last year, is an all-in-one app to manage medication doses and times.
“It’s designed to be at your fingertips when you need it, no more scraps of paper that easily go missing, no more middle of the night conversations of who gave the last dose and when,” says Liz.
“It’s also very useful if you do find yourself at hospital with your child.
“Instead of trying to remember when the last dose was, or how much was given, or what strength medication you have at home, all that information is stored in the app, ready to show the triage nurse.”
The app is a two-user platform, so both parents or multiple carers can have access to the information easily.
It also doesn’t matter what brand you use, as the app has all the strengths that are available on the Australian market for paracetamol and ibuprofen products.
How to get children to take their medication
Mary Poppins opted for a catchy tune to get the Banks’ children to take their medication, but every parent knows the challenge in getting a sick, grumpy child to willingly take their medication.
“My first advice would be to not threaten children when it comes to taking their medication,” advises Liz.
“Threats of, ‘if you don’t take your medication, you’ll need an injection’, or, ‘if you don’t take it, we’ll have to go to hospital’, don’t really help and usually just backfire when that child is really sick and does need to go to hospital – they are usually terrified when they do present to the emergency department.”
Instead, she advises positive associations with medication before they are sick.
“Let your children play with the medicine syringe before they become sick,” she recommends.
“Let them play with it in the bath, drawing the water up, squirting it out.
“Or even give them water or watered-down juice through the syringe.
“These types of experiences help prevent children from seeing the syringe as an only negative experience.”
Liz’s advice, for babies, is to always put the syringe on the inside side of their mouth, instead of the in the middle straight down their throat, to avoid them gagging and potentially vomiting the medication.
For younger children, Liz’s fail-safe trick is to draw the medication into the syringe to ensure you have the right amount, and then put the medication on a spoon and sprinkle hundreds and thousands on top.
“Children think it’s a magical treat,” she adds.
“Distraction also works really well, for example, sit them in front of their favourite cartoon, or a favourite one in the emergency department (pre-COVID days) is bubbles.”