Self Care – Introduction

What is Self care?

Self-care is about keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when to get advice from your GP or another health professional.

Self-care is recommended when you have a minor condition which doesn’t normally need medical care (from a doctor or nurse) or any treatment in order to get better.  In practice this means a person decides that they can manage their illness without seeing a doctor.

Self-care starts before you become ill.  This includes basic hygiene measures like appropriate handwashing.



Washing your hands properly with soap and warm water is the single most important thing you can do to help reduce the spread of infections and help protect you, your family and those around you.  Children are particularly at risk of picking up infections and spreading them to other people.

The diagram below outlines the World Health Organisation advice on how to wash hands properly.


For more information on the following please click here

♦  Why handwashing is so important

♦  When to wash your hands

♦  Video detailing what the proper handwashing technique is


When explaining the importance of handwashing to children you may find it useful to show them this 5 minute animation produced by Health Protection Scotland.

The University of Southampton have also put together a questionnaire Germ Defence which provides handy tips on how to minimize the risk of picking up infections.


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