Leah Ashby like many mothers in Moose Jaw and across Canada is dealing with the effects of the scarce supply of children’s pain and fever medication.
Ashby has a 10-month-year-old daughter who is currently battling an illness and without the proper children's medication, she has been left scrambling.
“Without it there was no way to get rid of a fever, which can cause febrile seizures that can be pretty dangerous,” says Ashby. “We’ve gone everywhere to try and find it. She recently came down with a normal cold and it just escalated from there and she hasn’t been able to keep anything down either.”
She says that she has looked at every pharmacy, grocery store, and other locations that may have a stock of medication, but has come up empty. Even her mom came up empty of the children's medication while travelling to another city.
In the meantime, Ashby has had to get creative in trying to bring down her daughter's fever.
“We’ve done lukewarm and cold clothes on her neck and forehead and kept her as still as we can. We’ve also done cold water and teething toys that are cold and any solids that we’ve tried to feed have been cold to try and bring her fever down.”
She adds that the inability to access the proper medication has been very stressful for her and her daughter.
The shortage was fuelled by a triple threat of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, a common fall and winter illness in children known as RSV.
That illness emerged in the late summer, earlier than expected, and continues to slam hospitals.
Earlier this week, the Canadian government said that more children’s pain and fever medication will hopefully hit retail shelves in the coming weeks, as they are in the process of importing more.
Prior to this announcement, Canada secured more acetaminophen and ibuprofen and distributed them to hospitals to treat sick children.
In a recent trip to the hospital, Ashby was able to secure some Tylenol for her daughter, and now she has turned a corner.
“She’s on the mend, she’s starting to be more herself and she’s laughing again, which is good to see.”
Ashby isn’t the only mother in Moose Jaw dealing with this, as it’s having a country-wide effect on parents.
“Every time I scroll through Facebook, I feel like I see a post about it. I know there isn’t a whole lot that they can do but they do should try and find another system.”
For the time being Health Canada is asking consumers to only purchase what they need to ensure other parents and caregivers have access to the medicine.