Tips for a well-stocked medicine cabinet

Your family needs a well-stocked medicine cabinet so you can respond quickly when an illness or accident strikes. Use this list for all the basic supplies. Remember to place all medicines out of the reach of children (and pets)!

For Pain, Headaches, and Fevers

  • Aspirin
  • Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (such as Advil and Motrin)
  • Thermometer: digital for babies as a rectal reading is most accurate. Four years old + it's fine to use an oral thermometer. (Oral thermometers can often also be used under the arm for kids over 3 months who won't sit still for a rectal reading, but aren't ready to hold a thermometer in the mouth.)
  • Petroleum jelly or K-Y Jelly to lubricate a rectal thermometer.

For Cuts and Burns

  • Gauze, bandages, and medical tape
  • Antiseptic for wound cleaning (such as hydrogen peroxide)
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Antibiotic ointment for preventing infections from wounds
  • Aloe vera gel

For Congestion, Colds, and Coughs

  • Cough medicine
  • Decongestant
  • Throat lozenges

For Allergies and Itching

  • Antihistamine
  • Hydrocortisone cream (for persistent itching)
  • Calamine lotion
  • Eyedrops

For Digestive Issues

  • Antacids (in tablet or liquid form)
  • Anti-diarrhea treatment
  • Laxatives

For sore muscles

  • Muscle cream, balm
  • Self-heating wrap or heating pad

For Accidental Poisoning

  • Activated charcoal

Miscellaneous

  • Sunscreen
  • Antifungal creams (athlete's foot relief)
  • Instant cold compress
  • Insect repellant
  • Dosage spoon or cup
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Scissors
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers for removing splinters and ticks
  • Eye wash and eye shield

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