If your house is like mine you have been buying Kleenex in bulk (or giving up and handing someone a roll of paper), dowsing the house in Lysol, and been dreaming of spring days while cradling stuffy and fevered babies. It is cold and flu season, and has it been a rough one. Also, as every mom before we have gone running to the store for some magical elixir to aid in recovery. Here I would love to talk a little about the main things we should all keep handy in our medicine boxes.
Let’s start with basic equipment that is essential to have on hand. From thermometers to plastic gloves there are some things that we should all keep a stock of. In recent years the technological advances have meant access for all of us to affordable user friendly thermometers. I have one that is handy to take temperatures on the temple. Mine I find runs pretty right on for temperature taking, though I do still keep a standard one on hand for under the tongue, armpit, and little baby bums. Let’s face it, kids will not always rest easy while you hold a stick to their temple. Another tool that I have multiple styles of are tweezers. These are used to get things out of abrasions and to remove slivers. Additional tools to have on hand are a nasal aspirator (if anyone in the house is too young to blow their nose), plastic gloves, measuring spoons for medicine, and scissors.
Moving on from these there are medical supplies that can be stored for longer periods of times given proper conditions. Things such as band-aids, gauze, q-tips, and bandaging tapes fall into this category. These will all be things you will need for incidents from scraped knees to imagined boo-boos for littles. I try my best to keep a full box of band-aids on hand, but with two toddlers in the house they are the second most popular commodity in the house (second only to their cup of milk).
Next you are looking at medications and things that can expire if left laying around too long. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are a given. These are the two best inventions since disposable diapers, in my opinion. Alongside those, here in central Texas, the best standard to keep is allergy medicine. Any time the weather changes some allergen is kicked up. Also, petroleum jelly, anti-bacterial gel (Neosporin), hydrogen peroxide (keep it in the dark or it oxidizes into water), rubbing alcohol, Vicks Vaporub, and cough drops are all good ideas. I also keep the Vicks pads for the humidifier in there because it can be hard to remember where I set them otherwise.
Beyond the standard medicine cabinet I try to keep things like honey and pineapple juice on hand. These are both excellent treatments for a cough with kids, often even when cough medicines don’t help.
It is a good idea to clean through your medicine cabinet a couple times a year. It’s a great way to find out of date items, cull bottles that are very nearly empty, and to ascertain what you need to pick up more of. It’s always such a good feeling to know you can handle whatever cold and flu season will throw your way, without needing a midnight run to the local pharmacy.