There’s not enough hand sanitizer in the world to keep even the most cautious person from getting sick. Illness and injuries will eventually catch up with us all, but the important question is, will you be prepared when they do? If your medicine cabinet is missing any of these feel-better essentials, you could be spending more time under the weather than you need to.
Be sure to keep a digital thermometer on hand to monitor temperature. They give highly accurate readings and are much safer than old-fashioned mercury thermometers.
Antiseptic wipes are great at killing infection-causing bacteria in dirty cuts or when you don’t have access to soap and water. They are kid-friendly and easily transported if you go hiking or on family outings. Be sure to look for the kind that uses Isopropyl Alcohol as the main ingredient.
Did you know that a simple splinter is loaded with bacteria? That’s why it’s important to remove them ASAP with tweezers. Also, tweezers are highly effective in removing ticks, which can carry Lyme disease and other harmful infections such as Powassan.
Whether it is indigestion, nausea or diarrhea, a bottle of Pepto-Bismol can be just what the doctor ordered to soothe your troubled stomach. Also, be sure to keep antacids like Tums around for more mild cases sour stomach or heartburn.
As a nation, Americans will contract over 1 billion colds this year alone. It makes sense, that cold medicine is another must-have for your medicine cabinet. Remember that decongestants help with stuffy noses, cough suppressants help with dry coughs and expectorants tame wet coughs with mucous.
If you put in a long day at the office or pushed yourself a little too hard at the gym, pain relievers can offer the relief you need for that headache or sore muscles. Aspirin is good for reducing fevers, but should not be given to children under 18 or anyone with a sensitive stomach; Ibuprofen and Naproxen work well to reduce swelling, but also can cause stomach pain; and acetaminophen is a good choice overall for pain relief.
Do you know that feeling when you need a Band-Aid but don’t have one? Band-Aids are an essential for any well-stocked medicine cabinet, so be sure to always have a box with several different sizes on hand. Use them for any cuts or scrapes that come into contact with clothes or in areas that may get exposed to dirty surfaces like hands or feet.
Some additional medicine cabinet considerations
- Don’t store medicine in the bathroom
Store medicine in a cool, dry place like a linen closet. Heat and moisture can cause medicine to lose its effectiveness and in some situations even become harmful.
- Clean out your medicine cabinet regularly
When medicine expires, it begins to lose effectiveness. Be sure to look through your medicine cabinet every few months and discard any items that have expired. It’s a good idea to check medicine when you reset the clocks during time changes.