Create a Home Pharmacy: 5 Medicine Cabinet Essentials

medicine cabinetIs your medicine cabinet an unruly jumble of expired medications and toothbrushes that have seen better days? Do you ever wonder if you’re truly prepared for unexpected household emergencies?

Every year, more than 2,000 children die from accidents in the home. Accidental poisoning from unsecured medications and burn injuries top that list.

If you have young children at home, this article’s for you. We’ll give you the rundown on which items you should keep in your medicine cabinet at all times.

1. Digital Thermometer

The first and most important item to keep in your home pharmacy is a digital thermometer. When your children are sick, it’s a good idea to take their temperatures every hour or two.

In general, if your child has a temperature that crests above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to see a doctor.

While some stores still sell old-fashioned glass thermometers, it’s best to avoid using them with children. If they bite down, the glass will break and the toxic mercury inside will spill out.

If your child is under the age of four, you should take their temperature under their arms. It may be about one degree higher than their actual temperature, so just figure that into your calculations.

2. Bandages

Another vital set of items to stock in your medicine cabinet is bandages. If you can, invest in a set of bandages that offers a wide array of sizes.

Active kids tend to shed plastic band-aids pretty quickly, so look for high-quality fabric bandages. You should also keep a roll of medical tape and gauze pads in your home in order to cover and treat larger burns.

In the event of small household cuts or burns, clean the wound with alcohol and put a band-aid on as soon as possible. You can also apply a thin coat of antibiotic ointment to the burn, letting it air out after it’s been covered for 12 hours straight.

Prevention is the best medicine, so check your home regularly for burn hazards and sharp edges. Secure all of your outlets with plastic outlet covers and make sure your cleaning supplies are locked up under your kitchen sink.

3. Lockbox

Even a common medicine like Aspirin or Tylenol can potentially be toxic to pets and young children. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep medication in a secured lockbox.

If you ever suspect that a child or pet has gotten into your medication, call your local poison control center immediately. To safely remove expired medication from your home, ask your pharmacist about their medication disposal protocols.

In addition to locking up your medication, make sure that it’s manufactured according to the strictest safety protocols. If you’re buying medication online, look for websites that guarantee licensed pharmacists and pharmacies.

Take a moment and read more now about finding high-quality prescription medications that you can trust.

4. Honey

Wait a minute, isn’t honey just for tea? The good news is that honey is a powerful antiseptic medicine that has been used for thousands of years, making it one of the most versatile components of your medicine cabinet.

You can use honey to clean wounds, to soothe a sore throat, or to treat allergies. If you’re using it for seasonal allergies, try to get wild, raw, local honey.

You don’t have to wait for a cold in order to eat honey. Just take a tablespoon every day, either from a spoon or mixed into a hot drink.

Honey can help lower your blood pressure, reduce your “bad cholesterol,” and boost your levels of antioxidants. You can do a deep cleanse by mixing honey with a little bit of tabasco sauce and lemon juice, and you can keep your motor running by adding it to your daily smoothie.

It’s a great-tasting way to focus on your health, and it should have a place of pride in every medicine cabinet (even if you keep it in the kitchen).

5. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is another absolute must-have for any home. No matter your skin tone or ethnicity, the sun can do permanent damage.

Look for a waterproof sunscreen that you can spray on before you leave the house. There are also some shampoos and hair products that have sunscreen in them.

We don’t realize it, but our scalps can burn, even in winter. Over the course of several years or even decades, the skin on our scalps and necks can become irreversibly damaged, leading to cancerous moles.

There is no sunscreen that will block all of the sun’s UV light, but SPF 50 blocks about 98 percent of its harmful rays. If you have young children who like to play outside, it’s worth your while to invest in a high-SPF sunscreen.

When you buy sunscreen, make sure that you also get a lip balm that will protect you from the sun. If your lips are regularly dry, even cracking, you might be dealing with sun damage without realizing it.

It only takes a few minutes to apply your sunscreen every day and to apply it to your children when they go outside to play. Safety first!

More Essentials for Your Medicine Cabinet

Every medicine cabinet is a little bit different, but there are a few more essentials to include here. You should always have some cough syrup on hand, some over-the-counter pain relief like Aspirin or Tylenol, and some lotion for dry skin.

If your hair is often dry, you might want to invest in a deep conditioner. You can apply it at least once per week and let it soak in for half an hour, then rinse and air dry.

As you build up your medicine cabinet, pack a little mini-bag and keep it in your car. To start, you might want to buy a first aid kit that is specifically designed for your car.

Now that you’ve got the inside scoop about dealing with basic cuts and scrapes, check out our other health blogs for more valuable information!

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One thought on “Create a Home Pharmacy: 5 Medicine Cabinet Essentials

  1. Regarding sunscreens, be aware that many sold in the US contain chemicals that harm sea life and are potentially carcinogenic for the user. Those with zinc oxide are more of a barrier type and can work fine. Consult Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) to learn which ones have safer ratings. Coconut oil has an SPF of 5 BTW.
    And let’s not forget, we all need sunshine to live and thrive and probably don’t get enough on a daily basis, due to our indoor living and ongoing efforts by certain entities to block the sun’s rays.

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