We never know what tomorrow brings health-wise, this is why it is important to have a readily accessible medical cabinet in case of a medical emergency. From bruises to coughs and fever, a medical cabinet covers you against minor health issues that do not require a hospital visit.
However, deciding on what to keep in your medicine cabinet and where to store it could prove quite tricky. Hence, we have taken it upon ourselves to share with you the top medical supplies you need in your medicine cabinet.
1. Allergy medication
A large number of Americans suffer various forms of allergic reactions, with most of them also concerned about immunotherapy for allergies. This is why this medication takes a foremost position on this list.
Depending on where you live and the time of the year, your medicine cabinet should contain eye drops and antihistamines. Antihistamines help treat itching, hives, and allergic reactions. You may want to stock both hydrocortisone cream and oral antihistamines which could come in handy during a serious allergic reaction.
2. Pain reliever
A good painkiller will treat pain and reduce fever in adults and children when used at the appropriate dosage. Some pain medication may require ingestion every 12 hours, while others may need to be taken every four hours. It is important to know the right dosage for every drug to avoid abuse.
When choosing a pain reliever to stock in your medicine cabinet, ensure you put the needs of your household into consideration. If you have children, you may need to buy a separate pain medication for them.
While feeling someone’s forehead may be a nice first step to check for fever, having a thermometer is important to ensure accurate temperature reading. If you need suggestions on the best type of thermometer to get, standard digital thermometers are quite inexpensive and give accurate results.
4. Tweezers or scissors
You need to keep a pair of tweezers with pointy ends as they are useful for removing splinters and ticks. Scissors are also important to cut bandages or medication proving difficult to unwrap.
For households with young children or elderly people, having an anti-diarrheal in your medicine cabinet is essential. Anti-diarrheal helps slow down bowel movement, which in turn makes the stool more solid.
6. Anti-bacterial cream or ointment
These medications are used to treat minor skin infections resulting from scrapes or insect bites. Creams are water-soluble, so they should be applied after the wound or sore must have to be cleaned with soap and water.
Ointments meanwhile are oil-based and can be used when the affected person might be exposed to water. It is recommended that a person using the anti-bacterial cream applies it when they are less likely to sweat.
7. Decongestant, cough suppressant, and flu relief medicine
Most coughs go on their own after a few days, but decongestants are useful when you have a cold and can’t breathe through your nose. It is usually found on standard shelves of the pharmacy. It is advisable not to rely heavily on them so that the body doesn’t start depending on them.
8. Activated charcoal
If someone accidentally ingests a poisonous substance, activated charcoal works perfectly in removing the contents of the stomach. If a situation like this occurs, you must immediately call 9-1-1, but if professional help isn’t forthcoming, you should administer activated charcoal.
Various health research has shown this medication poses no harm to a patient, with the most common side effects being a black tongue and/or stool, vomiting, and diarrhea.
This medication may also cause constipation if overused, so be certain to adhere to the dosage guidelines strictly.
Once you have your medical cabinet fully stocked, keep them in a safe spot beyond the reach of children. Keep your medicine cabinet away from the bathroom too, as humidity can affect medication and reduce its effectiveness.
Medicine cabinets are meant to cater to common, less serious illnesses. If your child is down with an illness beyond your medicine cabinet, it would be best to visit a family medicine specialist equipped with the right facilities and equipment to ensure urgent pediatric care and adequate treatment of your ward.