You never know when someone in your family is going to be sick or in distress. You may assume that you’ll always be able to get what you need but that may not be the case – weather conditions may prevent you from getting to the pharmacy or, when you get there, the drug store may simply be out of stock of the medication that you need. You may even find yourself feeling too ill to go out for a run to the drug store.
Your family’s health and safety is not a gamble like PlayCroco games. It’s important to keep a basic supply of medications and remedies on hand. It’s true that these items have expiration dates and you should throw away anything that’s out of date. But the loss of money is small in comparison to being unable to treat yourself or someone in your family because you couldn’t be bothered to have medications on hand.
Here is a simple list of inexpensive meds that should always be available in your house.
Acetaminophen and aspirin are pain relievers and fever reducers. Some people use them interchangeably but there are times that it’s better to take acetaminophen and other times when it’s better to take aspirin. So it’s a good idea to have both in your medicine cabinet.
- Aspirin is generally regarded as being safer than acetaminophen but when using it as a pain reliever, higher doses are required.
- Aspirin is generally regarded as being a more effective pain reliever for a periodic paid while acetaminophen is generally suggested for chronic pain relief.
- Both aspirin and acetaminophen have side effects. Check the instruction pamphlet to make sure that you are taking the pain relief alternative that won’t interfere with any of your other medications. If you have a side effect, stop immediately and consult with your medical professional:
- don’t give aspirin to children under 16
- ibuprofen may irritate asthma
- pregnant women should not take ibuprofen
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a soothing natural ointment which is used mainly for skin problems and as a disinfectant. Tea tree oil kills bacteria and fungus and reduces allergic skin reactions. It sooths bites and stings and acts as a natural antibiotic to protect against infections from cuts, bites, bruises, etc. Even when it doesn’t help, tea tree oil will never exacerbate a problem and it cleans and disinfects wounds as well as any other product but doesn’t sting.
Antihistamines treat itching from hives, bites and allergic reactions. It’s a good idea to stock both an antihistamine cream or gel and an oral antihistamine which may be helpful if someone has a serious allergic reaction.
4. Decongestant and Cough Suppressant
If you come down with the flu, the last thing that you want to be doing is running out to the drug store for some medicinal relief. You can take aspirin or acetaminophen to reduce the fever but if you feel the congestion moving down to your chest, it’s a good idea to have some decongestant and cough suppressant on hand.
The decongestant helps you to breath more easily by narrowing the blood vessels in your nose to shrink the tissue inside the nose and allow air to pass through more easily. The cough suppressant blocks the cough reflex which keeps you from hacking away – especially recommended for nighttime rest.
5. Activated Charcoal
No one thinks that their child will get into something poisonous but unfortunately, it happens with frightening regularity. If you have reason to think that your child has ingested something dangerous, by all means, call the emergency services. But if you can give them activated charcoal you have a few minutes head start on the ambulance.
Activated charcoal removes all contents of the stomach without harming the child. Worse comes to worse, the child will suffer from black stools, black tongue, diarrhea or vomiting or diarrhea. Learn the dosage guidelines before the moment of panic so if something happens, you’ll be prepared.
It’s easier to dehydrate than you might think. Most people connect dehydration with not drinking enough during hot weather or while engaging in a sports activity but if you’re not careful to drink a proper amount of liquid, you can become dehydrated within a matter of minutes. Dehydration is serious, especially with children who often become dehydrated if they have a bout of diarrhea or vomiting.
Keep a sports drink such as Gatorade in your medicine cabinet. These sports drinks balance elctrolytes and salts to help restore your body’s natural balance of fluid and minerals. Start by taking sips of the Gatorade and slowly work yourself up to drinking the whole glass. If you can’t drink at all, it’s time to head to the hospital.
Arnica is a homeopathic remedy which relieves bruises, swelling and pains from injuries or surgeries. Arnica can be used as a cream to be rubbed on wounds, as an antiseptic, as an anti-inflammatory and for pain relief. Many people use arnica for osteoarthritis. It’s a first aid for any type of wound or bruise.
8. Saline Eyewash Solution
Even if you wear glasses, it’s not unusual to get something in your eye. The more you rub, the more irritated your eye becomes. Saline eyewash solution is an easy way to sooth your eyes within minutes from any type of irritation.
9. Black Tea
Black tea is a quick, effective and cost-efficient way to sooth your eyes, especially if you have an eye infection or you have a cold that’s affecting your eyes. Make a strong quarter cup of tea (one tea bag in a quarter cup of boiling water) and let the tea cool. Then, using a cotton ball, soak up the tea in the cotton and lay the cotton on your eyeball. Continue doing this on both eyes, even if the irritation is only in one eye, since the irritation often passes from one eye to the next. Change the cotton ball from one application to the next to prevent re-infection.
Most people keep boxes of adhesive bandage strips on hand but don’t pay attention to the other types of bandages. It’s true, you mainly need the band-aids but if you have a bigger wound or one that is in a hard-to-cover spot, you’ll be glad to have gauze and cloth or paper tape (“hypoallergenic” is best) around.
Don’t forget roller bandages for sprains and twists and cold compresses to help reduce the pain from those types of injuries.