Sunday, December 17

12 Basics For a Well-Stocked Medicine Cabinet

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A well stocked medicine chest will have the following as a basis:

Aspirin:  Aspirin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, blood thinner and pain reliever.  It is inexpensive and readily available in most of the world.  Aspiring should not be given to children or teenagers – acetaminophen should be substituted for those individuals.

  1. Ibuprofen (Advil©), acetaminophen (Tylenol©) or naproxen (Aleve©):  these are alternative pain relievers.  Acetaminophen and naproxen are also anti-inflammatory which controls swelling.

  2. Cough suppressant:  A basic cough syrup of some kind is useful to have on hand to soothe irritated throat and airways.

  3. Antihistamine:  An antihistamine will reduce swelling of nasal passages and ease nasal congestion.  It will also work throughout the body to reduce swelling, such as irritations from poison ivy or insect bites.

  4. Alcohol:  This is a general sterilizing liquid that can be used to limit contamination.

  5. Hydrogen peroxide:  This is used to sterilize and kill bacteria on skin or wounds to the skin.

  6. Antibiotic ointment:  Use this on scrapes and cuts to speed healing.  Cover with a band aid.

  7. Adhesive bandages (all sizes):  A covered, moist wound will heal quicker and with less chance of scarring.  Bandages also keep the wound clean and help prevent infection.

  8. Eye wash:  Boric acid diluted with distilled water can be used as an eye wash.  Commercial eye washes are available.

  9. Electrolyte replacement (Pedialyte© or Gatorade©):  If high fever or vomiting has left someone dehydrated, use an electrolyte replacement to help rehydrate their body.

  10. Thermometer:  Used to check for fever.  Normal body temperature is considered to be 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius).

  11. Ace bandage:  Use this for sprains or breaks to stabilize the area and also to minimize swelling.

  12. Ice pak:  Ice can be used to minimize swelling to injured body parts.

Please remember – these items should be used as temporary treatment for non-life threatening issues.  Prolonged high fever, vomiting, bleeding and pain or any other condition should be treated by a health care professional.

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