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First Aid Kit

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When was the last time you updated your medicine cabinet and first aid kit?

person holding first aid kit
Photo by Roger Brown on Pexels.com

Most medicine cabinets are overflowing with expired decongestant sprays and old medicines while also missing many key items. This pretty much leaves you to your own devices in case of injury, illness, or any other medical emergency. Apart from stocking up on your prescriptions, you want to have a set of medicines and tools that will help you treat anything from minor cuts and burns to digestive upsets and the flu.

Here are medical supplies doctors recommend keeping at home for everyone.

Thermometer

When it comes to medical equipment everyone should keep at home, a thermometer is one tool you’ll surely use every flu season. Electronic or infrared thermometers give the fastest and most accurate reading, so they’re a good choice for most homes. Avoid glass mercury thermometer. If you want to get rid of a mercury thermometer, please recycle the device at the nearest recycling center or pharmacy.

Over-the-counter (OTC)

Apart from your prescription medications, there’s a range of over-the-counter drugs that will be useful for various medical emergencies and illnesses. Here’s a shortlist of such medications and why you’d want to stock up on them:-

  • Pain relievers can help relieve headaches, backaches, muscle pains, and reduce fevers.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a good option in pill form, and topical creams like Icy Hot and Tiger Balm relieve muscle pains.
  • Rub-on oral painkillers like Orajel, Anbesol, or Zilactin may also be beneficial if you have gum pain, canker sores, or toothaches.
  • Antacids are beneficial for the occasional heartburn. Both products that contain calcium carbonate (brands like Tums) and magnesium (e.g. Mylanta) are effective and beneficial.
  • Antihistamines help relieve allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itching. Pill varieties that cause fewer side effects include cetirizine (Zyrtec) and loratadine (Claritin). A nasal steroid spray containing fluticasone, triamcinolone, or budesonide can help with a runny nose and eye drops with olopatadine or ketotifen can be more effective than pills if your main allergy complaint is itchy or watery eyes.

In addition to the basic list of medicines, you may want to add other items tailored to your needs. For example, you may need hydrating eye drops if you have dry eyes. If you’re prone to constipation, you may want to add a bulk-forming laxative with psyllium. The bottom line is, think of what extra OTC medications you and other family members may need.

Sunscreen

Keep a big bottle of sunscreen in your medicine cabinet at all times. Ideally, it should be between SPF 30 and SPF50 and should have the label “broad spectrum,” which means that it will protect you from both ultraviolet and infrared sun rays. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you wear sunscreen on the face and body every day you go outside (going out in the garden or yard counts as outside too). Sunscreen will protect you from skin cancer and signs of skin aging, so it’s beneficial for everyone.

Bug repellent

If you’re prone to getting bug bites, having a bug repellent spray or cream is a must-have in the summer. But even if you only go outside occasionally, having a bottle of bug repellent is beneficial for keeping disease-causing ticks and mosquitos away. You can even make your own bug repellent out of natural ingredients if you’d like.

Bandages

Cuts, scrapes, minor burns, and just plain blisters are the reality of life. So it’s better to be prepared for such mishaps and keep an assortment of bandages and antiseptics in stock. According to The American Red Cross, a family of four should have a kit stocked with 25 adhesive bandages in various sizes, 1 roll of adhesive tape, 2 roller bandages, 10 sterile pieces of gauze, and two absorbent compress dressings. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean wounds, and an antibiotic cream like Neosporin can help heal and disinfect a minor wound or burn.

Remedies for itchy skin and sunburns

For the times that you do get an allergic reaction or bug bite on your skin, having a topical itch relief cream like an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream is a real lifesaver. Plain old calamine lotion, aloe vera gel, or an antihistamine cream also help you soothe itching caused by sunburn, poison ivy, bug bites, and other itchy skin issues, but they may not be as effective as hydrocortisone.At the same time, note that hydrocortisone should not be used for more than 2 weeks, as it may lead to skin thinning. So, if you have an itchy spot that persists for over 2 weeks, you’ll need to seek professional help.

Cough remedies

Most coughs will go away on their own and don’t require any medical help. If you have a fever, treating it with acetaminophen can help. You can use a saline nasal spray to clear up a stuffy nose. Avoid combining cold medicines with pain and fever relievers because it can lead to an acetaminophen overdose. Around 30,000 Americans go to the emergency room every year as a result of combing acetaminophen and cold medicine with acetaminophen, like NyQuil.

Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) is an essential product. It has countless beneficial uses around the house. Crucially, it relieves dry skin and chipping nails, softens rough skin on the elbows and feet, prevents chafing, and works as an excellent moisturizer for dry skin. The American Academy of Dermatology states that petroleum jelly can be just as successful as antibiotic creams in healing minor cuts or scrapes. Just wash the area with soap and water, then cover it in a thin layer of petroleum jelly, and put a bandage on top. Change the bandage daily, and it should heal in a few days.Share these useful tips with family and friends!

Source: Internet & Others

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.

Author: TxNaturalPediatrics

By training, I am a American Board Certified Pediatrician. But in my younger years I grew up with natural alternatives. As a mom I have tried to incorporate both for my kids and it has worked wonders. And finally, as I am studying natural & alternative medicines, I realize the beauty and wisdom of living closer to earth. Hence in my practice I integrate both...for acute ailments I follow American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation but for simple and/or chronic conditions I prefer natural alternatives. In western training we were raised to think that "health is the absence of symptoms and problems". But eastern sensibilities has educated me that "Health is state that allows one to use the full capabilities of their body, mind and intellect. Therefore, healthy living is a balanced state of well being: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually." This implies that healing is not a "one-pill-fits-all", but a personalized experience.

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