When it comes to illness or accidents in your home, it’s important to be prepared with a well-stocked medicine cabinet. That way, you’ll be able to respond quickly to help yourself or others when sickness or injury strikes. Consider keeping the following 10 items on hand for emergencies:
- Antacids—These can provide quick relief when you’re suffering from heartburn.
- Antibiotic ointment—A topical ointment can help heal cuts, scrapes and minor burns. Petroleum jelly may also do the job.
- Antihistamine—Both oral antihistamines (liquid and pill form) and hydrocortisone cream can treat hives, itching and other allergic reactions.
- Bandages—Adhesive bandage strips of all sizes, plus plenty of gauze pads and medical tape, can ensure you’re prepared to dress most cuts, scrapes and burns.
- Cough medicine and decongestants—You won’t want to leave home to go to the drugstore for cold and flu medication when you’re feeling sick.
- Hydrogen peroxide—Unlike rubbing alcohol, which can sting, hydrogen peroxide is a good antiseptic to have on hand for cleaning wounds. Cool water with mild soap is another option.
- Instant cold compress—A bag of peas from the freezer can also work to numb pain, reduce swelling and limit bruising.
- Painkillers and fever reducers—Aches and pains are inevitable, and these staples are likely already in your home. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can reduce pain, inflammation and fevers, while aspirin can help alleviate pain and heart attacks.
- Thermometer—For quick and accurate results, use a digital thermometer or the kind you apply to your forehead or in your ear.
- Tweezers—A pointy pair can come in handy for removing splinters or ticks.
Dispose of expired items and restock every three months so you’re always prepared. For serious conditions or emergencies, contact a medical professional for advice.