Medicine Cabinet Must-Haves

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Medicine Cabinet Must-Haves

If you have children, one of the most essential ingredients of a medicine cabinet is assorted sizes of bandage strips. Depending on your kids' ages, the more colorful the bandage strips are, the better the treatment may be. A carefully placed bandage strip can do magic for a crying child.

The following are medications that every family should have to treat minor illnesses and emergencies:

  • For pain relief: If you keep aspirin or aspirin products for pain relievers, make sure that you never give this medication to children or teenagers. Although rare, aspirin has been linked to the frequently-fatal disease, Reye's Syndrome. Use alternatives such as acetaminophen for pain relief and fever reduction and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), like ibuprofen, for inflammation.
  • For bug bites and itchy skin: Keep calamine lotion to treat bug bites or rashes, an antihistamine cream for more persistent irritations and a 1% cortisone cream for the most stubborn itches.
  • For allergies: Keep handy OTC allergy medications that don't make you sleepy. You also might want to store eye-drops specifically for weepy or itchy eyes.
  • Heartburn and upset stomach: Have antacids handy.
  • Minor cuts or scrapes: Use antibiotic ointment to treat minor injuries.
  • Anti-diarrhea medication

Additional medications that you might want to have in the cabinet include hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds, antifungal creams to treat athlete's foot and cough medicines. For a dry hacking cough, buy a cough medication that includes the cough suppressant dextromethorphan. If the cough is kicking out mucous, get the cough med with an expectorant in it to help loosen up the chest.