January is a good time to take stock of where you are in your temporal preparedness.

This week, since we are in the middle of sick season, go through your home medicine cabinet. Discard expired items, inventory what you have on hand, and replenish supplies you are almost out of. Organize everything so you can find it when you need it.

What medicines should you include in your medicine cabinet?

  • Your prescription medications (discard any leftovers you are no longer using)
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain and fever relief.
  • Allergy medicine and allergy eye drops (we are in the South after all)
  • Regular eye drops
  • Calamine lotion, an antihistamine cream or spray, or hydrocortisone cream for itchy skin or allergic reactions
  • Antibiotic ointment for cuts and scrapes
  • Decongestants and cough drops for cold or flu symptoms
  • Activated charcoal for accidental poisoning
  • Medicine for digestive upset, such as calcium carbonate for heartburn, antacids for indigestion, and antidiarrhea medicine
  • Phenazopyridine (brand name Azo) to relieve the pain and symptoms of the occasional bladder infection until you can see a doctor

In addition to basic medicines, be sure you have these basic supplies on hand (and that they are not as old as your children are):

  • Adhesive bandages, gauze bandages
  • Cotton balls and Q-tips
  • Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide
  • Soap
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers for splinter removal
  • Tick Twister for tick removal
  • Safety pins and scissors
  • Medical exam gloves
  • Nail clippers
  • Pill cutter
  • If you wear glasses, keep an eyeglass repair kit on hand
  • If you wear contacts, you also need contact lens cleaner and solutions
  • Everyday dental basics, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss

What other items do you think should be in our medicine cabinets?

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