What first aid items should I have on hand at home?

A well-stocked home medicine cabinet should include the following items:

  • Small and medium sized band-aids.
  • Medium and large sized gauze pads.
  • A roll of clean gauze.
  • A heating pad.
  • A digital thermometer.
  • A freezable ice pack.
  • Sunscreen (at least SPF 15).
  • Insect repellent (see our information page on insect repellent.)
  • A pair of small tweezers.
  • Small, curved fingernail scissors.
  • A rubber bulb syringe.

As far as medications for the medicine cabinet, we recommend having the following:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol), in liquid or pill form, depending on the age of your children. Also consider having a few suppositories, since these are handy when children have fever and vomiting.
  • Ibuprofen (Advil), in liquid or pill form.
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), in liquid or pill form.
  • Hydrocortisone 1% cream or ointment.
  • Antibacterial ointment (such as Neosporin.)
  • Nasal saline drops.

Tips for your kit:

  • We recommend going through your medicine cabinet every 3-4 months and throwing away any medications that have expired. (Be sure to throw them away in such a manner that your young children won't find them and eat them!)
  • You can put your kit in a plastic box or tackle box and take it with you on trips as well. Being prepared beats looking for children's Tylenol at 10 pm in a strange town (and paying high gas station prices.)