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What you really need in your medicine cabinet
I was partially raised by my grandmother and the town that she lived in didn’t have a full time doctor most of the time. They were pretty much on their own and when you have a farm, there are a lot of accidents and medical problems that can happen that you have to be prepared for. In today’s world most of us have easy access to hospitals but, we should all be prepared for some of the more common medical situations. Medicine cabinets should have more than toothpaste, mouthwash and bandages.
My husband and son are what I like to call ‘accidents waiting to happen’. They are both outdoors people and, growing up, my son was always falling over something, off a bike or out of a tree. My house was the one home that all of the kids could come to and be assured that I would help fix their cuts and scrapes. We have a medical kit in both bathrooms and travel size in the cars.
One of the first things you should have in your home is just plain soap. Doctors all agree that other types of cleansers like witch hazel, hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol don’t clean a wound any better than soap, but they can damage the skin. Here’s something I bet you didn’t know: antibiotic soap doesn’t work any better than plain soap.
Bandages are a must. Both the regular smaller variety that are adhesive as well as the larger patch style. For the larger gauze patch style you will need to either have the adhesive kind or, if non-adhesive, get adhesive tape to hold the bandage in place. An elastic wrap (also referred to as ACE bandage) along with the clips are excellent for helping with a sprain. There are newer styles that are auto adhesive (stick to themselves), but the downside on those is they are not reusable. A figure eight style wrap is the best: not too tight, not too loose. Ice packs in the freezer are excellent for lunch boxes, but are also easy to use when swelling occurs. Just make sure you don’t place directly on the skin, always wrap in a light towel.
Aspirin is a multi-functional medicine. From chest pains that may be associated with a heart condition to the common headache. Non-coated aspirin, chewed for fast absorption will assist in thinning the blood in the case of a potential heart attack. Some people may have digestion issues and may not be able to take aspirin as a common remedy, but should be ok for an emergency. Do not give children anything by children’s aspirin. Adult aspirin can cause a deadly disorder in children under certain ages.
The word ‘accurate’ has to go along with the word thermometer. Ear thermometers as well as fever strips are notorious for being inaccurate. A good digital thermometer is a must have for your medicine cabinet. You need to be able to monitor a fever. You might want to note that not everyone is a perfect 98.6 body temperature. My own personal normal temperature is 98.4. Physicians indicate that anything that reaches close to one hundred degrees is considered a temperature. Children should never have anything over 102 degrees; as it is in the danger zone.
An antihistamine is one of the best things you can have in your medicine cabinet. From allergic reactions to bee stings, bug bites and food allergies, an antihistamine will slow the body’s overreaction in creating histamines. If it is a severe reaction, it may help but you should seek immediate professional help as these can be life threatening.
A good antibacterial ointment in the topical form is crucial. While some bandages now offer it included in the bandage itself, you need a separate tube. It’s also good for burns (don’t use the old concept of butter – that makes things worse).
An over-the-counter pain reliever is also a must have. It’s not necessary to have an extra strength, a mild variety will do. This is good for all kinds of minor pains. If the patient will be going to the doctor or hospital for a more severe situation, be sure to tell the attending physician that this medication has been administered, how much and when.
Calamine lotion is one of the best anti-itch medicines. There are links to other products containing hydrocortisone with negative effects.
Be sure to have a list of emergency phone numbers posted or in your home phone book. Do not depend on the auto system on your home or cell phone. In the case of a power outage you can’t access those numbers. Write them down and make sure everyone in the household knows where the list is.
Get rid of any old or bad smelling medications. In some cases, the age of certain canned ointments doesn’t matter, but the tube variety does.
While all of the above may seem like common sense, you would be surprised at how many households are completely unprepared for even a minor injury. Taking a precaution through preparation and prevention will help keep infection away and promote fast healing.Click here to discuss this article on forum.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Medications31 Oct 2011|