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You are here : home > Health > General Health > Basic requirements of a medicine cabinet

Basic requirements of a medicine cabinet

A medicine cabinet is a must in every home. It is of great help during emergencies and unexpected happenings. Read about the medicines and implements that your medicine cabinet should have.

Your toddler is a bundle of energy. You can barely keep up with him as he runs about the house. With all his antics, falling down is nothing new for him. Most of the time, he gets back up on his feet. Sometimes though, a fall will result in cuts and bruises.

For minor wounds, your medicine cabinet should be sufficient to treat him. However, most medicine cabinets are poorly equipped even when it comes to basic necessities. To avoid being caught unawares, here is a list of what a simple medicine cabinet needs:
  • Antibiotic ointment: A small tube of antibiotic ointment is necessary to treat minor cuts and scrapes. When your child is hurt, simply dab on a little ointment to speed up the healing process. If the nozzle of the tube touches a cut filled with pus though, throw away the tube. Otherwise, you run the risk of passing on the infection to futurewounds.

  • Alcohol wipes: Alcohol is primarily used to clean the skin around wounds. It is also used to sterilise thermometers and other equipment. Earlier, people would keep a small bottle of rubbing alcohol for this purpose. The downside is that rubbing alcohol is poisonous if ingested. In addition, one has to prevent the contamination of alcohol. Alcohol wipes are more convenient since you can use a single wipe and throw it away when you are finished.

  • Thermometer: A thermometer is essential for all those times your child is running a fever. Thermometers are of different types. Babies and young children give more accurate readings on a rectal thermometer. For older children and adults, an oral thermometer is fine. Digitalthermometers are preferred to the traditional mercury ones. Mercury is poisonous and can become an environmental and health hazard if the thermometer happens to break.

  • Cortisone cream: Cortisone cream is an anti-itch agent. It is largely applied to skin to combat rashes. The cream may occasionally be used to relieve the symptoms associated with insect bites. The cream is only to be applied topically and must not be applied to the face region for young children. This is to minimise the chances of them licking the cream off.

  • Nasal aspirator: A nasal aspirator is a small bulb-like syringe. This instrument is used to clear baby's and young children's nostrils when they have a cold. Gentle pressure should be enough to clear the nostrils. Too much force can damage the delicate tissues in the nose. Another useful way of clearing a blocked nose is to use saline nose drops. These are gentle and can be used for minor blockages.

  • Cotton swabs: Cotton swabs are primarily used to clean wounds and apply medication on them. This prevents direct contact between the skin and wound, which minimises the risk of infection. Their disposable nature makes it possible to discard them after use. For a baby, sterile cotton balls are necessary to clean the area around the eyes.

  • Tweezers: This item is often overlooked in a medicine cabinet. A small pair of tweezers is necessary for removing splinters and other foreign objects from your child's hands and feet. Tweezers are also useful for removing insects like ticks from your child's body.

  • Bandages: Bandages are a staple of any medicine cabinet. For small cuts and scrapes, band-aids are all you need. Young children may prefer specially made band-aids with their favourite cartoon characters on it to the plain variety. In addition, you will also require gauze pads for injuries that are a bit more serious. When you apply antibiotic ointment to the wound, you can cover it with a gauze pad. The bandage is usually secured with adhesive tape.
Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet enables you to be prepared. You can then handle basic medical issues on your own, before you take your child to the doctor.

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