Every household should have a medicine box at home. Sicknesses and accidents come unannounced and a well-supplied medicine box will help you respond quicker when they arise. With kids in the house, the need for a medicine supply becomes even more pressing, because kids are not as tolerant to pain and sickness as adults. Make sure you have the essentials at the ready to give your family immediate treatment by stocking up on these medicine box basics.
*Always consult your child’s pediatrician before administering any medication. Likewise, for adults, consult a physician.
Painkillers and fever medicine If there’s one thing your medicine box shouldn’t run out of it’s paracetamol and painkillers. Paracetamol is taken for fever as well as pain (headaches, toothaches, even sore throats). For adults, more intense and persistent pain like migraines, can be eased with ibuprofen.
Panadol (Paracetamol), 500mg tablets
Treatment for minor cuts and burns Kids are notorious cut magnets. They love to run around, climb things and explore. It’s what they do. With all this adventurous playing, some tripping and falling is bound to happen. Be ready to treat your little one’s cuts by having these in your medicine box: antibacterial ointment like Betadine, cotton balls, cotton buds, gauze pads and hydrogen peroxide (agua oxigenada).
Anti-diarrhea medication Diarrhea comes with the threat of dehydration. Kids are especially prone to this so it’s best to be ready with oral rehydration salts. For adults, over-the-counter medicines like loperamide can help you feel better.
Sore throat lozenges Viral sore throats can’t be cured with medicine; they get better over time. While your body fights the virus, sore throat lozenges can help alleviate scratchy and painful throats. Paracetamol can help, too. Sore throat gargles and mouthwashes are also available for more severe pain.
Anti-allergy medication If someone in the family has food allergies, a bottle of diphenhydramine would be useful to have. For allergies that cause sneezing and runny nose, antihistamine drugs like Claritin will help calm down the sniffles.
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Claritin (loratadine), chewable tablets
Thermometer The difference between a little warm to fever-hot should not be left to guess work. A thermometer is a handy and simple tool to know when it’s best to rest at home or when it's time to go see the doctor. Digital thermometers are safe and easy to use. Glass thermometers are not advised since they have the danger of breaking and spilling the hazardous liquid mercury inside.
Petroleum Jelly A small tub of petroleum jelly can be useful for a myriad of things. It’s good for minor burns and abrasions. It can soothe chapped lips. In a more practical scenario, it can remove gum stuck to your child’s hair. For non-medical uses, it can be used to remove makeup, shine shoes and even remove watermarks on your wooden coffee table.
A few Filipino favorite remedies What’s a Filipino medicine box without a bottle of White Flower Embrocation and Aceite de Manzanilla? White Flower is a blend of essential oils, mainly eucalyptus and lavender. It can relieve headaches by applying a few drops on your forehead, ease muscle pain and nausea, or clear stuffy nose. Aceite de Manzanilla is good for stomach aches and kabag.
White Flower Embrocation, 20mL
Sources: Jan. 26, 2014. "Seven essential items for your medicine cabinet, from painkillers to anti-acids". theguardian.com Undated. "Your Family's Medicine Cabinet Checklist". parents.com June 27, 2015. "Diarrhea: Why It Happens and How To Treat It". webmd.com Undated. "Histamine". kidshealth.org