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Medicine Cabinet Must-Haves
Q: What should I stock in my medicine cabinet?

A: Health mishaps happen. Whether it's a twisted ankle on the stairs or something as serious as chest pains, having the appropriate medical supplies on hand help you stay prepared.

Here are ten must-haves for every home medicine chest:

  1. Plain soap
    Good ol' soap and water is still the best way to clean minor cuts and scrapes. It works just as well as antibacterial soap—and it's less expensive!
  2. A compression wrap 
    If you twist your ankle or wrist, remember the RICE treatment: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Elastic wraps, such as those made by ACE, are the compression component of the RICE equation.
  3. Aspirin
    Not only for headaches and hangovers, but if you're at risk for something far more serious, aspirin can help break down a blood clot in your artery and limit the injury to your heart. Talk to your doctor to learn your heart-disease risk.
  4. Bandages (assorted sizes)
    Not just for kids! You need these, as well, to keep your boo-boos and owies from becoming infected.
  5. A thermometer
    Experts recommend a digital thermometer over the mercury type (which are just as accurate but difficult to read).
  6. Mild pain relievers
    Acetaminophen or ibuprofen for minor pain and fever.
  7. Antibacterial ointment
    Apply after cleaning a wound to help reduce infection risk and increase healing time.
  8. An antihistamine
    To relieve minor allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching and swelling. Call 911 if you have a severe allergic reaction—such as difficulty breathing, or swelling of the tongue or lip—as an antihistamine won't help.
  9. Hydrocortisone cream
    Useful for taking the itch out of rashes and insect bites.
  10. Phone numbers
    Inside the door of your medicine cabinet, adhere contact info for your family members, doctors, pharmacy, and your local poison control center. If there is an emergency, this cost-you-nothing strategy can prove to be priceless.

Remember to check the contents of your kit every 6 to 12 months to ensure that medicines haven't expired, and that your contact numbers are still up to date.


Copyright © 2008 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the Aisle7 content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Aisle7. Healthnotes Newsletter is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. Aisle7 shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. AISLE7 is a registered trademark of Aisle7. 

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