22 Medicine Cabinet Must-Haves

By Taryn Tacher
medicine cabinet
The medicine cabinet are the handiest place to keep your family’s daily essentials. Of course, you’ll want to keep your toothpaste, dental floss and body lotion in your medicine cabinet. But depending on the ages and needs of your growing family, there are a plethora of other specific products that we consider medicine cabinet must-haves.


For babies

Diaper rash cream:This one goes without saying. Where there’s a baby, there are multiple diaper changes and the potential for diaper rash.

Nasal aspirator: This tool will help your baby breathe easier by removing excess mucous from his or her nose. Chris Campbell, Pharm.D., a clinical assistant professor at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy also recommends keeping saline drops to use with the aspirator.

Medicine Syringe: Having a medicine syringe will make it much easier to give your baby the proper amount of any liquid medications he or she may need. Syringes do not drip, and they make it easy to insert into your squirming baby’s mouth.

Digital thermometer: Having a working thermometer is crucial. Babies can run fevers for a variety of reasons, and it’s important that you are able to take determine your baby’s temperature if you believe it has spiked. For babies under 3 months, use a rectal thermometer for the most accurate reading.

Simethicone: Campbell recommends this OTC gas relief medication for babies.

Emergency contact phone numbers: Where else would you keep a list of medical contacts? In the event of an emergency, you won’t have time to rummage through your drawers looking for phone numbers.

Baby nail clippers: You’ll want to make sure your baby’s nails are trimmed so he or she does not scratch him or herself.


For toddlers

Benadryl: As your toddler starts to try new foods, it is good to keep Benadryl on hand in case of any allergic reactions, said Campbell. However, you should always consult your pediatrician first for children under 6.

Antibacterial ointment: As toddlers begin to walk and explore the world around them, they’re bound to rack up scratches and cuts. Applying antibacterial ointment to their “boo-boos” will sanitize any open wounds to prevent infection.

Bandages: After you disinfect your toddler’s wound with antibacterial ointment, you will want to apply a bandage to promote healing.

Calamine lotion: Calamine lotion helps to alleviate itchy rashes and irritated skin. Your toddler’s skin is sensitive, and calamine lotion will help soothe the itch.

Cotton balls: Using cotton balls is the easiest way to apply calamine lotion. Simply dab the cotton ball with the lotion, and apply to itchy areas.


For tweens

Deodorant: As your child begins to grow up, he or she will experience the onset of puberty. Deodorant is important for preventing unwanted body odor.

Nail Clipper: Tweens are often active in sports and after-school activities. Trimming their nails will ensure their safety as well as prevent hang nails.

Chapstick/lip balm: It may be too early for girls to start wearing makeup during their tween years, but that won’t stop them from wanting to. Chapsticks and lip balms are great compromises that also nourish and hydrate their lips.

For teens

Face wash: Many teens are plagued with acne, or at least the occasional breakout or blemish. Washing their faces daily can help keep their skin clean and healthy.

Facial moisturizer: As teens grow and mature, it is important for them to take care of their skin, so it will stay looking youthful and healthy for years to come. Applying moisturizer will nourish their skin and keep it from becoming dry and flaky.

Tweezers: The teen years mean puberty, and puberty means hair growth — both wanted and unwanted. Having a pair of tweezers on hand will help your teen groom him or herself how he or she pleases.

Sanitary napkins/tampons: As teenaged girls experience the onset of their menstrual cycle, it’s important that they have the necessary products to deal with their monthly periods.


For adults

Makeup remover: Removing makeup every night before bed will help prevent breakouts and clogged pores.

Vitamins: It’s important that we supply our bodies with the necessary vitamins and minerals we may not be getting through our daily diets. Taking multi-vitamins or specific vitamins will help regulate our bodies and keep us healthy.

Aspirin: You never know when a headache or body ache is going to strike, so it is always a good idea to have aspirin handy.


For the whole family

Sunscreen: The Florida heat can be brutal, so it’s important to apply a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF daily to avoid sunburns and skin damage.

Vaseline: Vaseline is a multi-purpose product that can be used for everything from chapped lips to unruly eyebrows to dry skin.

Hydrogen peroxide: Minor injuries, like paper cuts, happen all the time. Keep hydrogen peroxide handy to sanitize any open wounds.

Bug spray: Everyone in your family can use bug spray (except for children under 2 months of age) with a DEET concentration between 10–30 percent.

Antacids and Imodium: For tummy troubles in family members older than 6, have antacids on hand to combat heartburn and Imodium for diarrhea.

Tylenol/Ibuprofen: Having these pain relievers/fever reducers in your medicine cabinet is a must.


What NOT to keep in your medicine cabinet

Ipecac: Ipecac used to be used to induce vomiting if children ingested something poisonous. However, Campbell said that caustic substances can actually cause more damage on the way back up, and if the poisonous substance ingested is causing the child to have a hard time breathing, they could end up breathing in the vomit.

Orajel: Previously given to soothe the sore gums of teething babies, Campbell said that Orajel is no longer recommended by the FDA.

Natural/home remedies involving alcohol or raw honey: Raw honey can cause botulism in children younger than 1, and alcohol should never be given to children.

*Always check with your doctor before giving any over-the-counter remedies.


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