Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life

Medicine Cabinet Staples and Safety

September 2003 Issue

Food Allergies

Art & Music—The
Educational Advantage

Bundle-up Your Home
for Winter

Honey—Not So
Sweet for Infants

Did You Know?

Medicine Cabinet
Staples and Safety

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Gerber Life
Family Times Archive

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You see it each and every day. It stares back at you each morning through groggy eyes. It’s your medicine cabinet. From first aid supplies to the important medications that keep you and your family healthy, your medicine cabinet is a vital element in your home. Now ask yourself—when was the last time you cleaned your medicine cabinet? Not only are half-empty prescription bottles taking space but unused medicines past their expiration dates are dangerous to your family. Establish a schedule to clean out and replenish your medicine cabinet once a year and make it a routine, annual event.

Check the expiration date on prescriptions as well as over-the-counter medications (including eye drops) and dispose of any that have expired. When disposing of old medications, flush them down the toilet to prevent ingestion by children or pets. Also throw out any medications that are no longer used. You should never have a partial bottle of antibiotics. A cycle of antibiotic treatment must be taken in its entirety to be effective and taking partial doses can cause serious health problems.

Keep your medications off the counter and out of the reach of children. Keep them in a cool, dry place (make sure your bathroom is ventilated).

When restocking your medicine cabinet, use the following list to build the foundation of your revitalized medical supplies:

Alcohol wipes


Adhesive bandages

Adhesive tape


Hydrogen peroxide (for cleansing wounds)

Hydrocortisone cream

Antibiotic cream or ointment

Analgesic (for pain relief)


Antiseptic (for cleansing wounds)

Ipecac syrup (to induce vomiting) Use only after consulting with a doctor.

Digital thermometer


*Note: Be aware that aspirin should not be given to children as it may cause Reye’s syndrome. Ask your doctor to suggest a suitable substitute for children.

Don’t let a late-night emergency catch you off guard and out of first aid supplies. Clean out and restock your medicine cabinet today!

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