No matter how closely you watch your child, accidents are going to occur, so it’s very important for you to be prepared for life’s little emergencies.
If you have a child under the age of 5 in your home, make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked with items that may be needed when accidents occur. Just as important, make sure you check the items in the medicine cabinet regularly to toss out any items that may have expired.
Your medicine cabinet should contain the following items:
- Syrup of ipecac. This can be used to induce vomiting in case of poisoning. If you suspect your child has ingested something he shouldn’t have, call your health care provider or the Poison Control Center first because vomiting can sometimes make the situation worse.
- Pain reliever. Liquid products should be available for young children and tablets for older children.
- A zinc oxide-based product for diaper rash and a general skin moisturizer.
- Electrolyte solution to restore fluids if your child has diarrhea or has been vomiting.
- Antihistamines for allergic reactions.
- Suction bulb to suction your baby’s “stopped-up” nose.
- Cool mist humidifier to break up congestion.
- Rectal thermometer for infants and an oral thermometer for older children.
- Bandages and antibiotic cream.
Make sure you also have a printed list of phone numbers for the Poison Control Center, your child’s pediatrician and the nearest hospital emergency room, and post it where it is readily accessible in case of an emergency.
It’s also a good idea to keep these items available either in your purse or your vehicle if you and your child spend much time outdoors away from home.
Susan Matherly is director at A Children’s Place, a service of Ephraim McDowell Health. She has a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science and a master’s degree in public health. She can be contacted at (859)236-7176.