THE FAMILY MEDICINE CHEST
It is useful to have a number of medicines and dressings in the home to cope with the frequent minor symptoms, conditions and accidents that inevitably arise. These should be kept together in a special place, ideally in a cupboard or cabinet that can be locked. Below is a suggested list of contents which will cover the most common needs, and consists of items that are useful, comparatively inexpensive, obtainable without prescription and can be kept for a considerable period of time if stored in a cool, dry place.
Savlon cream: an antiseptic cream for treating septic spots and grazes.
Calamine lotion: for dabbing (not rubbing) on itchy or irritating skin conditions.
Acriflex cream: a soothing antiseptic for burns.
Caladry / cream: for insect stings and bites.
Dettol / TCP: antiseptic cleansers for cuts and grazes ; dilute in warm water to avoid skin irritation. TCP can also be used as a gargle.
Cotton wool: for cleaning cuts and grazes.
Lint and gauze dressing and Elastoplast: for dressing cuts and grazes.
Crepe bandage: two or three inch (5 or 7.5 - cm) bandage to support strained or bruised joints and to keep dressings in place.
Kaolin pediatric mixture: for diarrhoea. Dose: up to two years, one teaspoon (5ml) four times a day; over two years, two teaspoons (10 ml) four times a day as required.
Soluble junior aspirin/ Disprin: useful to relieve the pain of headaches, bruises or sore throats.
Childrens Paracetamol Suspension: for lowering temperature in fevers. Dose: up to two years, one tablet four times a day ; over two years, two tablets four times a day as required.
Actifed codeine linctus: sedative cough mixture for relief of dry or painful cough.
Phenergan elixir: Mild sedative for a restless child; it should only be used occasionally.
Glycerine and thymol gargle: useful for sore throats. TCP or salt water can be used though the taste is rather less pleasant.
Baby chest rub (Vick or camphorated oil): to rub on the chest. The inhaled eucalyptus vapour is useful to relieve a stuffy nose.
Karvol capsules, Friars Balsam or Vick Vapour: add to very hot water for steam inhalation; useful for treating catarrh or dry painful coughs.