I want to touch on preparedness in this post. My guess is we are all stuck in our homes (thanks to Covid 19) dutifully following the rules set out by our own states.
One of the things at the forefront of my mind, mostly because my daughter has an earache and I am trying to avoid a Dr’s visit at this time, is how are we all set up to manage non-emergency medical situations. I am NOT suggesting you don’t need to see a doctor if you are really ill, just how to ensure you have the basics on hand and that they are easily accessible when you need them in a non emergency situation.
A few questions to ask yourself:
- When was the last time you checked your medical kit/cupboard/container?
- Is everything in it that should be (or did you run out of band aids last month and forget to put them on the shopping list?)
- Has anything expired since you last checked?
- What exactly should you have in your kit? Every family is different and has different needs, however there should be a basic list of essential items to cover most situations.
- If you have your medical items spread around the home, gather them all up in one place.
- Start grouping by type (all allergy meds together, all pain management together, all first aid supplies together, all cold and fever meds together etc etc). You may also include supplements and vitamins if you like.
- Check for expiration dates on EVERYTHING. There is evidence that out of date medicines may be less effective, and I am sure when we have a need for something, we want it to work at it’s most effective level.
- Check consistency or color on liquid items. Even if they don’t have an expiration date on them, if they don’t look like they should or if they are full of clumps or not how you know they should be, toss them out.
- Now start to assess which items are used most often. For some families (depending on how many people are in the household) you may need a number of items on a regular basis, and for others with less people you may only need a smaller number.
- Options for organizing and storage. No matter the size of your home or the age of your family members, ensure that your medical items are easily accessible. If you have small children, please make sure they are out of reach of little hands but still visible and easy to access for the remaining family members.
- Consider a clear sterilite container (6 quart) for each “type” of medication. You can group together all your different meds in containers and then label them accordingly. So in the first aid box you will have band aids, Neosporin, saline spray, wound care, tape and bandages for example. In the Indigestion box you may have Tums, Pepto Bismol, antacids and Prilosec etc.
- You may want to just group all items together in a larger box (perhaps a Sterilite 16quart box or larger) if you have space to store it. There is no right or wrong way, just whatever works for you and your household.
- Utilize your medicine cabinets if appropriate. Some people like to store all their prescription meds there so no one else can easily access them.
Daily Medicines and Vitamins:
- If you are taking more than 2 daily medicines or vitamins, I strongly recommend considering a pill pack. After all, why keep taking out these items daily, when you can spend a little longer once every 1 or two weeks, adding them into pill packs. Not only are you saving time, but you also have a better handle on when things are running out and need refilling. I do 2 weeks at a time for my daughter and I and have found that if I keep them in my coffee cup cupboard (it’s the first thing I do EVERY DAY when I get up) I never forget to take them! For your household, it may be next to the syrup if you have pancakes and syrup daily, next to your toothbrush and toothpaste or next to your car keys so you can’t leave the house without taking them.
Which ever method you decide works best for you, do it!
Organized & Orderly… Helping families get & STAY organized for over 13 years.