Setting up a first aid kit and medicine chest at home

Setting up a first aid kit and medicine chest at home - Ever-changing Life of a Mum*This post is sponsored by Nurofen

It wasn’t until the last school holidays that I realised my so-called first aid kit was severely lacking in any kind of useful medical supplies beyond bandaids, antiseptic cream and cotton balls.

I had just walked my two older girls to the end of our street so they could ride their scooters up and down a long stretch of footpath through a roadside vegetation reserve. It’s perfect for scootering with a gentle slope followed by lengths of flat concreted paths.

There was plenty of laughter as they set to it, but it wasn’t long until those giggles of joy turned to tears when the pair had an accident … with each other.

They managed to limp home as I carried their scooters and set about gathering together the supplies I needed from the bathroom cabinet to clean their wounds.

But where was everything? My first aid tub looked pretty bare. Not even any antiseptic liquid in sight. Oh well. I gathered together what I had and managed to patch up their cuts and grazes using warm water, cotton balls, a dab of antiseptic cream and bandaids. A yummy ice cream also seemed to have some kind of magical healing power 😉

This experience was a good reminder that I really needed to stock up my first aid kit and, while I was at it, my medicine chest also needed a good clean up. It was overflowing with goodies, but many of them were out of date and no longer any good to me or my family.

I headed to the chemist with a list in hand of what I thought were the essentials for my family to create a basic first aid kit and medicine chest. Here’s what I included:

Family medicine chest
  • Antacids – for upset stomachs and indigestion
  • Pain and fever relief – to suit various ages of your family, including paracetamol and ibuprofen, such as Nurofen, to help relieve cold and flu symptoms as well as headaches in children or adults.
  • Rehydrating liquid or ice sticks
  • Vapour rub
  • Saline nose drops
  • Cold and flu tablets or mixture
  • Vaporiser and eucalyptus inhalant mixture
  • Antihistamines
  • Teething gel – for baby and for adult mouth ulcers as well
  • Prescription medicines
  • Other necessary medications and creams – for asthma, eczema and migraines, etc
  • Thermometer – I purchased a digital ear thermometer when Miss 10 was a baby and it’s still going strong, I have to say it’s been one of the best things I have ever bought
  • Heat pad
  • Measuring cups/syringe
Basic first aid kit
  • Bandages of different widths
  • Non-stick dressing pads in different sizes
  • Disposable gloves
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic liquid for cleaning wounds
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Tea tree oil antiseptic – I used this for cleansing small scratches and also great for itchy insect bites
  • Small pair of scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Bandaids – regular and larger size you can cut to size
  • Cold compress – to keep in the freezer
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton buds
  • Small bowl – for diluting antiseptic liquid with water

I store these items separately in plastic tubs – our medicine chest is kept up high in our pantry while the first aid kid is stored in the bathroom cupboard with a kid safe lock on the handle for when baby is on the move.

Obviously not every family’s medicine chest will look the same as we all deal with different personal illnesses and conditions, but hopefully this will give you a good start.

Oh, and of course don’t forget the ice cream in the freezer, somehow that always seems to make things better!

Do you have a first aid kit and medicine chest set up at home for your family? What do you include? Have I missed anything?

19 thoughts on “Setting up a first aid kit and medicine chest at home

  1. That’s a great list you have. I have a huge first aid kit, for two reasons, I worked in pharmacy for 13 years and bought just about every ‘must have’ item and my son is so accident prone! There is rarely a situation I am not prepared for 🙂

  2. Aaaah yes, this is very good timing for me! With bushfire season approaching I need to get together a survival kit and make sure the first aid kit is all up to date as well. Some of these things I hadn’t thought of so your lists have been incredible helpful!

  3. Gosh, yes this is so important. My husband has a decent first aid kit which he used to use at work when he was a builder. He’s pulled it out a few times at home. I must ask him where it is! I’m very disorganised in this respect. Thanks for the push 🙂 #teamIBOT

  4. Bandaids – especially those with pictures on them, seem to have magical healing powers. And one of those gel packs you keep in the fridge for when the kids bump their head – our seven year old still yells, “I need Dorothy!” (Dorothy the Dinosaur gel pack). Within a minute, he’s fine 🙂

  5. This is such a great post. Every home (and vehicle) should have one. We had one for the home, but not for the car until a similar ‘tragedy’ occurred during a visit to a park. It wasn’t anything serious, thank goodness, skinned knee and lots of tears, but we did need the basics, and I got one soon after. Reading your post reminded me I actually need to check both our kits and restock them. Thank you!

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