With seven people in the house we have a lot of germs. Even though I’ve become quite the germaphobe, sickness happens. I used to have baskets of medicine and first aid supplies and it was just all thrown in the cabinet (or two or three cabinets). That system worked for a while, but it wasn’t efficient and I found myself chunking so many unopened bottles of expired medications and 2-3 half-used bottles of another.
I detest inefficiency.
In an effort to curb the waste, organize what we had and make it accessible and easy to find, I created three baskets:
First Aid Supplies
I placed the appropriate medicine/supplies in each basket, made a tag with my handy laminator (thanks for getting me addicted, Ali), strung it on with some twine and voila. Who knew cold medicine could get me so excited? I found the baskets at Target, my favorite place next to the Container Store, for $6, everything else I had here. I threw out the expired medications (trash can, not the toilet) and recycled the boxes. I made sure to put the pills in my kids used pullups – ick – so no one would be tempted to take them.
About twice a year, usually before cold/flu season and before summer arrives, I go through the baskets, getting rid of old stuff and stocking up on things I know we’ll need for that season. Just think about doing it around Daylight Savings Time.
For the child medicine basket I found these great dosing guides online. My pediatrician gave them to me a while back, but it was a huge 8.5″x11″ sheet and because it was unlaminated, it kept getting torn and unreadable. So, I shrunk both sheets down – one for acetaminophen and one for ibuprofen – laminated them and tucked them in the back of the basket for easy reference. All the little dosing cups, syringes and smaller bottles of medicine got put into a smaller basket so they don’t roll around. The forehead thermometer wasn’t cheap, but it has been awesome! I can wipe it down with alcohol between sick kids and I keep the instruction booklet tucked behind the dosing sheets in case I need it.
Happily, the adult medicine basket only has a few cold/allergy meds, along with some cough drops. I consider it a mild success when your basket has “room to grow” as you get older!
The first aid supply basket is probably the one that gets the biggest workout at our house. I put the things we use the most up front – neosporin and bandaids. After all of Luke’s hospital stays, we scored some great stuff like steri-strips and unisolve. Those are all in the back, along with the first aid scissors and tape. That awesome ice pack was a Container Store find. Don’t you remember having one of those as a kid? It leaked everywhere! This one is just as cute, but doesn’t leak. Woo hoo.
It’s probably worth mentioning we keep all these baskets on a high shelf in our master closet, off the bathroom. That’s usually where all the “doctoring” takes place and it removes the temptation for my children to do it themselves. All our babysitters know the location of these baskets, but we just ask that they text us before dosing anything. Bandaids are the exception 🙂 I should buy stock in that company. Two of the kids have a daily medication and I keep those two in our kitchen, away from the hot stove, but out of their reach. It just wasn’t practical to keep them in these baskets.
Better run, I hear a reason to use the first aid basket!