Stock Your Medicine Cabinet Like a Pediatrician


As we head into the heart of cold & flu season (we won’t even mention that other virus floating around), you may be looking to stock up your medicine cabinet with things that will keep your family safe and healthy.  Parents recently shared this list of supplies from their AAP Panel, a special group of pediatrician moms and dads from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Remember to place all medicines out of reach of children, check expiration dates regularly, and always check with your pediatrician before administering medication.

Pain Relievers

Acetaminophen (i.e Tylenol)
You can use this for kid headaches, sprains, fractures, and fever.

Ibuprofen (i.e. Advil)
This can also reduce pain and fever, but its anti-inflammatory properties make it more effective for strains and sprains.

Skin and Wound Care

Petroleum Jelly
Reach for this go-to to help heal dry skin, eczema, and diaper rash.

Stick with one that’s dye-free, water-based, and unscented (Aveeno, Eucerin, Dove, and Cetaphil all have options).

Hydrocortisone 1 Percent
This mild steroid cream can dial down irritation from rashes, eczema, and bug bites—just avoid open wounds

Antibiotic Ointment
Ward off infection in minor cuts, burns, and scratches or use if skin is red, swollen, or tender.

Diaper-rash Cream
Mixed with a “clear” cream–like Vaseline–will help protect the skin and create a barrier as it heals.

Look for a zinc-oxide formula with an SPF of at least 30 and 80-minute water- and sweat-resistant protection.

Allergy Relief

Runny and itchy nose, irritated eyes or skin, sneezing—all telltale signs of allergies. Try a long-lasting, nondrowsy medication like Children’s Allegra.

Saline Nasal Spray
Try this for blocked, stuffy, itchy, or dry noses.

Cold Care

Cough Syrup
OTC cough and cold meds should not be given to kids under 4 years. For ages 4 to 6, only give if your doctor advises.

Menthol Rub
Smooth ¼ teaspoon onto your kid’s chest and back pre-bed to open that nose.

Honey is only for kids over age 1 and can double as a cough syrup.

Tools & Supplies

Doctors say go with a rectal one up to age 3 and the oral or forehead kind for older kids.

Stock a range of sizes—from small round ones to the large rectangular kind for skinned knees.

Gauze and Medical Tape
If a wound is too big for a bandage, cut gauze to size and secure it with medical tape.

A must-have for splinter and tick removal.

Even pre- and post-pandemic, masks are a great accessory if someone at home has flu-like symptoms.

Click here for even more great items to have on hand–including items if you have a baby at home.



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