More of your health care takes place in your home than anywhere else. Having the right tools, medicines, supplies, and information on hand is important for your self-care.
Most of the items below don't cost a lot. They are easy to use and can be bought at most drugstores and grocery stores.
These are helpful first-aid supplies:
- Adhesive strips, such as Band-Aids, in assorted sizes
- Adhesive tape, 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide
- Cotton balls
- Elastic (such as Ace) bandage, 3 in. (8 cm) wide
- Hand sanitizer
- Medical gloves
- Roll of gauze bandage, 2 in. (5 cm) wide
- Safety pins
- Sterile gauze pads, 2 in. (5 cm) square
These are helpful self-care tools to have on hand:
- Cold pack
- Handheld mirror
- Heating pad
- Humidifier or vaporizer
- Medicine spoon
- Nail clippers
If you have children younger than age 6, consider adding:
- Bulb aspirator or syringe.
- Otoscope, an instrument with a light that you can use to look into the ear canal.
- Rectal thermometer.
Some of the over-the-counter medicines you may want to have on hand include antibiotic cream or ointment for minor cuts and scratches and acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever relief. Be sure to store all medicines out of the reach of children.