What to and what not to stock in your medicine cabinet.

What to add to your medicine cabinet

A well-stocked medicine cabinet is essential now that your toddler is on the move. It's time to add a few new items:

  • Emergency and Poison Control Center phone numbers

  • Antibiotic ointment for small cuts and scrapes

  • Childproof bottles of acetaminophen, ibuprofen, calamine lotion (plain), children's vitamins (if you want your child to have them), electrolyte solution for use with diarrhea (keep an eye on the expiration date), and sunscreen (ideally SPF 50)

  • Digital thermometer (mercury thermometers are no longer recommended); an ear thermometer is easy to use at this age, but is more expensive than a basic digital one that can be used rectally or under the arm of a small child.

  • Self-adhesive bandages of all sizes

  • Tweezers

  • Paper tape and gauze to cover larger scrapes

  • An ice bag or a bag of frozen peas for bumps and strains

What you shouldn't keep in your medicine cabinet

Be sure to keep these things out of your medicine cabinet:

  • Aspirin. It can cause a severe liver disease called Reye's Syndrome in young children.

  • Ear syringes. They have long, pointy ends that can perforate an eardrum if misused. Use a nose bulb (the kind with the very round end) to clean ears, if that's necessary at all.

  • Adult medicines, including vitamins and dietary supplements. If you use any alternative medicines for your child, have your health care provider or pharmacist check the components to be sure they're safe for children.

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