A Pharmacist Tells Us The 5 Things Every Parent Should Have In Their Medicine Cabinet

Between the four boxes of expired cold medicine and the rest of the junk we keep in our medicine cabinet, it sometimes seems like it would be easier to just call 911 every time someone in our family skins a knee or has a fever.

Unfortunately, paramedics tend to frown upon irresponsible phone calls from moms, so instead, we’ve turned to an expert for a punch list of the most important things we need to have in our medicine cabinet at all times.

Donna Goodhart, Registered Pharmacist for Aaron’s Apothecary in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, says that as a pharmacist, and more importantly, as a mom, her top five picks are:

1. A pain reliever. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) are good options. Every family has a favorite, so pick one and make sure the expiration date is current.

2. An antihistamine. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), in either oral liquid or tablets, is the most effective antihistamine out there. While it can cause considerable drowsiness in adults, which might sound like a bonus when giving it to an allergy-ridden child, it can actually have a paradoxical effect in children causing hyperactivity.

3. Hydrocortisone cream or ointment. Use this topical steroid for the occasional rash, bug bite, or anything red, inflamed and/or itchy that isn’t an open wound.

4. A fantastic array of bandages. Cupcake- and mustache-themed band-aids are current favorites! The more fabulous the bandage, the less it tends to hurt.

5. Ice Packs. Of course, these are in the freezer rather than the medicine cabinet, but having a collection of Boo-Boo Buddies tends to cure almost anything.