It is always advisable to keep a well-stocked supply of basic medicines as well as a first-aid kit in your home in case of an emergency or to cure a minor medical condition, like a headache or a stomach bug. Not every ailment requires a visit to the doctor or the hospital but it is imperative that you have the right medicine or first-aid kit supplies available so you don’t have to dash out to a 24-hour pharmacy. Bloom, a leading broker of affordable health insurance, together with their partner Momentum Health4Me, reveal what the experts believe are your home essentials when it comes to medicine and first-aid kits.
The 11 most essential medicines to keep in your home
If you’re feeling ill you really don’t want to have to leave the house to go buy medication at the pharmacy. Likewise, if a family member, like a child, is suffering from a medical ailment, you want to be adequately prepared to treat them as quickly as possible. These are the 11 medications we recommend keeping at home:
- Fever reduction and pain relief medication, like Ibruprofen
- Medication for nausea and/or vomiting, like Valoid
- Anti-diarrhoea medication
- Antihistamines for allergic reactions, either oral or topical medication
- Antibacterial ointment for cuts, scrapes or minor burns
- Disinfectant, like Dettol, to treat injuries
- Dosage spoon, especially if you are administering to children
- Decongestant, cough syrup and flu relief medication
- Antacids, like Eno, to treat heartburn
- Heat and ice packs, which can treat everything from headaches to sprains
- Thermometer, to check temperatures to see if someone is running a fever
There may be other types of medication you choose to stock based on specific personal medical requirements that affect you or your family members. Please be advised to seek professional medical advice or assistance should your symptoms grow worse or remain unchanged after having taken these basic, over-the-counter medications. In some cases, this can be a warning sign of a more serious condition.
The best place to store medicine in your home
Wherever you choose to store your medication, make sure it is located in a cool and dry location as many medications can be damaged or destroyed by excess heat or moisture. This could be in the bathroom cabinet or a cupboard in your home. What is important is that your medication is stored in a spot where children are not in a position to access the supplies so make sure it’s kept locked away or is high enough and out of sight so they cannot reach in and help themselves to any medication.
Safety tips for your home medicine supplies
If you’re wondering where or how to organise your medication at home, we recommend keeping a list of emergency instructions printed out and kept with your all medicines and medical supplies. This should include your doctor’s contact details as well as any special instructions relating to family members, like an allergy to certain chronic medications. We also advise keeping medicines in their original packaging so they can be easily identified. Remember to stick to the recommended dosages at all times. Take an inventory of your medicines regularly so you know what you have and what you need to stock up on. Dispose of expired medicines or prescriptions in a responsible manner by handing these in at your pharmacy or disposing of them in the recommended manner.
First-aid kit list: what to stock?
You can buy a fully stocked first-aid kit from places like Dis-Chem or you can stock your own kit with some of the first-aid supplies mentioned. Remember to take an inventory of your first-aid kit regularly and to restock whenever necessary. Here are some of the must-have first aid contents to stock:
● An up-to-date first-aid manual
● Several pairs of surgical masks and gloves
● Hand sanitiser
● Sunscreen and aloe vera gel for sunburn
● Insect repellant
● Eyewash solution
● Antibiotic ointment
● Antiseptic solutions, like hydrogen peroxide
● A CPR mouthpiece (first-aid resuscitation mask)
● Scissors and tweezers
● Bandages, in assorted sizes
● Plasters (or bandaids) in assorted sizes
● Safety pins, in assorted sizes
● Cotton balls or cotton swabs
● Rubber tourniquet
● Sterile gauze pads
● Adhesive tape
● Small torch with extra batteries
Where can you learn about first-aid?
A first-aid kit can be pretty useless if you don’t know how to use it. Likewise, a medical emergency can be quite overwhelming which is why we recommend having a family member take an accredited first-aid course in order to understand the fundamentals of emergency responses, like how to give CPR or how to stop excessive bleeding. There are a number of service providers offering first-aid courses at a reasonable rate. For instance, there is the St. John First-Aid and Home Care Course and the South African First-Aid League.
Health insurance cover with Momentum Health4Me
You should also be prepared to address your medical health and well-being with a health insurance plan. Consider the financial implications should you require in-hospital treatment for a medical emergency or if you need chronic medication to treat a serious health condition, like high blood pressure. You can be covered by a health insurance plan with one of Momentum’s Health4Me medical insurance options. Health insurance is an affordable alternative to medical aid and allows you to choose what you wish to be covered for making it a personalised plan based on your available budget and individual medical requirements. Take a look at the Momentum Health4Me Gold, Health4Me Silver and Health4Me Bronze health insurance options.
Bloom advocates healthy living. This means we recommend being prepared for medical emergencies and ailments. Keep a well-stocked, personal supply of basic medicines for common medical problems, like colds and flu, as well as an emergency first-aid kit for more serious incidents. Likewise, make sure you and your family are covered by a health insurance plan by contacting our offices for a health insurance quote. Our team of trained brokers are available to discuss your options and help you make the right decision.
Medical Content Disclaimer
You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Bloom website are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All content provided on the website, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Neither is it intended to be a substitute for an independent professional medical opinion, judgement, diagnosis or treatment.