Get ready for winter in the Mid-Atlantic States
As you face a cold and possibly snowy Mid-Atlantic winter, it’s time to take stock of your medicine cabinet. Replace summertime’s sunblock and bug spray with items that will help keep you and your family healthy in the coming months.
Your winter supply list
It’s a good idea to check your medicine cabinet (and supply closet) for these items. Many people find them especially helpful during this time of year.
- Over-the-counter cold, cough, and flu medicine (including those for children, if needed)
- Saline mist for dry, stuffy noses
- Camphor/menthol rub to ease congestion
- Heavy-duty moisturizing lotion for dry, itchy skin
- A humidifier for dry rooms
- Over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medicine (like ibuprofen) for sore muscles from winter activities
- Antacids for indigestion from big holiday meals
- A digital thermometer
While you’re sorting through your medicine cabinet, make sure you toss any expired medications.
Safety tips to remember when taking medication
- Carefully read and follow all directions on the packaging.
- Take the minimum effective dose (don’t take more than you need).
- Many liquid medications will come with a dosing cup. Make sure you use it, or use a measuring spoon if a dosing cup isn’t available.
- If the packaging tells you to avoid mixing the medicine with other drugs, call your doctor or pharmacist before you take it.
- If you’ve had an allergic reaction to a medication in the past, don’t take it again.
- If you are or could be pregnant, call your doctor before taking any medicine.
- Keep a list of the vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you take. Make sure to share it with your doctor.
Finally, if you have a new reaction to any drug, even over-the-counter medicine, stop taking it immediately and contact your doctor. Reactions can include persistent dizziness, a bad rash, or nausea.
Get tips for at-home care year-round
While winter is known for colds and flu, it’s important to keep an eye on your medicine cabinet throughout the year. Visit kp.org to learn what tools and supplies will help you and your family stay healthy through every season.
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