Things to Have on Hand in the Medicine Cabinet for Your Children

Hilliard Pediatrics, Inc. - Dr. Tim Teller, MD


You cannot be prepared for every emergency with your child. Placing the doctor’s office number in an easy to access place is helpful. Knowing where the closest pediatric urgent care and children’s hospital is helpful.

The List:

For the average healthy child with no long-term illnesses, it is a good idea to keep some medicines on hand for times when you might need it. Periodically check your expiration dates to make sure you have non-expired medicines. Information on dosing is available under “Protocols” on our website. We would recommend you keep on hand the following things:

  1. Benadryl® (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine that is useful for allergies, hives, itchy rashes (poison ivy, chicken pox, and others), and some cold symptoms. There are liquids, chewables, and pills that you swallow.
  2. Tylenol® (acetaminophen) is a fever-reducer and pain-reliever. It is safe for 2 months of age and above. It comes in infant drops, children’s liquid, chewables, and pills that you swallow.
  3. Motrin® or Advil® (ibuprofen) is a fever-reducer and pain-reliever. It is safe for 6 months of age and above. It should not be used unless we specifically told you to with children with chicken pox, dehydration, or kidney disease. It is available in infant drops, children’s liquid (“suspension”), chewables, and pills that you swallow.
  4. Neosporin® is a topical antibiotic (antibacterial) ointment. It is used for cuts and scrapes. It can help prevent these from becoming infected. It is safe for all ages.
  5. Elastic bandages (such as Band-Aids®) are used to cover cuts and scrapes. The youngest of children may pull them off very quickly and swallow them, so be alert for that possibility.
  6. Hydrogen peroxide is a liquid that is available over-the-counter. It is used to clean cuts and scrapes.

In addition to these medications, it is recommended to have a thermometer and a pair of tweezers. For taking the temperature and removing splinters, these are very helpful to have available in your medicine cabinet. During the cold and flu season, it is convenient to have Pedialyte® (for infants and toddlers) or Gatorade® (for older children) on hand if your child has vomiting or diarrhea. 

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Last Updated: 06/2019