CHECKLIST: 24 Medicine Cabinet Essentials for Fever, Colds, Scrapes and Beyond


We’ve all heard the saying, “Prevention is better than cure”. Well, tell that to our kids who insist on scraping their knees skateboarding and sharing a snack with their snotty-nosed friend, even after you TOLD THEM NOT TO.

Ah yes, prevention is ideal. But you know what’s more realistic for parents? Preparation. We can’t always prevent our kids from getting injured or ill, but we can prepare for it by keeping our medicine cabinets stocked with ALL the items you may need when faced with colds, coughs, congestion, flu, fever and falls from the monkey bars.

Thankfully, our Mum Central medicine cabinet checklist covers it all! Simply save it to your phone for the next time you’re at the chemist and need to stock up.

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What to put in a medicine cabinet

For colds and flu

1. WarmSteam Vaporizer. Hands down one of the best natural products for relieving symptoms of colds, congestion, cough(even allergies) is the Vicks WarmSteam Vaporizer. It’s suitable for newborns and up, comes with the trusted Vicks name and a five-year warranty and is extra easy to use. Plus, it actually works to alleviate cold and flu symptoms and help your child get a better night’s sleep.

Find out more through the link below and pick one up at most chemists or Baby Bunting.

Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer
The Vicks warm steam vaporizer lasts 12-14 hours and will shut down when water runs low. Source: Mum Central

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2. Nasal spray/aspirator. Nasal sprays are also suitable for every member of the family, even newborns and work by clearing congestion with a gentle saline spray. You can also get a snot sucker/aspirator to suction the snot out. Not a pretty thought, we know, but this is handy for babies who don’t know how to blow their noses.

3. Plenty of tissues! Speaking of blowing their noses, make sure you have a few packs of tissues that you can store in your bag when runny noses strike. These are great for winter weather in general.

cold and flu myths

4. Vapour Rub. Another great natural product for cold and congestion, Euky Bearub is a gentle, soothing Australian Eucalyptus chest rub that helps relieve a stuffy nose, irritating cough associated with colds and general aches and pains. Used before sleep, it helps make breathing easier. Although adult strength, it is gentle on sensitive skin. Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your healthcare professional.

5. Decongestants. These are only suitable for adults but not if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding! However, they can certainly help with cold and flu.

6. Cold and flu tablets. There are some great chewable tablets for kids 4+ that can help relieve the symptoms of cold and flu.

7. Cold and flu hot drink. These may alleviate cold and flu symptoms including relief of aches and pains, sore throat, headache, fatigue and drowsiness.

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8. Cough medicine. This is only suitable for older kids as well as adults but can be handy if for those pesky dry coughs. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist first. Great to double up with the WarmSteam Vaporizer if they have a cough.

9. Sore throat lozenges or spray. Most sore throat lozenges are not suitable for children under 6.

For fevers, teething and pain

10. Thermometer. Every household needs a thermometer, especially if you have kids. They will accurately read your child’s temperature so you know how best to treat them.

baby, thermometer
Thermometers are a must-have to accurately detect signs of a fever. Source: Supplied

11. Ibuprofen and/or paracetamol suitable for each member of the family. We tend to have one large bottle of both ibuprofen and Paracetamol for the kids plus both pain killers in tablet form for ourselves.

12. Teething gel. If you’ve got a baby 4 months+ at home, then a teething gel can help alleviate the pain associated with teething. TIP: It’s also pretty helpful for mouth ulcers. Always use as directed and consult your pharmacist.

For scrapes, sprains, cuts, and burns

13. Antiseptic cream. Designed to help heal and soothe wounds, an antiseptic cream is designed for cuts, grazes, burns, even nappy rash and insect bites. Heck, some people even use it on pimples!

14. Bandages of all shapes and sizes. Preferably ones with characters or colourful patterns on them. And make sure you buy double the amount if you have a preschooler because Bandaids FIX everything. Oh, and double that amount again if your child likes to play doctor. Dolls and teddies often get injured.

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Always double the bandaids with toddlers in tow (plus some if they love playing doctor or nurse!) Source: Bigstock

15. Gauze bandages and waterproof dressing. These are useful for hefty cuts that usually end in tears and the need for extra cuddles.

16. Scissors and tweezers. Scissors for cutting bandages and tweezers for removing splinters.

17. Ice and heat packs. Both are especially handy if you have sporty kids who may get sprains, strains or sore muscles from time to time.

18. Aloe vera. The bee’s knees for sunburns!

19. Tape suitable for strapping, such as RockTape. Again, this is essential when you’ve got sporty kids. TIP:  Rock Tape is also very handy during pregnancy!

pregnancy hacks with sports tape
Source: Diary of a Fit Mommy

For digestive and tummy trouble

20. Rehydration powder or ice blocks. These are so handy to have when your little one is struck with gastro! Speaking of gastro, I would also recommend having a vomit bucket hidden in the cabinet.

21. Antacids. These are chewable tablets to help with indigestion and tummy pain. There are a few on the market, some suitable for kids and some not, so be sure to consult a pharmacist before adding these to your cart.

22. Worming treatment. So easy to forget this one but, ladies and gents, we have to worm ourselves and our kids every month. It’s a part of life. Better safe than sorry!

23. High-fibre products such as Metamucil. Another product to keep on hand is a fibre supplement. Many adults will take it every day to keep them regular but it can also be one of the most natural methods to help you when feeling bloated and blocked up.

24. A constipation buster. Speaking of blocked up, it’s also a good idea to invest in a constipation buster, a tablet or liquid, just in case your little one is having trouble going. This is a common problem for children, especially during the toilet training stage.

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Constipation can be really common in little kids, so be prepared! Source: Adobe Stock

Medicine cabinet checklist: Other medications you may need

We hope our handy Mum Central medicine cabinet checklist helps prepare you for all the bumps, bruises and bugs that come with life.

Of course, you may have a few other medications in your cabinet – antihistamines and eye drops for allergies, colic relief and/or gripe water if you have an infant with tummy trouble, vitamins, sleep aids, special creams and ointments, etc.

Just remember, prevention isn’t always possible, but preparation can make all the difference when helping them to feel better.

What to read next

This is a sponsored post for Vicks Australia & New Zealand

*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, speak to your healthcare professional. Certain trademarks used under license from The Procter & Gamble Company or its affiliates.

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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