Back to school means back to germs. How you organize your children’s medicine cabinet matters greatly this time of year.
I have received information and materials from JOHNSON & JOHNSON CONSUMER, Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division, LLC. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.
How to Organize Your Children’s Medicine Cabinet
It was a Sunday night, the evening before a busy day full of things to do and appointments. We sent the kids to bed “early”, or at least on time. I even shut down my laptop at a reasonable hour. I knew the day ahead was going to be taxing. My head hit the pillow, and I was out like a light – until… I heard a whimpering coming from Jonah’s room.
I rolled over and ignored the whimpering, not intentionally, but because I was still half-asleep. There it was again, an unmistakable “something is wrong” sound. THAT woke me up and I went flying into the babies’ room to see who, what and why…
(This post was originally published August 2016, updated March 2020 for accuracy.)
Little baby Jonah Bear was tossing and turning. His breathing was fast and shallow and I could tell, even in the dark that his cheeks were flushed. I touched the soles of his feet and the palms of his hands… YUP, he had a fever – and this one was well above 100.
The house was dark, but that didn’t prevent me from finding exactly what I needed. I made my way to the children’s medicine cabinet in the kitchen and I quickly grabbed the thermometer and the Children’s TYLENOL®.
Thanks to our medicine cabinet being well-organized and fully stocked I am never caught off guard when a fever or minor medical emergency strikes.
Check out our children’s medicine cabinet and how we stock it. I am sure you will find all or some of my tips useful in your own home.
We have four boys ages 9, 7, 4 and 2. (Edited to add: Our kids are 13, 11, 8 and 6 as of March 2020). One of our boys has a few medical conditions that require daily medication, which is why being organized is not a luxury but a necessity for our family.
Tips and Tricks to Organize Your Children’s Medicine Cabinet:
- Keep your medicine in a convenient and central location of the house, but of course OUT OF CHILDREN’S REACH!
- We keep our children’s medication in a kitchen cabinet above the refrigerator.
- Separate your medication into the following categories in clear plastic bins with lids and clearly marked with labels:
- Everyday medication: The content of this bin changes depending on the kids’ medical needs. I only keep the pills, liquids and nasal sprays currently being used in this bin. Once they feel better and no longer need to take the medication it is moved into one of the other bins.
- First Aid: This one is clearly marked and fully stocked with bandages, itch cremes, anti-bacterial ointments and anything else necessary to treat bumps and bruises.
- Prescription Medication: We have a number of cremes, drops and pills that were prescribed to treat various ailments. Everything is kept in the original box so I always have the name of the child, the date and the instructions of how to administer the medicine.
- Over the Counter: This bin is always kept up-to-date primarily with Children’s TYLENOL® and Children’s MOTRIN®. I also keep saline nasal sprays and allergy medications on hand. This is the “go-to” bin for fevers, aches and pains.
- Syringes and dosage cups: You can never have too many of these, especially when more than one child is sick at a time.
- Devices: As the mother of a child with medical conditions, I have over time found it convenient to own more than one standard thermometer. I am now also the proud owner of a pulse ox, peak flow meter and otoscope.
- Nebulizer machines, breathing treatments and masks: Our house is usually hard hit with upper respiratory infections during the cold/ flu seasons, so we always have this well-stocked.
- Vitamins: It is important to keep gummy vitamins and vitamins containing iron out the reach of curious kids, which is why our vitamins are on the top shelf.
Additional Tips & a FREE Printable Medication Chart:
- Check supplies and expiration dates every six months: I go through all the bins twice a year (right before back-to-school) and during their Christmas break. I discard the expired medication and stock up on anything we are running low on.
- Weigh children and write down updated dosages every six months: Remember most over-the-counter medication dosages are based on weight and not age.
- Don’t assume you will remember how much your toddler weighs at 2:00 am when he’s screaming in pain from an ear infection.
- Having the information written down has saved me on a number of occasions. (It’s also a great way to track your child’s weight to make sure they are gaining at a healthy rate.)
- Keep track of when the next dose is due: When your child is sick and you start administering medication, print this “Daily Medication Chart“. Instead of trying to remember when you last gave medication and when the next dose is due, use this Medication Chart. It is an invaluable tool when there is more than one adult caring for the child. This simple sheet can prevent an accidental overdose or skipped doses.
We have kept our medicine cabinet organized like this for years, and it has been a sanity-saving system for our family. There is never any doubt of who is taking which medication or the required dosage. Especially with back-to-school around the corner, I know back-to-germ season is soon to follow.
Keeping our house well-stocked with trusted medications for life’s unexpected bumps and bruises is a necessity when you have four boys. I am proud to say that we are fully prepared for most of life’s curveballs.
Bring it on… this mama is ready!