Streamline Your Supplies
Real Simple asked the pros: What do you really need in your desk, toolbox, and more.
- Children’s ibuprofen and acetaminophen (your doctor may recommend either).
- Calamine lotion, for insect bites and exposure to itch-inducing plants.
- Floss picks: easier for kids.
- Dental floss: better for adults.
- One tube of toothpaste: Stock extras where there’s more room.
- Replacement toothbrushes, for forgetful overnight guests.
- A digital thermometer: quicker and safer than the breakable version.
- Tweezers with angled tips, for splinters.
- A small nail clipper.
- Chewable antacids work for kids and adults.
- Shea butter, for chapped lips and cheeks.
- Kids’ cough medicine, in a favorite flavor.
- Hydrocortisone cream, for rashes, eczema, and skin irritation.
- An antibiotic ointment, for killing bacteria and soothing cuts.
- Alcohol pads (instead of a big bottle), for disinfecting.
- Flexible bandages in a multipack, including some giant-size ones for big scrapes.
- Acetaminophen and ibuprofen, for adult aches.
- Benadryl, an oral antihistamine, for allergic reactions.
- Hard-core cough syrup for grown-ups.
- Saline nasal spray: a small bottle for each family member, so you don’t pass on germs.
- Betsy Ellis, school nurse in Memphis.
- Jenny Kuzjak, emergency-room nurse in Charlottesville, Virginia.
- Julie Kardos and Naline Lai, pediatricians in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and founders of the blog Two Peds in a Pod.