More of your health care takes place in your home than anywhere else. Having the right tools, medicines, supplies, and information on hand is important for your self-care.
Most of the items below don't cost a lot. They are easy to use and can be bought at most drugstores and grocery stores.
These are helpful first-aid supplies to have at home:
Adhesive bandages, such as Band-Aids, in assorted sizes
Adhesive tape, 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide
Elastic (such as Ace) bandage, 3 in. (8 cm) wide
Roll of gauze bandage, 2 in. (5 cm) wide
Sterile gauze pads, 2 in. (5 cm) square
These are helpful self-care tools to have at home:
Humidifier or vaporizer
If you have children younger than age 6, consider adding these:
Bulb aspirator or syringe
Otoscope, an instrument with a light that you can use to look into the ear canal
Some of the over-the-counter medicines you may want to have on hand include antibiotic cream or ointment for minor cuts and scratches and acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever relief. Be sure to store all medicines out of the reach of children.
Current as of: February 26, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff Clinical Review Board: All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.
NOTICE: This health information was not created by Columbia University Irving Medical Center and may not necessarily reflect specific CUIMC practices. For medical advice relating to your personal condition, please consult your doctor. Medical advice disclaimer.