Keine Kamera verfügbar. Bitte Zugriff auf Kamera erlauben und Applikation neu starten.

Always to hand: these things belong in a well-stocked home pharmacy kit

A cut finger, a grazed knee, a painful wasp sting, a night-time fever: the medicines and items found in a well-stocked home pharmacy kit can soon treat minor ailments and slight disorders. You should always have these basics at home in case of emergency.

Well prepared for emergencies

Many accidents happen at home and with children especially, it is essential to have a basic supply of medicines and dressings handy. Small injuries or minor complaints can soon be alleviated and in addition, a well-stocked home pharmacy kit is reassuring. However, there are few things to be taken into consideration when putting together your home pharmacy kit, starting with storing medicines properly and including the most important drugs and how to dispose of them.

Child-proof, cool and dry

Your home pharmacy kit should be geared to the people who make up the household and their needs, as special medicines are available depending on age, and particularly for children. Basically: Your home pharmacy kit should contain only over-the-counter remedies. It should be stored in an easily accessible place - which is why many people keep their pharmacy kit in the bathroom or the kitchen. However, this is not advisable: the moisture levels and temperature changes here may adversely affect the medication. This could potentially make them less effective. The ideal spot is an unheated, dry place such as the hall or the bedroom.
Great care should be taken when children are around: the home pharmacy kit must be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a lockable medicine cabinet - and the key should not be left in the lock.

First aid for minor injuries

An awkward move, a careless step - that’s all it takes: cuts and grazes, minor burns and the like need first aid. So you should have a supply of basic dressings at home, such as plasters in various sizes and sterile compresses to cover wounds and keep them free of germs, gauze and elastic bandages to apply ointments, a triangular bandage to make a sling and, of course, bandage scissors and fasteners. Not just since the coronavirus situation, but always good to have at hand are  disinfectant, sterile disposable gloves and protective masks.

Medicines – the most important basics

Things always happen at just the wrong time: in the evening, at the weekend, during holiday periods - suddenly people come down with sore throats, a temperature or gastric and intestinal disorders. Minor injuries can soon occur with sport, too, and especially with babies or young children, you need to be well prepared at all times. Every home pharmacy kit should include these basic medicines and items:
  • lozenges for sore throats and tickling coughs
  • cough syrup - alcohol-free for children!
  • electrolytes to deal with fluid loss due to diarrhoea or vomiting
  • antipyretics and analgesics specifically for children
  • painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol for headaches, etc.
  • creams and ointments to treat sunburn or burns and alleviate itching after an insect bite or sting
  • nasal spray - helpful to clear a blocked nose and ears
  • cooling gel for swelling after sports injuries.

Medication for children

For infants especially, remember the following: in an emergency it is best to ask your doctor. Basically, however, it is advisable to have remedies against wind, diarrhoea and vomiting, cold symptoms and high temperatures in your home pharmacy kit. This means analgesic and antipyretic remedies/suppositories (e.g. fennel-aniseed-caraway), cough syrup, electrolyte solutions to rehydrate in cases of diarrhoea and brightly coloured plasters. All these can help parents and children deal well with small aches and pains.

Helpful items

But a well-stocked home pharmacy kit contains more than just medicines. A number of other items are definitely to be recommended. These include an easy-to-read thermometer, a tick card/tweezers and tweezers to remove small splinters, disinfectant or wound spray as well as cold-warm compresses that should be kept in the freezer compartment. A hot-water bottle or a cherry stone pillow are also very useful, especially for children.

Tips from professionals

  • Sort and label medicines as required. Always keep all medication in the original packaging and where appropriate, note the date when things are opened for the first time. With antipyretic syrup for children, for example, this allows you to keep track of how long it can be used for. So that you can see immediately where which medicines are kept in the rush of an emergency, it is a good idea to sort items into smaller individual boxes labelled ‘painkiller’, ‘dressings’, etc.
  • Note emergency numbers. Affix a slip of paper to the outside of the medicine cabinet with the most important emergency numbers. Basically this means 112 (valid in Switzerland and throughout Europe), 144 to call an ambulance/paramedics, 145 for poisoning and the number of your GP/paediatrician.
  • Make sure it is complete. Once a year, check that your home pharmacy kit is complete and that the remedies it contains are not out of date. Medication that has passed its use-by date can be handed in at pharmacies, drugstores or hazardous waste collection points.