|You should check your medicine cabinets and first aid kits regularly!|
- Throw out any medications past their expiration dates! The dates are the last day that the manufacture guarantees the product to be effective and safe. Some meds get stronger after the date, others get less effective. Some will become dangerous. Don't decide for yourself. It's better safe than sorry here.
- Throw out any medications with damage to the packaging that could have exposed the medication. Holes in bottles, pill packs that have water stains, anything like that should be tossed.
- Check prescriptions as well. Prescriptions are often dated, but if not, should almost always be tossed after a year past the date they were filled. If you have any questions about the safety of your prescription meds or when they expire, call your doctor or pharmacy.
- Flush any dangerous or street-valuable drugs. Any pain killers or hormonal medications should be flushed instead of tossed in the trash.
- Contact your local pharmacy for instructions on how to handle any medications you are not familiar with. Some medications need to be properly disposed of by a pharmacy, specifically breathing treatments and injections. Always be careful with medication if you are unsure of it's proper handling or disposal.
- Check your first aid kit and toss any bandages that are wet or show signs of water damage. These may not be sterile any longer and a dirty dressing is an infection waiting to happen!
- Check that your first aid kit is stocked. Make sure you have any items that you use on a regular basis and that you replace any necessities that may need to be thrown out.
- Check that you are stocked on the basics. Whatever your family uses often, check what you have and make a plan for when to get it. Important items often include cough drops, allergy meds, pain relievers, and creams for rashes/skin issues.
I hope this comes in handy. Remember: it's important to practice good safety habits with medications at all times. When that splitting headache hits or your little one is up with the stomach bug at 2 am, you won't be checking dates before using those meds and that can be dangerous. If you use natural or herbal treatments: talk with your herbalist about proper storage, expiration, and disposal as herbal treatments vary considerably.
Wishing you all health, safety, and happiness!