How to Stock Your Medicine Cabinet

Here's what to stock in your medicine cabinet—and what to skip—to keep your family healthy and safe all year-round.

what to store in your medicine cabinet safe for children

What To Keep In Your Medicine Cabinet

Believe it or not, you should not put medicine in your medicine cabinet. But the following items are all safe to keep above your sink.

Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Floss
It's better to put your brush here than on the counter, as flushing your toilet can spray bacteria, which could contaminate your brush—especially worrisome if someone in the family has a tummy bug. As for the toothpaste, just know that ingesting too much can be toxic for little ones because of its fluoride, so if you've got a toddler who gets into everything, store it out of reach.

Even when summer is over, you'll still want to have a bottle of sunscreen, SPF 30, near. Slather up daily, as sunburns and cancer-causing sun damage can happen in any season. Just be sure to keep tabs on how long you've had the product. Most formulas are designed to stay at their original potency for three years (when you buy a new bottle, write the date on it in permanent marker). Avoid aerosol spray sunscreens, as they're not recommended for children, who are more likely to accidentally inhale the fumes.

Digital oral varieties are generally safe and easy to use, and they're more accurate than temperature strips or mercury thermometers. Another perk: Many cost $10 or less.

First Aid Essentials
Antiseptic wipes, one box of adhesive strips in assorted sizes and a box of 4-by-4-inch gauze pads should be enough to dress most cuts, scrapes and burns. You need medical tape to hold the gauze in place. A liquid bandage works well on a joint where an adhesive strip might not adhere well. Optional items: sterile eyewash (to flush out irritants) and 100 percent aloe vera gel (to soothe sunburns).

NEXT: What not to store in your medicine cabinet