When I was growing up my mom had a burgundy Tupperware container that she kept our medical supplies in. I don’t remember it ever being too full. There was the basics in it but we didn’t have boxes and boxes of stuff.
With my oldest I put together a box with all the essential items (or what I thought were essential items) but as I had more kids I realised that we didn’t actually need most of it.
Now I have a small basket that has some stopayne, valoid suppositories, smecta, immodium, mag phos tissue salts, and anthisan in. That is it. We don’t even have plasters, largely because if we have plasters my kids use them for everything. If they do cut themselves, w make a plan. Fortunately my kids are not sick often and when they are it is generally with a tummy bug or they will have a temperature.
The fact they aren’t often sick is one reason for keeping this basket minimal but the other is that we really don’t need to keep a million different medicines. I know when it comes to our kids we want to be prepared but I do think you can be prepared without buying loads of medicines.
Yes, medicine bottles sometimes come in glass but more often than not you get plastic bottles and EVERYTHING is in additional packaging.
We have been using tissue salts and homepathic remedies for many years and the tissue salts come in glass bottles without additional packaging. This is obviously not for everyone.
I am not saying to sacrifice what your family needs for the sake of going plastic free, I am simple saying think about what is your medicine box and think about what you are buying.
I found this really great article about how to put a zero-waste first aid box.
These are a few tips we have used to minimize the waste in our first aid box.
- Storage. Keep your box small. If you are using a large box, you will want to fill it and will probably end up buying things you don’t actually need.
- Cuts and scrapes. When our kids do cut themselves, we apply pressure, stop the bleeding and then clean it. I love aloe vera gel and it works well for just about anything. But generally we just clean it and off they go.
- Burns. We have had a few burn incidents. One required a trip to the ER but the others haven’t been too bad. Again aloe gel works so well for burns. If it is a minor burn, run under cold water, pour some vanilla essence on leave it.
- Stings and bites. I do keep a tube of anthisan cream in our medicine box but have found that aloe often works better for mozzie bites.
- Aches and pains. With two athletes in the house and my hip and back issues, someone always has an ache or a pain. Hot water bottles and homemade hot bags work the best for this and I have tried EVERYTHING. Also epsom salt baths work well too.
- Vitamins. I have very rarely given my kids vitamins. I don’t remember taking daily vitamins and so it was not something I really focused on. We focus on their diet and try to make sure they are getting in fresh fruit and veg daily.
Going natural when it comes to medicine is not for everyone and it doesn’t have to be but for us, it is important to reduce as much as we can the chemical we put into our bodies.
The more I read and learn, the more I realise that you can find natural remedies for just about anything. Of course their is a time and place for medicines and I am not anti medicine, it is just not our first port of call.
When Kiara feels a little under the weather she makes a brew of honey, lemon juice and ginger. She takes it until she feels better, usually in a day or two.
Candice, from Lexis Lunch told me to make a mix of 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp honey and to take a teaspoon at a time for sore throats! Not only is it delicious but it works!
Just like the rest of our zero-waste journey this has been a work in progress and something I am intentional about changing.