We remember to pack sheets, electronics, and posters for the wall when kids go to college but what about medicine? Yes, there’s usually a medical center on campus but my guest blogger, Professional Organizer Heather Ahern of The FUNctional Home believes that preparing college students for minor medical issues is equally as important as preparing them for academics (I agree!).
When packing a student to live away at college, don’t forget to assemble a comprehensive first aid kit.
Think beyond ibuprofen and Band-Aids when creating this kit for a dorm room. On campus the Health Services are often not available 24 hours a day and some things can be handled easily if the right supplies are on hand. Students need more than the typical pre-packed first aid kit that contains only one or two doses of medications and a few bandages. Also when stocking your own first aid kit, you can ensure the medications are your preferred brands and have a longer shelf life by checking the expiration dates.
A typical first aid kit should include the basic tools and equipment needed for cuts, bumps and bruises:
• Adhesive bandages in all shapes and sizes
• antiseptic wipe packets
• antibiotic ointment
• sterile gauze pads
• adhesive tape
• hydrocortisone ointment
• eye wash
• instant cold compresses
• hot packs
• elastic (Ace) bandage
This kit will also be an extension of your medicine cabinet at home so it needs to include:
• Acetaminophen for aches and pains,
• Ibuprofen for pain caused by inflammation and swelling
• anti-diarrhea pills
• antacids in case of indigestion
• Benadryl for allergic reactions
• seasonal allergy medicine
• some basic medications for cold and flu season.
• Athlete’s foot medicine may come in handy as well.
A conversation on how to use all these new purchases will be helpful for many students living away from home for the first time.
Before my son left for his freshman year at college we took an unhurried trip to the drugstore. We walked up and down each isle collecting what he needed, discussing why he may need it, with an explanation on how to use it. Being in a new situation, having an altered schedule and eating different foods can bring on a variety of issues in the first few months that many students may have never dealt with before. Take some time to clarify why you included Imodium or Dulcolax for example and the difference between them. You may want to cover when the “kit” is appropriate and in what circumstances the Campus Health Services would be a better choice.
Purchase a durable box to contain all these supplies after you have amassed all the items to insure everything will fit.
Remove some items like bandages from their original boxes and use plastic zip-top storage bags to save space. Be sure to include a copy of their insurance card, the campus health center’s phone number, the phone number for your child’s physician and a list of any known allergies to medication.
Remember all first aid kits need to be restocked occasionally. Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents each year before heading back to school. This is a good time to do an inventory of your own supplies at home too.
Heather Ahern is a Professional Organizer living in Bridgewater MA
helping families and seniors “Make Sense of their Stuff and Create
Peace in their Home”.
For more information, tips and inspiration
visit TheFUNctionalHome.com or follow Heather on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheFUNctionalHome.
Did you make New Year’s resolutions or set goals for yourself this year? I thought I heard you shouting from the rooftop, “This is the year I’m going to get organized!’
Did you create a plan for getting organized? Have you mapped out some mini-goals for yourself? If yes, then great!
If not, that’s OK. No beating yourself up about it. Maybe you or a family member has been under the weather. Maybe ‘life’ has gotten in the way. Or perhaps, you just don’t know where to begin. You can start at anytime. How about TODAY?
No worries–take ‘baby steps.’
No one expects a baby to stand up one day and walk across the room. There’s a lot that goes on before a child meets that developmental milestone. They sit up, they crawl, they practice standing up in their crib. They take ‘baby steps’ towards mastering their actual baby steps.
You can take baby steps to reach your organizing goals, too.
Here are a few examples:
– Take a few minutes before bedtime to sort through and purge expired medicine.
– Sort and purge your piles of coupons while waiting for pasta water to boil.
– Schedule 15 minutes on your calendar to organize your sock drawer.
– Read a few posts on organizing blogs that pertain to your organizing challenge(s).
– Look at organizing ideas/products on Pinterest (don’t get sucked in, though!).
All of these teeny-tiny organizing projects and tasks are baby steps that will eventually get you where you want to be.
I often tell my clients to visualize their organizing goal as an iceberg. Baby steps are equal to the act of chipping away at that iceberg. Some days you may feel like you’re chipping away with a hammer, other days, with a toothpick. Regardless of your tool, if you keep working at it, you will reach your goal, however challenging it may be.
You CAN get organized–I know you can. Just take a baby step–one little step in the direction of the organizing goals you have set for yourself. In the beginning, it may feel as if you’re not making much progress but let me assure you–every ‘baby step’ you take towards reaching your goal will get you one step closer to the day when you can proudly shout from the rooftop, “I did it!”
What baby steps will you take to achieve organizing success?
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One might not believe it, but I’ve organized many medicine cabinets for my clients. I’ve seen more expired medicine than some pharmacists.
Ever wonder how to dispose of it safely? Well…
A few weeks ago I had to get rid of a bottle of infant Tylenol
due to a recall
of the product. The recall notice led me to call the company who not only refunded me $10 for my troubles, they gave me a website for safely disposing the medication.
I’ll be sending my clients as well as family and friends to this website for proper disposal of old medicines. Let’s help keep our homes organized and our environment clean!