Family Living Focus

With the beginning of spring comes the end of winter’s flu, cold, and cough medicines. This means it is also a great time to unclutter your medication cabinet and get rid of dangerous and outdated items.

What to Throw Away:

Expired medicines lose their effectiveness and, in some instances, can become dangerous. Check expiration dates thoroughly.

Nearly empty bottles create clutter and may not even have enough medicine left for a full dose.

Improperly stored items can partially evaporate, leaving them more concentrated and dangerous. Get rid of items that were not sealed or stored properly.

Duplicates of items that are not used often only create clutter. If you do want to keep duplicates, move them out of the medicine cabinet and into a larger area to store. Try a large bathroom cabinet, or your pantry.

Old prescriptions or partially used prescriptions should not be saved. Check with your physician if you have questions about saving prescriptions.

What to Add:

Sunscreens with the right amount of Sun Protection Factor (SPF).

Aloe vera to treat burns.

Insect repellant to keep spring’s bugs at bay.

Insect bite relief for when they bite you anyway.

Heating and cooling packs for sprains and strains during outdoor fun.

Allergy medications for allergy sufferers.

Updated first aid kit including band-aids, antiseptic wash, and ointment for spring scrapes.

Contact your local Public Health Nursing or American Red Cross for a guide which includes recommended items to place in your first aid kit as well.


If you would like more information on “Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet” contact Gail Gilman, Family Life Consultant, M.Ed., C.F.C.S. and Professor Emeritus –ì University of Minnesota at waldn001@umn.edu. Be sure to watch for more Family Living Focus® information in next week’s paper.


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