Self-Care Supplies

More of your health care takes place in your home than anywhere else. Having the right tools, medicines, supplies, and information on hand is important for your self-care.

Most of the items below don't cost a lot. They are easy to use and can be bought at most pharmacies and grocery stores.

These are helpful first-aid supplies:

  • Adhesive strips, such as Band-Aids, in assorted sizes
  • Adhesive tape, 2.5 cm (1 in.) wide
  • Cotton balls
  • Elastic (such as Ace) bandage, 7.5 cm (3 in.) wide
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Medical gloves
  • Roll of gauze bandage,5 cm (2 in.) wide
  • Safety pins
  • Sterile gauze pads, 5 cm (2 in.) square
  • Tweezers

These are helpful self-care tools to have on hand:

  • Cold pack
  • Eyedropper
  • Hand-held mirror
  • Heating pad
  • Humidifier or vaporizer
  • Medicine spoon
  • Nail clippers
  • Pillbox
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer

If you have children younger than age 6, consider adding:

  • Bulb aspirator or syringe.
  • Otoscope, an instrument with a light that you can use to look into the ear canal.

Some of the over-the-counter medicines you may want to have on hand include antibiotic cream or ointment for minor cuts and scratches and acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever relief. Be sure to store all medicines out of the reach of children.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine

Current as ofOctober 9, 2017

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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