PHARMACIST DAVID PERROTT of Union Memorial Hospital suggests a periodic inventory of your medicine cabinet. Here are the basics he thinks you should have on hand:
* Syrup of ipecac, to induce vomiting in an emergency.
* Analgesic (acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin), to relieve pain and reduce fever
* Expectorant-type cough syrup
* Antiseptic solution (such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide), to cleanse a wound.
* Topical anesthetic spray, to ease pain of scraped knees and sunburn.
* Bacitracin or other antibiotic cream, to prevent infection of cuts and burns.
* Hydrocortisone cream, to reduce inflammation from poison ivy and sunburn.
* Adhesive bandage strips
* Eye cup
* Sterile gauze pads
* Adhesive tape
* Elastic bandage for wrapping sprained joints
* Heating pad
* Ice pack
* First-aid guide for handling minor emergencies like cuts, burns and bleeding. (Handy charts are often distributed at hospital-sponsored health fairs in various communities, Perrott says.)
* Phone numbers for emergency medical help. The Maryland Poison Center number is 528-7701 in Baltimore and (800) 492-2414 elsewhere in the state.