Why You Need a 'Sick Kit'

Your 'sick kit' should include more than just what's in your medicine cabinet. Kellis/Shutterstock

Maybe you feel that tell-tale tickling of a scratchy throat, or it could be something less subtle like the hit-by-a-truck onset of the flu.

Whatever ailment is barreling your way, feeling under the weather will be a lot more bearable if you're relatively prepared. Why not create a "sick kit"?

Reddit user chap_stik brought up the idea when she woke up one morning with a stomach flu or a mild case of food poisoning. She lives alone with all her family out of state and didn't want to bother friends, so she crawled out of bed and went to the store to buy supplies like ginger ale, chicken soup, saltines and popsicles.

"It was not one of my best moments," chap_stick wrote. "I couldn't help think how it would have been so much more convenient if I had some sort of pre-prepared 'sick kit' containing these types of items."

Even if you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet and a partner who can run to the store for you, it's still a great idea to have your supplies ready to go. Here's how to do it.

What to stock

Maybe the guys weren't exaggerating how sick they were after all?. kurhan/Shutterstock

Medicine — If you have a packed medicine cabinet, your probably don't need to make medication part of your sick kit. But whether you're checking your supplies or starting from scratch, here's what you may want to consider:

  • day and night cold medicine
  • pain reliever
  • cough drops
  • cough medicine
  • mucus medicine
  • antihistamine
  • decongestant
  • sore throat spray

Comfort supplies — You likely already have tissues in the house, but you may want to squirrel away a box with lotion added for special occasions. That soothing special touch can make a big difference when your nose is sore from constant blowing. Add a heating pad, hot water bottle or one of those microwaveable/freezable rice packs for aches and pains.

Bland foods — When you feel icky, plain foods are the way to go. That means saltine crackers, rice and applesauce in the pantry and some frozen pops in the freezer for a sore throat. Canned soups offer easy meals when you're ready to venture into heartier fare. If you make a batch of soup when you're feeling healthy, freeze individual portions to have on hand for your under-the-weather days.

Drinks — Stash away an oral electrolyte solution like Pedialyte or your favorite sports drink. Keep ginger ale or another clear soda on hand, and add herbal tea, if that's what soothes you when you don't feel so hot.

Where to store it

If you're responsible and organized, then you can make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked and tuck the rest of your supplies into a corner of your pantry.

But Reddit users were quick to point out that saltines and Gatorade would never last in their homes unless they were hidden away. One person said they keep their kit stashed in a drawer under the bed. Another keeps it in the closet.

As the original poster, chap_stik suggests, "One last note, obviously most of this stuff is perishable, so keep your kit somewhere that you won't forget about it until it's too late."

And occasionally check the expiration dates and replenish as needed. That will give you a chance to eat the saltines.