The world has had to slow down and lock down for some months now due to the COVID pandemic. While we need to ensure that we are keeping our family safe and healthy at home, it is important to have your COVID home care kit essentials ready. This will help you and your household prepare for possible illness.
Having a COVID home care kit on hand will help to ease your anxiety and also ensure that you don’t panic, in case a family member gets sick, even if it isn’t COVID-related. This is especially important if you have a family member who is at high-risk of contracting the virus.
In Your Medical Kit
These items should be part of your medical kit which should be kept bedside, in the room of a sick family member.
- Thermometer – If you have kids, have a child-friendly version too, like a scanner so kids don’t get scared when it’s used on them.
- Blood pressure monitor – This is especially important if you have family members who are taking medication for hypertension and need to have their blood pressure checked regularly.
- Over-the-counter medicines – These include medicines to help reduce fever, cough suppressants, saline nose spray, etc. If you have kids, stock up on medicine for children too.
- First-aid essentials – Be prepared to treat minor injuries with bandages, gauzes, cotton balls, etc. A first aid kit should be available in your local pharmacy.
- Diapers – If you have babies and senior family members who might need them.
- Electrolytes – These are in the form of beverages such as Gatorade or other brands sold in your local pharmacy.
- Hand Sanitizer – This should have an alcohol solution of at least 70%.
- Face Masks – There should be one for each person, per day.
- Single Use Latex/Rubber Gloves – These should be replaced after each interaction with an ill family member.
- Bottled Water – Ideally, a gallon per person, per day.
- Essential Oils – These have many uses such as for treating insect bites, alleviating headaches, disinfecting and also for aromatherapy, as a natural way to lift up everyone’s mood.
- Symptoms Log – This can be a notebook where you can take down the sick person’s symptoms per day so that if they are taken to the hospital, you can immediately provide the doctors with the patient’s information.
In Your Personal Files
- Copies of medical records – These include copies of past medical surgeries, illness and prescriptions, for each member of the family.
- Copies of important documents – These include driver’s license, social security card, insurance policies, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, wills, deeds, etc. These can also be segregated per family member.
- Emergency contact list – This includes family, friends, neighbors, car drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, your local public health department and other community organizations that you can contact for support when necessary.
In Your Kitchen
- Non-Perishable food (for at least 3 days) – These are ready to eat food items that doesn’t need much preparation in case you or a family member is feeling ill and can’t cook.
- Healthy, ready-made food – Fresh produce should also be part of your diet to keep the whole family healthy. Clean, chop and put fruits and veggies in containers so they can be readily accessible in your fridge.
- Broth, warm water, tea and non-alcoholic drinks – These should be handy to keep everyone hydrated (if they don’t want water) while helping minimize chances of allowing the virus to thrive in your throat.
- Plastic plates and utensils – These should be designated for use only by the sick family member.
- Paper towels, tissue and toilet paper – For cleaning up any messes.
- Soap and bleach – Have a sufficient supply to keep all surfaces in your home clean.
- Laundry detergent – To wash clothes and linens regularly.
In The Room
A sick family member should be assigned their own room in the house with their own set of towels, beddings, pillows and blankets. Healthy family members who are not taking care of the patient, and pets, should stay out of the room as well.
Daily Preventive Care
To keep everyone healthy, daily preventive care should be observed in the household as well as when going out of the house. These include:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm’s length) from other people.
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue and dispose of it properly.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Wear your face mask when going out in public.
- Disinfect by washing your hands and/or taking a shower, when going back home.
We should also take good care of our beloved pets. Although pets don’t seem to be at risk, they can still be carriers of the virus. So it is best to let them stay inside as much as possible. Thus, you should also be prepared with pet supplies to keep them healthy while you are all stuck at home.
Be sure to stock up on pet food, pet grooming items and medicine that your pet needs. Have their leash and carrier, and their vaccination records on hand. Limit their interaction with other people and other pets outside your home too.
Keep in mind that you can still tailor this to your family’s specific needs. You may not have everything on these lists. The least you can do is to maintain daily preventive care to ensure the health and safety of your family.