If you’re raising a child with medical complexities, it can be overwhelming to realize or remember just how many medical supplies you need to have inside your home at all times. Not only that, you need to have backups, and backups for your backups, all ready to go at a moment’s notice. Whether or not you develop an organized system that is easy to use can truly be a matter of your child’s acute safety and well-being.
Fortunately, we belong to a community of like-minded mothers, fathers, and caregivers who have been through the organization, reorganization, and re-reorganization of their medical supplies. We can use our own experience and the collective experience of our community to put together a helpful list of tips — a step-by-step guide to reference when it’s time to start organizing your child’s medical supplies.
10 Tips to Organize Your Child’s Medical Supplies
- Reference a supply sheet: If you don’t already have one, request a supply sheet from your primary care physician (PCP) or the customer service department at your primary hospital. This can help you know when to order more and how to organize specific items by number.
- Take inventory of your supplies: Take inventory of everything you already have. This initial evaluation helps you determine your system of categorization. Using your supply sheet, continue to take inventory on a monthly basis.
- Stock up: Once you determine categories (for example, maybe you sort of body system), stock up on different types and sizes of containers.
- Divide supplies: Have a central supply station, a bedside stock, an emergency backup supply, and a grab-and-go bag.
- Maximize your space: For your central supplies, an over-the-door shoe organizer or wire rack helps you maximize your space.
- Label, label, label: Invest in a label maker and go to town. Seriously, label everything.
- Clearly mark used supplies: Have an area or shelving unit with labeled “clean” and “dirty” bins for any items that need to be cleaned and disinfected.
- Maintain appropriate temperatures: Consider temperature concerns for medications. For instance, the temperature in bathrooms generally fluctuates more so than in the kitchen, meaning you may want to avoid using bathrooms as storage areas.
- Write everything down: Put a whiteboard in the kitchen or in some other communal space to list information about medications, when to give them, appointments, etc.
- Child and pet-proof your supplies: If you have other children or pets, store all equipment higher up so they can’t reach it!
Resources From the Gus Gear Community
If you have other tips and tricks that you use to organize your child’s medical supplies, please share! Being a caregiver can be an isolating experience, but when we open up the lines of communication between each other, it can feel a little less lonely. If your child could benefit from one of our products — Central Line Vests, Ostomy Pouch Covers, G-tube Wraps, or line covers — feel free to explore our site and contact us with any questions.