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Lets face it, even a minor illness can cause unwanted disruption to your life. Make sure you’re prepared for most common ailments by keeping a well stocked self care kit at home. A decent kit can cost as little as £10 and last you all year.

Here are the 11 most important items you should always have.

1 – Pain killers


Pain killers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin are great at relieving most minor aches and pains such as headaches, back ache, period pains and nursing a hangover.

They can also be used to relieve the fever and aches of colds and flu.

The anti-inflammatory effects of ibuprofen are effective at relieving muscle aches and the pain from sprains.

Cost: Around 20p for 16 tablets

2 – Oral rehydration salts


Vomiting, diarrhoea, fevers and hangovers all cause us to lose water and essential minerals and can lead to dehydration.

Oral rehydration salts can help restore the natural balance of fluid and minerals when you can’t continue your normal diet, relieving tiredness and discomfort.

Cost: FROM £1.50 for 6 sachets

3 – Thermometer


This is an essential piece of kit. I’ll help you monitor your temperature and alert you to signs of more serious illness.

There are many different types of thermometers available.

Cost: varies between £2 to £20

4 – Antihistamines


These are great for easing allergy symptoms and if you suffer from hayfever. They are also helpful for easing the itch after you’ve been bites and stings.

There are many antihistamines available over the counter, including cetirizine, loratidine, chlorphenamine and acrivastine.

Cost: from 50p for 14 Cetirizine tablets

5 – Anti-diarrhoea tablets


Diarrhoea is horrible! It can be caused by a number of things, such as viral infections and food poisoning.

Anti-diarhoea medicines can quickly control diarrhoea symptoms by slowing down the action of the gut, but they can’t cure the underlying cause. Probably best to avoid the dodgy kebab on the way back from the nightclub…

The most common antidiarrhoea medicines contain loperamide.

Cost: from £1 for 6 Loperamide capsules


6 – Indigestion treatment

Simple antacids can help reduce stomach acidity and ease the symptoms of indigestion, somach ache, heartburn and trapped wind.

Common medications include: Rennies, gaviscon, ranitidine.

Cost: From £1 for 12 Ranitidine 75mg tablets

7 – Plasters & dressings


These are always handy for cuts, wounds and grazes. Covering a wound will help to stop bleeding and prevent infections. Make sure you have a variety of sizes in your kit.

Cost varies. You can buy a mixed pack in the pound shop.

8 – An antiseptic liquid or cream


It makes sense to clean wounds before applying a dressing to prevent infection. Antiseptics are also useful to stings, bites, ulcers and spots.

Cost: £1 upwards

9 – Bandages


These are useful for supporting sprained ankles and wrists after an accidental trip on the sports pitch.

Bandages can also be used to apply pressure to large wounds to help control bleeding before treatment at the minor injuries unit or A&E.

Cost £1 upwards

10 – Tweezers


If you’ve got a splinter take it out. Leaving them in can cause discomfort and potential infection.

Cost £1 upwards

11 – A self care guide


There are loads of great websites and books available, including the NHS Choices Website, the SheffieldUHS app and The Haynes Manual: Self Care for Minor Ailments.

You can get free self care advice from the WebGP online service at University Health Service.

Cost: Free
A note on Medicines & prices

The above prices are an illustration of how cheaply you can find these items. Large pharmacies and supermarket chains may not always offer the best deals so it pays to shop around.

Our kit comes in at a total cost of £10.60

We do not recommend any particular brand of medication or shop.

Remember to check the directions for each medicine, check it is in date and don’t take medicines you have an allergy to.

The Healthy Campus experts are hosting a  twitter chat about self care on 18/11/15 at 1pm

The healthy campus experts will available on twitter to answer your questions about self care, including freshers flu, during the online health chat from 1-2pm on Wednesday 18th November 2015.

Follow us on Twitter @healthy_uos

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