Health Kit for Your Dorm Room

Health Kits for College Students

Being successful in college can depend on many things including staying healthy and getting healthy when sick or injured. We are here to help students do both of these things through our various medical services and wellness education/counseling programs. We also have a lot of health information available in our self-care guide.  

One way that students can take care of themselves is to make sure they bring some basic health care items when they come to college. Here are our recommendations for some items to put into a “health care kit” that will be useful for them while away from home.  

Essential Items

  • Thermometer (digital, not glass or mercury)
  • Multivitamin
  • Tissues
  • Salt (for salt water gargles for sore throats)
  • Eye Wash
  • Tweezers
  • Sore Throat/ Cough Lozenges
  • Aches/Pain/Fever Medicine: non-prescription analgesics such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and/or ibuprofen (Motrin®, Motrin IB®, and Advil®) work well for fever control and pain, including headache.
  • Allergy Medication (if needed)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®, for itchy bug bites or allergy of many kinds)
  • Cough/Cold Medications (always read labels carefully, particularly on multi-symptom medication to avoid “double-dosing.” Take medication as directed on package).
  • Decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (purchased from behind pharmacy counter) are highly recommended for nasal/sinus congestion and clogged ears.
  • Cough medications such as guaifenesin (Robitussin®, Mucinex®) are expectorants and help to loosen phlegm in the chest.
  • Band-Aids (various sizes)
  • Gauze/Tape
  • Ace Bandages (various sizes)
  • Rubbing Alcohol/ Peroxide
  • Antibacterial ointment such as Bacitracin
  • PeptoBismol®/ Antacid
  • Waterless alcohol-base (at least 60%) hand cleaner. There is no need to have antibacterial soap or hand cleansers; in fact, these items are often expensive and are not as effective in killing germs/viruses as soap and water.

Good to Have 

  • Heating Pad
  • Ice pack or chemical cold pack
  • Humidifier/Cool Mist
  • Soup Packages
  • Crackers
  • Clear liquids are helpful in any illness (Ginger ale, water, sports drinks, clear juices such as apple and cranberry, clear chicken or vegetable broths, Jello®, and Kool-Aid®. 
  • Freezer pops are very soothing when ill with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or sore throat.)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm

Health Services has a Pharmacy with a number of non-prescription medication, such as pain medications, vitamins, antacids, and cough and cold preparations, available at a reduced cost compared to drug stores or supermarkets.