Neighborhood Book Swap

Have a neighborhood or ward “Book Swap”! Children bring anything from comic books to classics; adults trade paperbacks, recipe books, Church publications. It can be a lively get-together—also a money saver! Sharla Luker, Salt Lake City, Utah

Grandma on Tape

My mother lives in Texas—quite a distance from her three grandchildren in Utah. For some time she was unhappy because she couldn’t be a part of their daily lives.

Then she had the idea of reading stories for the children and recording them on cassette tapes. She now sends the story books—and the tapes—to the children every few months, and includes personal “visits” with each child on the tape. These recorded visits are very welcome, and the children play them over and over again.

Of course the children have now gotten into the habit of recording their own activities and “visits” to share with their long-distance grandparents. Our family has found this a most rewarding way of keeping in touch. Deborah Jones, Santaquin, Utah

Prepared for Today: Medical Supplies

I was awakened by the shrill ringing of the telephone. Answering, I heard my neighbor’s worried voice apologize and ask if she could borrow some baby aspirin. Her toddler, sick with fever, had refused regular-strength aspirin.

Later, unable to sleep, I envisioned myself in similar circumstances. I wondered at my own ability to cope with even common childhood illnesses, and admitted to myself that I felt completely dependent upon the telephone and my doctor. My own helplessness frightened me.

Of course I had read the articles on family storage, and I felt reasonably comfortable about our stocked freezer and the canned goods on rotation shelves. But would I be prepared for something that could happen any day or night? Could I properly care for a child with diarrhea, a deep cut, sudden fever, or even a persistent cough? I realized that preparation for today’s emergency must be the first step in family storage. I decided to make two collections of medical supplies—one for storage and one for current use. After consulting with my doctor, I made a shopping list of what I needed and what could be stored safely for long periods of time. Then I purchased two steel boxes with locks.

At the top of my list was a first-aid book. Inside the cover I wrote the telephone numbers of my doctor, the hospital, and the Poison Control Center. In the two metal storage boxes marked “First Aid” I put:

1. Dressings: sterile gauze, adhesive tape, Band-Aids, a triangle bandage, paper towels, sanitary pads, and cotton.

2. Combination hot water bottle/syringe/ice bag.

3. Tweezers (for splinter removal), scissors, and a sharp knife.

4. A vaporizer. (The cool vapor type is safest; improvising isn’t advisable.)

5. Thermometers, oral and rectal.

The simple remedies I placed in the steel boxes included:

1. A small bottle of honey for coughs. (Hard candies and cough drops can also be used.)

2. Salt for use as a cleansing agent or for nose drops. (Dilute one-half teaspoon in eight ounces water.)

3. Baking soda for burns.

4. Petroleum jelly for scrapes, burns, or insect bites.

5. Iodine.

6. Rice cereal, jello, and soda crackers for diarrhea. (The best home remedy for diarrhea is clear liquids, followed by simple, bland foods during recovery. There are also medications, such as paregoric, available by doctor’s prescription.)

7. Two small bottles of baby aspirin and two bottles of regular-strength aspirin. (If kept dry, aspirin does not significantly deteriorate, even over long periods of time.)

8. Two small bottles (one-ounce) of Syrup of Ipecac to induce vomiting in a person who has taken an overdose of medicine or poison. The doctor, hospital, or local Poison Control Center should be contacted without delay before any procedure is instituted. (A word of caution: Ipecac should not be given to someone who is unconscious, in convulsion, or who has swallowed corrosives such as lye or petroleum distillates like gasoline and cleaning fluids.)

I locked both metal chests. One I have placed out of reach of my younger children in the bathroom; the other is stored in a basement corner. The adults and older children know where the keys are in case the supplies are needed.

This project has brought me a sense of satisfaction and security. But it has also produced a rather unexpected side effect—it has motivated me to increase my food storage. I found out how good it feels to be prepared. Ann H. Banks, Spanish Fork, Utah

[photos] Photography by Jed A. Clark