What should be in our first aid kit at home?
Children are active and curious by nature. So they may experience minor cuts, scrapes, stings, allergic reactions, pain, fever, and coughs. We can’t run to the emergency room all the time, and even if we can, it’s best to administer treatment as soon as possible to prevent any injury or disease from getting worse.
For this reason, a well-stocked first-aid kit, kept within easy reach, is a must for every home. If you have the right supplies ahead of time, you will be more capable of handling an emergency at a moment’s notice. It’s best to keep a first aid kit at home and also in your car.
Why should you have a first aid kit at home?
It should be a no-brainer, but a first aid kit is essential in every home. As parents, we know how uncertain a day with kids can go. And having a set of items you can use in case of emergency will help you become more present and capable in the moment. Instead of running to the drugstore in the middle of the night for fever medicine, you can just stay at home and use one in your first aid kit and tend to your baby while staying in touch with her doctor.
Having a first aid kit at home enables you to treat injuries quickly. Being able to give your child or any family member first aid can also stop their injuries from getting worse and lessen the risks of complications.
What should you be in your first aid kit?
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Here is a list of what your medical kit should have:
1. Antiseptic Solution or Wipes
This is used for disinfecting minor cuts, wounds or scrapes and for cleaning the hands. Antiseptics, such as Dettol Antiseptic Cream, are available in drug stores.
2. Antibiotic Ointment
After cleaning minor cuts, wounds or scrapes, an antibiotic ointment with an active ingredient such as Bacitracin or Mupirocin, should be applied. This is to prevent the risk of infections while the cut, wound or scrape is healing.
3. Adhesive Bandages or Band-Aids
These are placed on the areas of wounds in order to prevent contamination and the possibility of a cut, wound or scrape being infected. Band-Aids which come in colourful packages may encourage your child to place them over a healing wound.
4. Hydrocortisone Cream, Ointment or Lotion
This can be used on the skin of young children to soothe the itch, redness, dryness, inflammation or discomfort they may be experiencing. It is generally safe as long as it is used moderately.
Whenever you feel that your child has fever, it is always safe to use a thermometer to determine the body temperature of your child. Choose a digital thermometer over the mercury-filled glass thermometer especially if you have a young child.
6. Pain and Fever Medicines
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are the recommended pain and fever medicines which should be included in your medical kit.
If your child is suffering from watery eyes, itching and running nose, an antihistamine will help in reducing and relieving those allergy symptoms.
To treat or clear out your child’s stuffy nose which is caused by allergies or colds, a decongestant is to be given.
9. Cough Syrups
There are two types of cough syrups: the cough expectorant and the cough suppressant. A cough expectorant, such as guaifenesin, is said to liquefy lung secretions while a cough suppressant, such as dextromethorphan, is known to reduce coughing especially if it causes sleeplessness or difficulty among little children.
10. Cold pack
When your child bumps any part of his body or has a sprain or an insect bite, an instant cold pack will be useful to reduce the swelling caused by such accidents. An instant cold pack is one that does not need to be frozen but is readily available by just putting pressure on it.
11. Important contact numbers
Even if you have it on your phone, it is still best to have your family doctor or paediatrician’s contact numbers written on a piece of paper and stored in the first aid kit. In unforeseen circumstances, you might not have access to your mobile phone. Also, try to include the number of the nearest hospital in your area.
What to remember when assembling a first aid kit
These medical supplies are just the basic essentials of a medical or a first-aid kit at home. You can add more to the supplies in your kit especially when your child has a recurrent medical condition or when the need arises.
Aside from the medications, don’t forget items like scissors for cutting bandages or tweezers and non-latex gloves for handling delicate wounds.
Do not forget to replenish the supplies as they run out and throw away any medicine or drug that has expired. Indeed, it is better to be caught prepared rather than to sacrifice your child’s health and safety
If you have a baby, you might need to add some infant-appropriate alternatives. You can ask your child’s paediatrician which medicines can you include in the first aid kit and which ones to never give your baby, even in an emergency.
Moreover, it’s important to store the first aid kit where your baby or young children can’t reach it. However, make sure that the grownups in the house and even your child’s babysitter knows where they are.
If you’re travelling, pack the first-aid kit in your checked luggage, as many of the items won’t be permitted in carry-on bags.
Updates by Camille Eusebio
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