If you have a child, you need a well-stocked first aid kit. What should you include?
You can purchase a pre-assembled model and add your modifications or start from scratch. Whichever option you choose, ensure yours includes these nine must-haves in a first aid kit for kids.
1. No-Sting Cleaning Wipes
Kids rarely have a moment when they aren’t a little bit messy. Normally, a bit of dirt poses no problem — until your kiddo gets a cut or scrape.
Your first order of business is to stop the bleeding, determining if your child will get by with a bandage or needs to see a doctor for stitches. Once you see it’s just a scrape, clean the area using the right cleaning wipes.
Please note that alcohol-based wipes can damage the wound bed. It’s better to use those soaked in iodine or benzalkonium chloride. These also sting less, so your kids shouldn’t fuss about you applying them.
2. Antibiotic Ointment
For cuts that require bandages, it’s best to add a dab of triple antibiotic ointment. This substance prevents further infection when dirt works its way under the dressing.
When applying this gel, place it directly on a clean, unused bandage or use a cotton swab to gently dab it on your child’s wound. Please avoid squeezing the ointment directly onto the wound, as germs can contaminate the rest of the tube’s contents.
3. Bandages in Various Sizes
You also need a way to keep your child’s wound covered. Please include plenty of bandages in several sizes in your kit.
In addition to playful superhero character stick-on bandages, have a variety of sterile gauze pads and medical tape in your first aid kit for kids. Some cuts occur in places like fingertips or feet that regular bandaids won’t adhere to — you may need to get creative to cover them.
4. Children’s Tylenol and Advil
The littlest humans can still feel big-time pain. However, please avoid giving your child aspirin. While it’s safe for adults, it increases the risk of Reye’s Syndrome in children and teens, a potentially fatal illness leading to sudden brain damage and liver function problems.
Advil is a safe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that comes in formulations meant for the youngest family members. It works by decreasing inflammation of the pained body part. Tylenol also comes in a children’s dose. Doctors believe it works by interrupting pain signals to the brain.
5. Prescription Medications
If your child takes prescription medications, it’s a good idea to keep a dose of any abortive preparations in their first aid kit. For example, children with asthma may need to keep an inhaler handy at all times.
Ask your doctor if you can get an extra week or two’s worth of medications to keep on hand in your kit if you have to evacuate your home due to an emergency. Hurricanes, fires and floods can stymie communications systems, making it difficult to get through to your provider. Even if you can reach them, they might not be available to provide an immediate refill if their practice is also impacted by extreme weather.
6. Splinting Materials
A broken bone requires immediate medical attention. However, what happens if your kid hurts their ankle while on a hike?
Splinting materials belong in any first aid kit for kids. They let you immobilize the injured area to protect it from further damage until you get them to the emergency room for treatment.
7. Saline Solution
Dirt, gnats, even bits of glitter — many objects can get lodged in your child’s eye. A saline rinse is often the safest way to remove them.
In a pinch, you can rinse the eye with regular water. However, tap water contains chemicals that can cause further irritation. Foreign objects in the eye usually require medical attention to ensure your child didn’t scratch their cornea.
8. Tweezers and Scissors
Every first aid kit for kids requires tweezers and scissors. Scissors help you open packages and cut bandages and splints to the perfect size.
Tweezers can come in handy in removing splinters and stingers. Although this falls under the prescription category, it’s worth mentioning that you should keep an epi-pen in your kit if your child has an allergy.
9. Face, Mouth and Hand Protection
You never know when you might have to attend to someone else’s child. Protect yourself when you do with sterile gloves and a face mask. Rendering first aid requires close contact, and you probably won’t know another person’s vaccination status. The COVID-19 virus can spread among vaccinated individuals, but it’s much less likely to infect or make them sick with severe illness if they do contract it.
Additionally, it’s smart to have a pocket CPR mask handy. While you’re unlikely to think about the possibility when another person’s life is at stake, direct mouth-to-mouth contact can introduce you to all kinds of germs.
First Aid Kit for Kids
Savvy parents know to carry a first aid kit when they go out with their kids. They also keep one at home to tend to minor emergencies.
It doesn’t matter if you go with a commercial version or assemble one yourself. Include the nine items above in your first aid kit for kids, and you’ll feel better prepared for any emergency.