With kids around, emergencies are surely bound to happen. A complete first aid kit will be your savior at these times.
You can always buy a prepared kit in drugstores or from a Red Cross near you. Check the Red Cross online store for items. They have different kits for different purposes (home, car, travel, business, refills, and even for CPR and lifeguard).
However, for a more customized first aid kit for your kids, assemble your own so you can include personal medications, emergency phone numbers, and other items for each child.
The container is important. It must be made of durable and waterproof material such as plastic. Choose a container with a handle for easy carrying and an easy-open lock. Arts and crafts containers are your best option. It does not have to be expensive. It’s better to get one that is transparent or translucent at least so you see the contents immediately. You can also choose a different color for every child, or for the house, the school, and the car.
The very basic contents of the first aid kit are the following (in alphabetical order):
- Bandage Strips – in different shapes and sizes
- Calibrated Medicine Dispenser – either a spoon, cup, or oral syringe for measuring liquid medicine
- Cotton Balls – must be sterile; for cleaning small bruises and cuts and cleaning the outer nostrils and ears (please do not insert into the nose)
- Flashlight – for checking small items like splinters, also for looking at the child’s throat
- Gauze – for dressing wounds; also include adhesive tape
- Ice Pack – very important for bumps, sprains, and bruises
- Nasal Bulb Syringes – because kids always seem to push something up their noses or catch colds
- Sharp Scissors – for easier cutting of bandages
- Tweezers – for splinters or tics
The Red Cross recommends additional contents for a family of four (here as listed in the Red Cross site, complete with measurements and pieces):
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket) for warming body
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3×3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
Other items worth having around
- fire blanket
- safety pins
- a splint
- antiseptic solution (like hydrogen peroxide)
- antibiotic ointment
- calamine lotion
- alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol
- acetaminophen and ibuprofen
And while these may not always be needed, it is good to also have:
- lip balm
- insect repellent
- electrolyte replacement solution (because diarrhea)
Know your first aid basics. Keep the kit handy. Let all adults know where the kit is but store it out of the children’s reach. Bring one when you travel. Check the kit regularly, making sure that the batteries of the flashlight work and medicines are not expired.
Be prepared. The first aid kit might just save your kid’s life.