As a parent, it’s natural to worry about your child’s safety, especially if they tend to be accident-prone. Being prepared for various mishaps is key, and having a well-equipped first aid kit is essential. Dr. Yami Cazorla-Lancaster, a board-certified pediatrician, suggests starting with a calm assessment of the situation in case of an accident.
Differentiating between urgent situations and emergencies is crucial. Emergencies involve loss or altered consciousness, difficulty breathing, severe fractures, excessive bleeding, or bleeding that won’t stop.
While all children in pain deserve immediate attention, minor incidents like a broken fingernail or a bruise from tripping may not require calling 911. Dr. Cazorla-Lancaster advises checking the child’s breathing and consciousness, followed by a head-to-toe examination for injuries. Apply firm pressure to any bleeding area and call 911 or go to the emergency room if necessary. For non-emergencies, contact the doctor to determine if they need to be seen.
Dr. Cazorla-Lancaster suggests keeping your pediatrician’s number, including after-hours contact information, and the poison control hotline handy.
To ensure your family’s well-being, here are some recommendations from Dr. Cazorla-Lancaster and registered nurse Stephanie Klipp for stocking your child’s emergency first aid kit:
An all-inclusive emergency first aid kit: Klipp advises including tweezers, alcohol and iodine pads, gauze, wound wipes, an emergency mylar blanket, and a variety of Band-Aids. A compact and well-rated kit like this one on Amazon is a convenient option.
Band-Aids in abundance: Dr. Cazorla-Lancaster emphasizes the importance of having a plentiful supply of Band-Aids and bandages. A family pack with various shapes and materials, such as this 280-piece set, ensures you’re always prepared.
Antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments: Both Klipp and Dr. Cazorla-Lancaster recommend keeping these ointments on hand. The antibiotic ointment helps prevent infection in minor cuts and wounds, while hydrocortisone ointment reduces redness, swelling, and itching.
Self-closure elastic bandage wraps: Klipp suggests having self-closing elastic bandage wraps available at home. They provide support for twisted ankles or wrists and can also serve as a protective layer over bandages and gauze for larger cuts or wounds.
Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and antihistamines: Dr. Cazorla-Lancaster advises keeping children’s ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and antihistamines in your medicine cabinet. These can help with pain relief, fever reduction, and alleviating allergies, hives, bug bites, and stings.
Rapid clotting packets: For significant bleeding, Klipp recommends keeping rapid clotting packets, such as sterile, non-stinging powder, readily available.
Ice packs: Ice packs are invaluable for soothing pain, reducing swelling, and addressing inflammation. Instant single-use packs or reusable options can provide relief when your child experiences a fall or twists something.
Hot packs: Dr. Cazorla-Lancaster also suggests keeping hot packs on hand for warming up cold hands and feet, soothing sore muscles, and providing comfort for headaches or stomachaches. Choose between reusable or one-time-use options.
By assembling a well-stocked first aid kit, you can be prepared to address various minor injuries and ensure your child’s well-being. Remember to restock supplies as needed and periodically check expiration dates.