First Aid Essentials: What's in Your Kit?

It’s summer time which means barbecues, outdoor activities, fireworks, and fun in the sun. It also means sunburns, insect bites, cuts, scrapes…you get the picture. As Moms, it’s our job to be prepared and to take care of our loved ones when injuries arise. That’s why having a fully stocked First Aid Kit should be a priority in any household. I’ve learned the hard way that not having the right supplies can lead to a bigger problem, whether it’s not having the perfect color bandaid or the wrong size of gauze. My kids have shown me time and time again (in that hysterical “why don’t you have the Spiderman/Barbie bandaid” kind of way) that I need to be prepared at all times. But being prepared goes way beyond having the right bandaids in the character of the month. It’s having the essentials that you might need should something more serious than a paper cut happen. It’s why I believe that every home should have a First Aid Kit readily available.

Nowadays you can walk into any CVS/Walgreens/Target and purchase a complete first aid kit. This is a quick and easy way to make sure you have everything you’ll need. But if you’d like to build your own first aid kit, here’s a list of things you’ll need to have.

What you’ll need:

  • A First Aid Manual: this is a quick reference guide with detailed instructions for caring for many different injuries
  • Bandaids in different sizes
  • Medical Tape: I recommend cloth tape. It tends to stick longer and better than plastic tape
  • Sterile gauze pads: you can either get multiple sizes or buy larger ones that can be cut down to the correct size
  • Scissors: small but sharp
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antiseptic cream or spray
  • Antibiotic ointment: either in a large tube or one time use packages
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Instant Cold Packs
  • Instant Hot Packs
  • Tweezers
  • Ace Wrap
  • Elastic sports tape
  • Disposable non-latex gloves (at least 2 pairs)
  • Tylenol/Motrin/Benadryl
  • Bandanna and safety pins: You can use these to make a temporary sling
  • Emergency information: this can be an index card with each person’s allergies, blood type, and medications.  It should also include emergency contact information, doctor’s phone numbers, and the number for Poison Control (800.222.1222)
  • Plastic box to hold all of your supplies: tackle boxes work nicely as do plastic craft boxes

Being a pediatric nurse, it’s second nature for me to think about distraction methods. We use a lot of distraction techniques when we’re doing painful procedures on children. I would toss a bottle of bubbles into the kit as well. Kids love bubbles and this might help calm them down if you’re trying to clean out a cut or pluck out a splinter. Have your child blow the bubbles on their own or have someone blow the bubbles for them. A calm patient helps everyone involved!

Make sure everyone knows where the first aid kit is stored. Keep it out of the reach of children because there will be medications inside. But do educate them on where it is just in case. Be sure to reevaluate your kit every so often. Many items will have expiration dates and you don’t want to find yourself in an emergency and having expired supplies. Also take inventory and replenish your kit if need be.

Whichever path you take, creating your own or buying one, make sure your home has a first aid kit! Here’s hoping you won’t have to open it!

I hope everyone has a Happy Fourth of July! Stay safe tomorrow!

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One Response to First Aid Essentials: What's in Your Kit?

  1. Honora April 3, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    Nicely described the first aid essential. I have kept my home first aid kit with all the things that helps to respond in emergency.