A life with children often means a life with injury and an accident. They slip and fall, they come home from school with gashed knees and swollen lips, and is any trip to the beach complete without a slip on the rocks?
Accidents are a perfectly normal part of family life, and not usually something to worry about. We want our children to explore and experiment. We want them outdoors playing in the sunshine or even the mud.
Most modern parents spend a good deal of time worrying about how to get our kids outside more, away from screens and devices, so we certainly don’t want to keep them inside and out of harm’s way.
But, at the same time, most families will admit that they don’t have a first aid kit at home, and many don’t even have one to travel with.
This usually leaves us scrambling around searching for a plaster or bandage, or rushing to the pharmacy or even doctors surgery when accidents happen. It can make an upsetting situation much worse, adding tension and stress to any tears that might already be falling.
A first aid kit at home can make life much easier. It means that you’ve got the essentials there, whenever you need them.
You can patch things up quickly and calmly, without any stress or panic. You’ll be able to calm your children at home without panicking them with a trip to the hospital, and over time, your own first aid skills will develop, and your kit will grow.
But, with so much that can happen, and so many first aid supplies on the market, what are the essentials that no family should be without?
Plasters or band-aids are one of the most essential things that you could possibly have in your first aid kit. They are unbelievably useful.
A plaster can patch up a cut knee, protect a grazed elbow, give a blistered hand chance to heal, and even protect your own feet from new shoes. They are the things that we most often need, and most frequently can’t find.
Make sure your first aid kit is well stocked with plasters of all shapes and sizes, both waterproof and fabric, and padded and flat.
You might also want to try some spray-on plasters, although not everyone likes them. Then, make sure you replace them whenever your stocks start to run low.
Sometimes, a plaster just won’t do. While they are handy for cuts and scrapes, they won’t be much use on a sprained ankle or twisted wrist.
But, you don’t always need a trip to the doctor either. Often a sprain will heal well with plenty of support and rest.
So, make sure you’ve got a few basic bandages and supports that fit the whole family in your first aid kit.
While it would be lovely if all of our cuts fit under a plaster, it’s not always the case. Sometimes, a cut needs wrapping in a bandage, to keep it protected and give it a chance to heel.
If a severe cut needs stitches from a physician or nurse, then you might like the option to change the bandage at home, and you should never apply a bandage directly to a cut. It won’t be sterile. It will stick, causing the skin to tear further and risking infection.
A sterile gauze covers the wound, keeping it clean and protecting it. The bandage will hold the gauze in place: aim to have a few different sizes to fit your needs, and body parts.
Safety Pins and Tape
In a pinch, you could tie a bandage up. But, it might not last long, and it wouldn’t be comfortable. An unsecured bandage certainly wouldn’t survive the adventures of a child.
Safety pins are an easy way to hold things in place. They’ll also come in handy if anyone loses a button.
Sticky tape can also be useful, and will quickly tape fingers and toes together if they’ve been banged.
Disposable gloves are always useful. You never know when you are going to find yourself removing splinters or picking bits of dirt out of a cut. Washing your hands is obviously essential, but gloves add some extra protection.
Pain relief like Nurofen, or infant safe versions, is always crucial. Even if you don’t have a first aid kit, you should keep pain relief in stock.
It will help to minimize pain after a fall or accident. It will help with teething and make people more comfortable when they are suffering from headaches or mild illnesses.
Paracetamol could help to reduce a fever when your children are ill, and anti-inflammatories can reduce swelling after a fall or twist.
Antiseptic Wipes or Spray
Small cuts you might just be able to wipe with a damp cloth, but anything deeper, or more complex will need a more thorough clean to keep out dirt and bacteria which could lead to infection.
Antiseptic sprays or wipes can clean a wound, clean your hands before you dress it, and clean any materials or tools that you might use.
Scissors and Tweezers
Having scissors on hand means that you don’t have to have plasters, gauze, or bandages in every size. They mean you can get what you want quickly.
A small pair of nail scissors can also be useful. Tweezers can help to remove dirt from a cut. They can pull splinters out quickly, and help with an ingrown hair.
You can get a pretty good idea of whether or not someone has a fever just by holding the back of your hand against someone’s forehead, but sometimes you need to be sure, and it’s not always as easy to tell.
Modern digital thermometers are exceptionally accurate and can give you a precise reading very quickly.
Antihistamines are always useful to have, both for adults and children. Tablets will help you to fight off any allergy symptoms, as well as the effects of insect bites.
A Smaller Kit
A big first aid kit, filled with everything that you could possibly need is great. But, you might not want to carry it around all of the time.
Have a smaller kit in the car, or in your bag that you can take on trips and holidays. Accidents don’t just happen at home after all.