A well-equipped first aid box is an absolute necessity for every household especially if you have children at home, as kids are mini adventurers and tend to have a bump or a graze every so often. Having the essential supplies in hand will help us handle an unforeseen situation( if in case ) like minor cuts, burns, abrasions, sprains, insect stings, etc without much panic. First aid could provide the quick initial care required until an actual medical care becomes available. So let’s make sure to always have an up-to-date first aid kit at home and in the car as well. Also, never forget to carry along a basic first aid kit while going on family vacations.
Even though we are all aware of the importance of always having a first aid kit with us, at times some of us take things lightly until an unexpected accident occur when are up with hyperactive kids. It is then that we get to realise that we may need it right away, no matter where we are. So always keep it handy on the go! You may purchase pre-made kits from drug stores/online, or make one of your own. Making one of your own ensures that you have everything according to your needs and that half of the supplies don’t go waste. If you are planning to make one of your own, here are few suggestions that you may consider :
Choosing the kit
It’s ideal to use containers that are spacious, sturdy, easy to carry and simple to open. Choose the size of the container depending upon the age and needs of your child. Also consider whether you are making a home kit or a travel kit, then size and fill it according to your needs. You may label the box clearly as “First aid kit for kids”. Use bright colours and bold letters, so that it stands out, thus making it easily noticeable.
Stocking the kit
Now that you have choosed an appropriate box, it’s time to stock it up with essential supplies. The contents of the kit will again depend upon the needs of your child/children. First create a check list of all the items that are to be included in the kit. Some of the basic essentials for your first aid box could be :
A variety of bandages
Include a variety of bandages in different shapes and sizes. Keep all the bandages together in a seperate section of your kit. If your box do not have compartments, you may put all the bandages together in a clear plastic bag or ziplock bag labelled “BANDAGES”. Put the following basic bandages and dressings in your kit :
- Adhesive bandages ( band-aids ) in various sizes and shapes. There are colourful and beautiful design imprinted ones available, which are sure to make kids delighted when they might probably be in a bit of a pain.
- Sterile cotton balls and swabs – to clean small wounds and bruises.
- gauze roll
- Sterile gauze pads of various sizes – some wounds may have to be covered with gauze pads as these would give protection from dirt and bacteria and also allows air to reach the wounds, thus aiding in quicker healing.
- A roll of cloth adhesive tape/medical tape/surgical tape – these holds the cotton pads or gauze pads in position.
Basic medical tools
Keep some basic tools in your first aid box in a seperate clear labelled plastic bag or container for ease of use. Some of these could be:
- Small sharp scissors with child-safe rounded tips for cutting dressing materials to size
- Tweezers for removing thorns and splinters or debris from wounds
- Disposable sterile gloves
- Instant cold compress
- Instant hot pack
- Digital thermometer
- Hand sanitizers
- Alcohol free cleansing wipes
- Safety pins (if needed to fasten bandages )
- Rubbing alcohol to clean scissors, tweezers etc
You can choose the medicines needed depending on your child’s age and medical needs. Stock all the required medicines properly labelled with correct dosage instructions. Also keep a measuring spoon or no needle syringe along with liquid medications. Some of the basic remedies could be :
- Children’s and babies’ pain and fever medicines
- Decongestant – to bring relief to a stuffy nose
- Cough medicine
- Medicines for stomach upsets
- Antiseptic creams for cuts and wounds – Apply these to minor cuts and scrapes after cleaning to prevent infection. You may consult your child’s paediatrician or the pharmacist before buying these.
- Antihistamine cream or tablets
- Skin rash cream
- Cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
- Creams/ointments for minor burns
- Personal medications – any specific prescription medication taken by your child/children
- Epipen or inhalers if its been prescribed for the child
Additional first aid supplies
Some additional items could be added to your first aid kit if needed as :
- Distilled water for cleaning wounds
- Oral electrolyte solution – Keep few packs of oral rehydration solution in the kit so that it could be handy in case of a dehydration due to vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
- Sterile eyewash – for emergency situations if chemicals or foreign substances come into contact with the eye.
- Insect repellent
- Flash light and extra batteries
- Safety pins (if needed to fasten bandages )
- Calamine lotion for sunburns, rashes, itching and irritation.
- An up-to-date first aid manual
- A list of emergency phone numbers and names
So, all these are some of the basic items to be included in a first aid kit.
- Once the kit is ready, store it in a cool dry place away from the reach of children ( but easily accessible for adults )
2. Try to keep it at room temperature, as extreme temperature variations may reduce the effectiveness of some medications.
3. Make the first aid kit according to the age and medical history of your kids.
4. Know when and how to use all the supplies correctly.
5. Make sure babysitters and other care givers know where the kit is and how to use it.
6. Consult the doctor before buying oral medications for the box.
7. A first aid kit should not be used to treat a serious medical condition. It’s sole purpose is to provide an immediate medical care until you get the real medical aid. If a condition does’nt improve or is found to worsen after giving the first aid, you should consult a doctor.
8. Check for the expiry dates and replace missing and old stocks regularly.
9. Check the flash light batteries to make sure they are in good working condition.
10. Keep a list of all the emergency contact numbers in the first aid box and also near each phone in your house. Make sure to add it to your cell phone as well.
11. Organize the kit according to the use – home, car, vacations.
12. Pack the first aid kit in your check-in baggages when flying, as many of the items may not be permitted in cabin bags.
Hope this would impart an idea on how to make a first aid kit at home. A first aid given at the right time could probably prevent a condition from worsening. Do keep a first aid box handy, as these may serve as absolute rescuers ( should a need arise ).
Please do comment below, if you notice that there are some more essential things to be added that i may have missed out.