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How to make a child-friendly first aid kit

How to make sure you have everything you need to play nurse when your little one has a scrape.
Why do I need a first aid kit?

When you have little ones running about the house its a good idea to keep a well stocked first aid kit on hand so that you have everything you need to treat bumps, bruises and scrapes. Having everything you need in one place means you can spend less time rushing about looking for things and more time comforting your child.

Where should I start?

You can find all manner of first aid kits in the shops and these can make a good starting point particularly if they're designed with children in mind. Alternatively you can make your own, choosing a durable, waterproof box and either writing 'First Aid' on it in clear letters or adding a big red cross so that its easy to find when you most need it and evident what it contains.

It's important to keep your first aid kit locked and out of your children's reach and it's a good idea to keep it in a particular place (like at the top of a kitchen or bathroom cupboard) so that you always know where to find it. It's advisable to point the location of your first aid box out to babysitters, relatives or friends who are looking after your children so they know where to find the enclosed information and supplies if needs be.

It's also a really good idea to keep a list of emergency contacts in your first aid box so you always have them to hand if the need arises. You should include the following contact numbers as a minimum:
  • Your GP or health care provider

  • NHS Direct - 0845 4647

  • The emergency services - 999 (just in case!)

  • Your work, home and mobile numbers

  • 2 relatives or friends who can be called in an emergency

What do I need?

Exactly what you include in your first aid box is up to you as you will need to tailor your kit to fit in with your families needs. However the following list makes for a good starting point:
  • Plasters - Keep a good selection of different sized children-sized plasters to hand. Look for ones with fun characters on to help distract your little one when they've got a scrape.

  • Thermometer - Depending on the age of your children you'll either need to include a strip, ear or digital stick thermometer.

  • Tweezers - These can be useful to remove splinters, stings and grit but make sure you always sterilise them after use.

  • Pain relief - Make sure you include some age appropriate child painkillers in your first aid kit and always follow the instructions on the bottle. You'll also need to make sure that you have a measuring spoon or no-needle dosing syringe too.

  • Sun cream - A must for hot days, choose a child-friendly sun cream with an SPF of at least 25.

  • Calamine lotion - This can be used to soothe irritated or sore skin and is particularly good for rashes, stings, sunburn and chickenpox.

  • Bandages - Try to include a number of different size and shaped bandages along with some safety pins to fasten them.

  • Sterile gauze - These are a necessity for more serious cuts.

  • Scissors - Scissors come in really useful for cutting plasters and bandages to size.

  • Antiseptic cream - These can help prevent infection when applied to a minor burn or cut after it has been cleaned. Look out out for those which contain a mild anesthetic as these can numb the pain a little.

  • Insect repellent - Useful for holidays and hot summer days.

  • Antiseptic wipes - These can be used to gently wipe away any dirt from a cut or graze and to make sure the skin is clean before you put on a plaster.

  • First aid manual - While it's a good idea to brush up on your first aid knowledge with little ones around, it doesn't hurt to keep a guide book to hand in your first aid box as an 'aide memoir' if and when you need it.
  • Medication - It is a good idea to keep spares of any medication that either you or your children are taking in your first aid kit.
Although this can seem a lot most items can be picked up cheaply from your local supermarket or chemist and are really handy to have just in case.

However, even once you have your first aid kit ready it is important to check everything is kept up to date and that you remember to replace items as and when you use them. This way you'll have everything to hand to make your little one feel better when they're in the wars.

Do you already have a first kit at home? Why not share your questions and stories with other members on the AskBaby forums

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