First aid kits aren't precautionary for moms, they're a necessity. We all discover after a few too many mini-heart attacks that our little ones are far more durable than we think, and there is still no shortage of scrapes, cuts, and “boo-boos” to kiss and patch up. Although you can buy a standard first aid kit and call it a day, there are a few extra add-ons you should consider getting that go beyond the standard gauze, bandages, and alcohol.
Cold Compress Pack
These can come in handy during both real emergencies (since ice helps reduce swelling) and as a remedy for the sob-inducing bumps on the knee. Keep two or three in stock at all times. A couple of plastic baggies is also a great idea, since filling those up with a handful or two of ice cubes works just as well in a pinch.
Although not everyone is a fan, some ointments can help treat injuries fast and hold your child over until they can see a doctor. Salves, burn creams, and other ointments can be purchased in online apothecaries or at your local pharmacy. You should still always consult a physician about which are best to use and proper treatment before administering them, but they're excellent additions that can provide almost instant relief to many injuries and wounds.
It's important to minimize the amount of bacteria or dirt exposed to an open wound, and alcohol pads can sterilize your hands as well as any areas around you in the event that your child is cut and bleeding. Saline wound wash is also an excellent choice, and anti-bacterial hand soap can work in last-minute situations. It's best to look for substances that can effectively clean a wound without the accompanying stinging sensation so many kids dread, like no-sting wipes now available at many stores.
Stickers and Lollipops
They're two of the treats kids always anticipate most after a trip to the doctor's, so it's a nice touch to add these to your first aid arsenal. You can also buy an array of Band-Aids with their favorite characters on them, like Hello Kitty or the Avengers, and let them pick which ones they want. It's a nice distraction from the situation and can help keep kids calm so you can focus on treating them.
You should take inventory of your first aid supplies every six months, checking expiration dates and restocking on anything you've used during that time. If you have tools like scissors and tweezers, make sure they are disinfected with alcohol after each use and stored in plastic baggies to avoid any debris. With gloves, keep them in their original wrapper or another plastic baggie and always make sure they aren't torn or cracked before using them.
Lastly, store your kit in an easily accessible space that all the adults and older kids in your family know about, but that is out of reach to curious little hands. Storing it in a dry, cool area is best.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information on natural remedies for wounds check out Potter’s House Apothecary, Inc or contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.