First-aid for your first-aid kit
I try not to let it show too often, but I must admit that there are a few things that I am parentally superstitious about. You know, foolish things that I do in order to ward off potential danger like throwing spilled salt over my shoulder and not allowing my kids to step on manhole covers. On a more practical scale, this is also the way I approach my first-aid kit: I figure if I have a really well-stocked one, then I’ll never have to use it.
Of course you can buy a pre-packed kit at just about every retail outlet on the planet, but I like the idea of packing my own. Not only can I suit it to our particular family’s needs (we’ve got a shellfish allergy so I always carry Benadryl and an Epipen), but I can make multiple kits for the house, car, travel and even a little one in the diaper bag. I also like to carry calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream just to save an afternoon from an annoying mosquito.
The American Red Cross a well-packed first-aid kit contains these items:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
In addition to these items, be sure to tape emergency phone numbers and any allergies and medications to the inside top of the box. Kidshealth.org also suggests using a plastic tackle box or craft supply carrier because they have handles and adequate room for all of the supplies, but I also like the idea of a clear plastic tote to see when things need to be replaced. Check your supply kit often for expired medications and adequate supplies.
What should not be in your first-aid kit? The American Academy of Pediatrics now discourages the use of the once first-aid kit staple, Ipecac syrup, for treatment of accidental poisonings because it could potentially do more harm than good. Always call poison control in the case of poisonings at toll-free 1-800-222-2221 or 911.
So while it may not exactly prevent an accident from occurring, a well-stocked first-aid can insure that you’ll be ready just in case.
-- Tracey Henry, Suburban Diva