Having a well-stocked first aid kit stored in an area your child or children have access to and know how to use is an essential safety precaution all parents should make. Even if they never stay home alone together, they can still be a big help when the need arises.
Teaching them to care for themselves for minor issues is also an important life skill. Having a kit on hand will help keep your mind at ease, and their minds learning something new.
Make Your Own Kit
Decide what size of a container you need based on your household size. If you only have one adult and one child you may not need a very large kit – as long as it holds the essentials. You can use any container you’d like – Tupperware, a shoebox, or an old lunch box could work great.
Keep in mind where you will store it and be sure it is a manageable size your child can easily manage and carry to another location if needed. You can also make small-sized first aid kits to send with your child in their backpack, field trips or if they are planning to do something like ride around on their bike.
If you have younger children in the home that aren’t quite old enough to be able to use the kit, it should be locked. Only children in the home trained and old enough should be given access to it.
What to Fill the Kit With
On the outside of the kit or readily accessible inside the kit, make a list of emergency contact numbers. Provide numbers for the local emergency room, 9-1-1, Poison Control, as well as your contact information and close friends or neighbors.
It’s also helpful if you provide icons or photos next to each number so they know when to use them and who they are calling.
Consider the age of your child before deciding what to stock the kit with. For instance, if your child is 5-10, only bandaids, antiseptic wipes, and possibly instant cold-packs may be necessary.
If they are older, you can include a few more items such as medicated ointment, medical tape, an Ace bandage, cough drops, eye wash, a thermometer, sterile gauze, calamine lotion, aloe vera gel and other medications your child knows how to administer themselves.
Don’t Forget the Bandages
All kits should contain a variety of different shaped and sized bandages. They should also be taught how to sterilize the wound before placing the bandage on. You may need to supply basic medical tools based on what is in your kit.
This might include medical scissors, hand sanitizers, thermometer, tweezers, and latex gloves.
Most importantly, go over each and every item in the kit with your child before giving them access to it. Keep a separate adult-only kit on hand with any other items that your child is not ready to use or understand.