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Maybe it's my background in healthcare, or maybe it's just because I like to be prepared, but I always like to have a first aid kit with us wherever we go. I've had to dig into my kit on several occasions. Thankfully, it's never been too serious, but I'm happy to know that I have a family friendly first aid kit available should we need it.
How to create a family first aid kit
Your supplies might vary depending on where you live and the ages of your family members, but here are my recommendations for some items you might want to consider picking up to assemble your own first aid kit:
A container to store all of your supplies: I purchased a store-bought kit several years ago and it came nicely packaged in a plastic storage container. A preassembled kit is a great place to start since it already has many of the supplies you'd want, but I prefer to customize my kit a bit more.
Gloves: Disposable gloves are a must-have. While you may not mind tending to your own child's scraped knee, you might run into a situation where you have to offer first aid to someone you don't know. Protecting yourself is essential, so pick up a few pairs of disposable gloves so you aren't potentially exposed.
Cleaning solution and gauze: There are pre-moistened wipes that are available to cleanse wounds, but even having a simple bottle of water can go a long way to clean a scrape or cut. You'll also want to have some gauze on hand to dab away blood or dress a wound.
Antibiotic ointment: Keep bacteria at bay with antibiotic ointment. This is a first aid staple and should definitely be included in your kit to help prevent infection and for temporary pain relief for minor injuries.
Bandages: You'll want a variety of sizes of bandages in your kit, but especially during the summer months when kids are constantly swimming or splashing around, you'll want waterproof bandages. Nexcare Waterproof Bandages utilize innovation and technology to create a barrier between wounds and everyday activities. They offer superior protection against water, dirt and germs by providing a 360 degree seal to help prevent against infection. Nexcare Waterproof Bandages stay in place and stand up to long-wear so they're an excellent choice for your first aid kit.
Hydrocortisone cream: You never know when skin irritation, a rash, or an eczema flare up will strike, so hydrocortisone cream is great to have in your kit. This is especially helpful if you live in an area with poison ivy.
Insect repellent and sunscreen: You know what they say about an ounce of prevention... protect yourself and your family from pesky insects and sun damage (and painful sunburns!).
Anti-itch cream: The mosquitos here in Florida are unbearable, and even with wearing insect repellent we're bound to get a few bites here and there. Anti-itch cream is an absolute must-have for us!
Aloe Vera: Hopefully you apply (and reapply!) sunscreen while you're outdoors, but just in case someone ends up with a sunburn, aloe can help soothe that tender skin.
Antihistamine tablets (or liquid if you have small children): Used to treat sneezing, runny nose, itching, hives and other symptoms of allergies, antihistamine medications should certainly be included in your first aid kit. If you have a family history of severe allergic reactions you should talk to your healthcare provider about allergy testing and possibly getting an injectable form of epinephrine for emergencies.
Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers like Acetaminophen or Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) should also be included in your kit. You might want to consider having Aspirin on hand as well since it can be lifesaving in the event of a heart attack.
Asthma medication: There is nothing scarier than watching a child struggle to breathe. If your child has asthma, ask your healthcare provider for an extra prescription for a back-up inhaler
Scissors and Tweezers: These will come in handy for cutting bandages, opening supplies, and picking out splinters.
Small Flashlight: Healthcare workers carry penlights to help them visualize injuries in low-light settings, so a flashlight is a great option to have in your kit.
Disposable CPR mask: We never want to believe that the unthinkable could happen and that we'd be responsible for saving someone else's life, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. A disposable CPR mask offers a one-way valve that's designed to prevent cross contamination. That way, if you ever have to provide mouth to mouth resuscitation you don't have to worry about exposing yourself.
I'd also recommend keeping your family first aid kit in your vehicle. I keep ours in my SUV; that way if we're out and about I have access to it, but even if we're at home I can quickly run out to my vehicle and access my kit.
Do you have a first aid kit for your family?
Is there anything you'd add to my list?