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Children's Health First Aid Kits

A friend of mine recently asked what I'd put in my children's first aid kit. Here's what I have (or want to have in it).

• 2 weeks of any prescription medication, including an epipen junior if allergic to the the point of being anaphylactic (a severe reaction threatening one's breathing).

• An oral syringe or calibrated cup or spoon. I find a syringe most easy to draw up the right number of milliliters and to squirt it in my kid's mouths.

• Oral rehydration fluids, such as Pedialyte, to help with the dehydration that infant diarrhea can bring.

• Infant & child thermometers (both digital and ear). The ear thermometers are most convenient and speedy, but sometimes don't work with a lot of earwax.

• Children's and infants' over the counter non-aspirin liquid pain reliever (acetaminophen), to avoid the risk of Reye's Syndrome with asprin.

• Topical aveeno lotion or hydrocortisone cream for insect bites and rashes. Over the counter zanfel or tecnu can help wash out the toxins from poison ivy or oak and relieve the itch in minutes.

• Alcohol swabs to clean skin, thermometers, tweezers, and scissors

• Hydrogen peroxide to get blood out of clothes, I don't use it to clean cuts and scrapes because it damages skin. Soap & water will do.

• Antibacterial cream, also for cuts and for scrapes

• Tweezers for splinters and ticks

• A pair of sharp scissors

• Child-safe sunscreen lotion: SPF 15 is the highest needed, just make sure to apply a thick layer and re-apply after dunking in the water or being worn off after sports and sweat.

• Child-safe insect repellent. Nothing bugs me more than seeing my kids itch incessantly. Pun intended.

• Physician-approved children's-strength liquid decongestant and cough syrup.

• Nasal aspirator bulb which helps suck out nasal thick mucous.

• Bandages with your child's favorite cartoon characters imprinted on them.

• Gauze rolls (1 inch wide) to wrap around arms and legs with cuts and scrapes.

• Gauze pads (2x2 inches) to apply over cuts and scrapes.

• Adhesive tape, preferrably paper tape which doesn't stick so firmly to skin.

• Coban, which is shaped like ACE wrap but functions more like tape, stretchy and only sticking to itself, not to you or anything else like bandages.

• Mild liquid soap, or even better, alcohol based handwash which has been shown to kill bacteria more effectively than handwashing with soap and water.

• A reusable heat/ice pack which can be placed in the microwave or the freezer.

• A pen-sized flashlight to see throats, cuts, and splinters more clearly.

• A First-Aid guide suggested by your physician.

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About the Author


Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.