A first aid kit is a prerequisite for a house or an institution and it involves a lot more than a cotton roll and soap.
Benefits of Having First-aid Kits:
• Imagine having to run around the house for a cotton swab when a kid is bleeding after a severe fall; only chaos will ensue. Having supplies at hand saves time and panic during such emergency situations.
• These kits help prevent infections and can even help to save lives in extreme scenarios.
• It also prevents excessive blood loss and scarring.
• Remember the adage ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’
Emergency Contact Details (doctor, dentist, hospital)
Never underestimate the importance of writing down important phone numbers close to your kit box. Let’s say your child decides to be adventurous and jumps down the stairs, and in the process loses a tooth or splits his upper lip. Unless you have your dentist’s or doctor’s phone number on a speed dial, you are likely to get nervous and drop your phone searching for contact numbers. I suggest contact numbers become a permanent fixture on your wall, away from your children’s reach.
List of Essentials – The essentials that comprise these kits are:
• Sterile Gauze Pads: The child shouldn’t reopen the same wounds again. Therefore, tape the cuts tightly.
• Bandage: Cuts and scrapes are part of childhood. A child should have the freedom to play rather than stay at home for fear of injury.
• Antiseptic Wipes: I have seen children create a ruckus that could be heard a couple of streets away when an attempt is made to wash wounds with soap and water. For such situations, antiseptic wipes work well, as they are both hygienic and noise-free!
• Painkillers: A low dose painkiller like ibuprofen will help the child rest and help in healing of the wound.
• Soap: Remember to wash your hands and, if possible, convince the child to wash minor wounds with soap at all times.
• Tweezers / Scissors: I suggest never use your hand to clean a wound. Tweezers are the safest way to clean wounds, especially those from glass or grass.
• Antibiotic Ointment: Different antiseptic and antibiotic creams are available and often come with a first-aid kit. Along with these, antiseptic solutions like Dettol or Hydrogen Peroxide are essential.
• Calamine Lotion: There is nothing better to soothe rashes or prickly heat than this lotion.
• Thermometer: I use an electronic thermometer as they are more convenient. However, a regular mercury thermometer is also acceptable.
• Cold Packs: Broken bones and swelling heal faster with a cold compress. If these are not available, you can also use frozen peas.
• Gloves: There may not always be time to use it, but just in case.
• Eggs and Honey: A personal favourite of mine, I would also add these household items to the list because honey is an excellent antiseptic medium that is used to heal even surgical wounds, and eggs help regenerate scar tissue in case of burns.
Keep Life Simple
• First-aid kits do not have to be a fancy piece of equipment that needs to be under lock and key. Even an old tiffin box filled with all the basics will suffice.
• Remember that the whole purpose of this kit is to be useful during an emergency. So check and refill its contents regularly.
Consider Basic First Aid Training
Our children’s safety is paramount to our happiness. Learning how to provide first aid is vital to a child’s safety. First aid training will help you cope with any situation with composure.
A first aid kit could also be the difference between long-term injury and a quick fix especially when kids are involved. Its true value is only gauged during desperate times, and it’s then that we realise how important it is to have one that has all the medicines and equipment required. Coupled with some basic first aid training you can feel confident that you are ready to deal with most simple ’emergencies’ that kids create.
Ross Davies writing for Lebreton Health & Safety Training specialists in Paediatric First Aid Training..