What to Pack in Your Family's First Aid Kit

February 14, 2020

What to Pack in Your Family's First Aid Kit

Man down! Your kid is bleeding and everyone’s looking at you to fix it.

If you’ve got kids, then you know this can happen more often than we’d like. And while it might make a good story later on, at that time of emergency, you need to be able to act quickly.

Parents are often taught to buy everything they need for a baby. However, there is one item that often gets overlooked. When you are a parent it is important to have a fully stocked first aid kit on hand. Are you wondering what to pack in your family first aid kit? We have some suggestions for you.

What to pack in your family first aid kit

Index
Packing a home first aid kit
Packing a car first aid kit
Packing a babysitter first aid kit
Packing an emergency first aid kit

Packing a home first aid kit

When planning a first aid kit, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Many parents will ask what is really necessary versus what isn’t. There are so many items on the market and not all of them seem to have a function. There are ways to buy only what you need without some of the fluff. Here are some tips for packing a home first aid kit.

10 Things to pack in a home first aid kit

  1. Bandaids in multiple sizes - Not every injury is created equal. You will want bandaids in a variety of sizes and styles. Make sure to pick up finger bandaids as many forget to get these. Having a variety of bandaids on hand can help you to be ready for a simple cut on the finger or a scraped up knee. Many stores will sell a box with a large selection of bandaids in it.
  2. Peroxide or Rubbing Alcohol - When there is a cut or scrape it is very important to thoroughly clean it before applying a bandaid. Whether you are more comfortable with peroxide or rubbing alcohol, you will want to make sure to have one or both of these in your home first aid kit. If you decide to opt for rubbing alcohol, it can also be helpful to pick up the rubbing alcohol pads that are sold at many stores. Peroxide will be your gentler cleaner if you have a sensitive child.
  3. Tweezers - Children have a knack for getting splinters. Whether it’s from playing outside or simply running their hand along a wood banister, splinters can be miserable. Make sure to add a pair of tweezers to your first aid kit. It can make a world of difference.
  4. Gauze - Some injuries need more than a bandaid but don’t necessarily need a doctor or hospital visit. Having gauze on hand can help you to treat a more involved injury. Gauze is also helpful for taking care of an area that is harder to bandage.
  5. Pain reliever - Whether you use acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or another pain reliever, it is important to always keep these on hand. Make sure to have the accurate dosage as well as the correct dosing cup or syringe in your first aid kit. This will save you from getting overwhelmed as you search for these items. It can help to write your child’s dosage on the outside of the box or container so it’s easy to find in an emergency.
  6. Disposable Instant Cold Packs - While you can create an ice pack from the freezer, there may be a day when someone forgot to refill the ice tray. Having an instant cold pack in your first aid kit will help you to apply cold to an injury when needed. These are also easy to dispose of when the injury has been treated.
  7. Emergency phone numbers and a current medications list - If there is an emergency, you don’t want to spend extra time looking for these items. An emergency phone list with numbers like the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222) or your doctor’s emergency phone line can be helpful to have on hand. Having a current medication list with dosages on hand can help you in case you need to call poison control or go into the hospital for the injury.
  8. Ointments and creams - Items like neomycin (Neosporin) or bacitracin can be helpful to have on hand to treat small cuts and scrapes before adding a bandaid or bandage. You may also want to include anti-itch bug creams, hydrocortisone cream, and calamine lotion. Having aloe vera on hand can also be helpful for burns. By keeping these creams on hand, you will be able to treat the situation at hand quickly and without a trip to the store.
  9. Anti-allergy medications/creams - Items like Benadryl and Benadryl cream can be so important to have on hand. While you may know some of your child’s allergies, they may be exposed to the one you were unaware of. Having these items on hand can help you avoid a more serious emergency.
  10. Splints and ace bandages - Some injuries need to be wrapped or immobilized in order for them to heal. Having a simple splint or ace bandage on hand can help you to avoid a trip to the store. Keep these items in your first aid kit to treat an injury. 

 

Packing a car first aid kit

Whether you are on the road for a long road trip or a trip to the grocery store, accidents can happen. Having a car first aid kit on hand can be a game-changer. It can be hard to decide what to put in a car first aid kit though. You can’t bring everything from your home kit and your needs in the car might be very different. Here are some tips for packing a car first aid kit.

10 Things to pack in a car first aid kit.

  1. Bandaids and bandages in multiple sizes - Whether at the park, at a playdate, or just walking through the parking lot, kids are able to get hurt fairly simply. Keeping bandaids and bandages in multiple sizes in your car first aid kit can help you to be ready to treat these injuries and return to your day.
  2. Rubbing alcohol wipes - For many cuts and scrapes, rubbing alcohol wipes are a simple way to clean the injured area before applying a bandaid. Keep some of these on hand. Make sure to switch them out every six months as the alcohol wipes can dry out.
  3. Safety escape tool - Safety escape tools like the one linked here are important to have in the car. These can be helpful is a child’s seatbelt gets wrapped around them in an unsafe way. These tools are also helpful if you are in an accident and unable to get out of your vehicle easily.
  4. Medications - Items like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be great for treating pain when on the go. Having Benadryl on hand can help you to treat an allergy in an emergency. There are children’s dissolvable Benadryls that might be considered for a quicker release. Another important medication to keep on hand is a children’s Dramamine for car sickness.
  5. Flashlight and extra batteries - Sometimes injuries don’t wait for the best time of day. Having a flashlight and extra batteries on hand can help you to be able to see and treat the injury at hand.
  6. Ointments and creams - Keep creams like Neosporin, Hydrocortisone, bug bite relief cream, and Benadryl cream in your car emergency kit. This will help you to treat a variety of simple injuries without having to visit a doctor or hospital.
  7. Hot/Cold Packs - In the case of an injury having an easily accessible hot or cold pack can make a world of difference. These can be used to treat a variety of injuries and activate fairly quickly.
  8. List of emergency numbers and current medications - In an emergency, you may not think as straight. Having a list of emergency numbers on hand can help in an emergency situation. Include poison control, pediatricians, and a list of people to contact in case of an emergency. It’s also important to have a list of current medications and dosages on hand.
  9. Scissors, Gauze, and tape - For some injuries, bandaids won’t do the trick. Having gauze and tape on hand can help to treat injuries a bandaid might not cover effectively. Keep scissors in your first aid kit as well to cut the gauze or to cut away clothes that might be in the way of an injury.
  10. Digital thermometer, hand sanitizer, and tweezers - Keep a digital thermometer on hand for situations where you might suspect a fever when on the road. This will help you to track and treat it. Hand sanitizer can help you to clean your hands before treating a wound on your child. Tweezers are important for removing splinters or for removing foreign objects in a wound. When you keep these items on hand, you are able to avoid making an emergency situation more difficult. 

 

Packing a babysitter first aid kit

Leaving children with a babysitter can be nerve-wracking. Many parents will wonder what they do if something goes wrong. One of the best ways to prepare for emergencies with a babysitter is to have a babysitter first aid kit. What do you pack in a babysitter first aid kit to help them out? Here are a few suggestions.

10 things to pack in a babysitter first aid kit

  1. First aid manual - In an emergency situation your babysitter may not remember all of the best ways to proceed with first aid. Having a first aid manual on hand can help them to find the best solution for the problem at hand.
  2. List of emergency numbers and current medications - In an emergency, your babysitter may not know all of the numbers you want them to call. Give them a list of numbers to call in case of an emergency. Include poison control, pediatricians, your numbers, and a few alternative people to call if you can’t be reached. It’s also important to have a list of current medications and dosages on hand. Giving these to your babysitter can help them to feel empowered to reach out to the right person in an emergency.
  3. Bandaids and bandages in different sizes - For small cuts and scrapes, having bandaids and bandages in different sizes can be a big help. Make it easy on your babysitter to treat small cuts and scratches.
  4. Antiseptic wipes - In your babysitter first aid kit, it is important to have antiseptic wipes so your babysitter can clean any wounds before treating them. If you have a larger first aid kit for your sitter, including peroxide might be an alternative to antiseptic wipes that sting.
  5. Hot/Cold Packs - In the case of an injury having an easily accessible hot or cold pack can make a world of difference. These can be used to treat a variety of injuries and activate fairly quickly. These are extremely helpful for a sitter who is trying to treat swelling or keeping an injury iced until you can make it back home to your child.
  6. Ointments and creams - Keep creams like Neosporin, Hydrocortisone, bug bite relief cream, and Benadryl cream in your car emergency kit. Make sure to have a note on the box or in your first aid kit showing the appropriate dosage for each item for your child.
  7. Medications - Items like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be great for treating pain when on the go. Having Benadryl on hand can help you to treat an allergy in an emergency. If you are allowing your babysitter to administer medication make sure to have a paper in the first aid kit sharing dosages, dosing times, and any special dosing instructions. You will also want a written log of some sort so that your sitter can give you exact times and dosages of medications they administered.
  8. Thermometer - When your sitter is keeping your child, make sure they have access to a thermometer that is easy to find. Having this on hand can help them to give you valuable information about your child’s health if they need to call you with concerns.
  9. Tweezers - Tweezers should be in every first aid kit. Small items can get into wounds and children can get splinters. Having tweezers on hand can help your sitter to thoroughly clean a wound and remove splinters if needed.
  10. Scissors, gauze, and tape - Some injuries are at an odd angle. Help your babysitter to care for your child by giving them scissors, gauze, and tape to wrap these oddly angled injuries. Keep enough in your kit for more than one application in case you take a bit longer to get home to your child. 

 


 

Packing an emergency first aid kit

Natural disasters happen in all areas of the world. Whether you are dealing with earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, or other natural disasters, it can be important to have an emergency backpack. Having an emergency backpack can help you to grab the items you need in a hurry. Using a backpack also keeps the kit mobile and easy to access. Here are a few tips for packing an emergency first aid kit.

10 Things to pack in an emergency first aid kit

  1. Bandaids, bandages, gauze, tape, and scissors - Make sure to pack the basic item you would need to bandage a variety of wounds. This can include bandaids of different sizes, bandages, or gauze. Make sure to include tape and scissors for cutting the gauze and taping it in place. Having these items on hand can help to cover an injury until you can seek medical care.
  2. Peroxide, Rubbing Alcohol, or Saline solution - When packing your emergency first aid kit, make sure to include something to clean any wounds. This can be a bottle of peroxide, rubbing alcohol, or saline solution. Saline solution can be helpful for injuries to the eye that cannot be treated by the peroxide or rubbing alcohol.
  3. Medications - Items like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be great for treating pain in an emergency. Having Benadryl on hand can help you to treat an allergy as well. It can help to include a week’s worth of any medications that are taken consistently in case returning to your home is not an option right away. You might also want to consider medications like anti-diarrheal or antacids for upset stomachs.
  4. Ointments and creams - Keep creams like Neosporin, Hydrocortisone, bug bite relief cream, and Benadryl cream, and aloe vera in your emergency kit. Make sure to have a note on the box or in your first aid kit showing the appropriate dosage for each item for your child. Having these items on hand can help to treat an injury until further medical care can be found.
  5. Water and food - Pack water, baby food, formula, or any non-perishable items you may need for a few days. Having these in a kit to go with you in case of an emergency can help you to keep your needs met until you are able to get out of an emergency situation. Disposable utensils can also be a helpful addition as you may not have access to clean dishes immediately after a natural disaster. Using a water filter straw (aff) may be another alternative when it is hard to find clean water.
  6. Flashlights, batteries, and an AM/FM radio - In the case of a natural disaster, electricity can down for hours, days, or weeks. Having a backpack with flashlights, batteries, and an AM/FM radio can help in big ways. The flashlights will keep you surrounded by light in the dark and the radio can help you to tune into weather reports that share what is going on and where to find help if needed.
  7. Emergency binder - Having an emergency binder can help you to access all the needed information in an emergency. In this binder, include license copies, social security cards, medical information, wills, birth certificates, and any other paperwork that is important to you. In the case of a natural disaster that damages your home, this can help you to gather all of your essential information easily and take it with you.
  8. Hot/Cold Packs and blankets - In the case of a natural disaster having hot/cold packs on hand can help to treat injuries or help to control body temperature. Items like blankets can help to keep children warm and protected from the elements. Add a poncho to your pack if you are in a wet/cold environment as this can go over blankets and keep a child warm and protected.
  9. Dust masks - In many natural disasters, there is a great deal of debris and dust. Having a dust mask on hand can prevent breathing in any less than desirable items. Pack these in sizes for adults and children. Make sure to have a few days worth to be sure that you are covered if you are not able to get to a safe location right away.
  10. First aid manual - In the event of a natural disaster, you may not have access to the internet or phone. This will mean that all first aid processes will fall on you. Having a first aid manual on hand can help you treat a variety of injuries until you can arrange for full medical care. While you may know how to do many of the things listed in the books, it can be easy to forget a step or lose your cool during a natural disaster. Having a first aid manual on hand will help you to remember essential steps and care for an injured child or adult in your party. 

As a helpful measure, you can download this checklist to be sure each of your first aid kits has everything it needs:

Important disclaimer

Please check the contents of your first aid kit every few months. Items can expire, information can change, and items can get damaged. Make sure to go through every few months and verify that everything in your emergency kit is within expiration dates, has no damage, and is fully stocked. Add to your kit as needed to keep it ready for any situation that might arise. Having a fully stocked first aid kit can help you to avoid a stressful situation when someone in your household is injured. With a quick check of your first aid kit, you can be prepared to protect and care for your family.

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