Summer is my favourite time of year, it always has been, but as the FA+CT paediatric nurse advisor, “toddling” summer days always look a bit more…scary. I feel silly saying that, but what I once saw as beautiful, sunny East Anglian days to bronze our skin, hike and garden it is now the perfect recipe for sunburns, scraped knees, and bugs in the mouth (nothing like a little protein!).
As medics we know that the injuries toddlers experience from playing outdoors in the summer months often requires more than a bandage and mummy’s kiss to make them better.
I have been on a search for the best first aid kit for toddlers, but they are really expensive and I do not want to you have to buy several, just to take them apart to fit your needs for the summer. I need a kit that is lightweight – easy to throw in a backpack or the nappy bag – yet able to carry all of the must-haves for my crawler/almost-walker.
A toddler first aid kit is a must-have for all parents. To save money I’m putting together my own and customising it to my needs, with a little help from the FA+CT.
Make your own first aid kit with these simple tips:
- Container – reuse an old toiletries bag as your container, preferably one with different sized pockets and compartments for storing and keeping items organised. Another good option is a small to medium size plastic container (i.e. plastic lunch box or tackle box) that will fit into your beach bag, backpack, nappy bag or glove compartment of your car. Whatever you use to hold first aid items should be easy to open for adults but difficult for small children to get into, large enough to fit everything you need and water-resistant.
- Plasters and small bandages – different sizes and shapes (including butterfly). Keep them loose in separate, small re-sealable bags sorted by size and shape so they are easy to access and stay contained.
- Alcohol free wipes – are is essential to have on hand especially when you don’t have clean water or it is difficult to clean a wound. Any form (liquid, spray, wipes), but liquid is best when a wound needs flushing.
- Ice packs – important to have on hand and can be activated in seconds for fast aid to reduce swelling. These take up a lot of room but if you can fit them you should keep at least two in your kit because they are single-use.
- Gauze – can be purchased in different size pads or in rolls and every kit should have some of each. Large pieces can always be cut down to smaller sizes.
- Scissors – for trimming gauze, bandages and for cutting away clothing. Sharp, curved medical scissors (as opposed to pointed scissors) are best.
- Adhesive tape – has many uses including securing splints and bandages. One roll will go a long way.
- Latex free gloves – for protection of the person wearing them as well as the injured.
- Tongue depressors – for checking sore throats or lesions and wounds in the mouth and throat.
- Small flashlight – in case it is dark out when first aid is needed and for checking ears, nose, throat and eyes.
- Tweezers – for removing splinters, ticks, small fragments or other debris.
- Thermometer – a Tempadot disposable thermometer is preferable to an oral thermometer when taking the temperature of a young child in distress.
- Medications – include any or all of the following depending on your children’s needs: children’s liquid pain reliever such as ibuprofen or paracetamol (as directed by your GP) with a dosage measuring spoon; calamine lotion; saline nasal drops or spray; Epipen or injector; asthma inhaler; Children’s Benadryl or other Piriton syrup for allergic reactions (as directed by your GP); antibacterial cream.
- Oral rehydration salt (ORS) – for quick rehydration, especially when child is experiencing diarrhoea or vomiting.
- First Aid manual – a quick reference guide to help you tend to many different emergencies could mean the difference between effectively treating an injury and making the situation worse. The First Aid + Care Training has a handbook sized to fit into most first aid kits that you can.
First Aid+Care Training advises you to discuss medication for a child with your own doctor, pharmacist or nurse before giving any medicines.