10 basic supplies in a parent’s first aid kit
Be prepared to handle your kids' ouch moments with an equipped medical kit at home
As a parent, you can never be certain of anything that will happen to your child at home. Kids are susceptible to minor cuts, falls, rashes, itching, allergic reactions, pains, colds and cough during their growing years.
"It is best to have a first aid kit which contains essential items to handle common concerns," says Dr Kusum Shenoi, an experienced general practitioner from Dr Shenoi's Clinic, Navi Mumbai. Here is a list of what a parent's first aid kit should have:
Antiseptic solution or wipes
This is used for disinfecting minor cuts, wounds or scrapes and for cleaning the hands. Antiseptics, such as Betadine are easily available at drugstores.
Topical antibiotic ointment
After cleaning minor cuts, or superficial wounds or scrapes, an antibiotic ointment with an active ingredient such as silver sulfadiazine, should be applied. "This is to prevent the risk of infections while the cut, wound or scrape is healing," informs Dr Shenoi.
Adhesive bandages, sterile gauze and cotton
Bandages are placed on the areas of wounds in order to prevent contamination and the possibility of a cut to be infected. Cotton is used to clean the affected area.
This can be safely used on the skin of young children to soothe the itch, redness, dryness, inflammation or discomfort they may be experiencing.
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Whenever you feel that your child has fever, it is always safe to use a thermometer to determine the body temperature of your child. Choose a digital thermometer over the mercury-filled glass thermometer especially if you have a young child.
Pain and fever medicines
"Paracetamol and mefenamic acid are the recommended pain and fever medicines which should be included in your medical kit," states Dr Shenoi. In case of cases of sudden stomach pain in kids, a combination of paracetamol with dicyclomine may also be given, she adds.
If your child is suffering from watery eyes, itching and running nose, an antihistamine such as levocetrizine will help in reducing and relieving those allergy symptoms.
"To treat or clear out your child’s stuffy nose which is caused by allergies or colds, use saline nasal drops," says Dr Shenoi.
Antiemetics such as Ondansetron or Domperidon can be given to relieve nausea or vomitting.
Oral rehydration solution (ORS)
Sachets of ORS granules are an important part of a parent's first aid kit. They are used to prevent or treat dehydration, most commonly that caused by vomitting and diarrhea.
These medical supplies are just the basic essentials of a medical or a first aid kit at home. You can add more to the supplies in your kit especially when your child has a recurrent medical condition or when the need arises. Do not forget to replenish the supplies as they run out and throw away any medicine or drug that has expired.
Call your doctor for any medical condition if your child is below the age of one. Indeed, it is better to be caught prepared rather than to sacrifice your child’s health and safety.