What are your first aid essentials? Mum of four Gwen Loughman shares her expert advice on her must-have items for those minor medical emergencies.
The best piece of first aid advice I can offer you is make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. But until Mother Nature sees fit to equip us all with eyes in the back of our heads, extendable arms and that often coveted extra pair of hands, accidents are an inevitable fact of life with children.
After that the next best thing is to be fully prepared for every eventuality and unless you are a doctor or a skilled plastic surgeon, there is only so much you can do in that department also.
The best thing us mere parenting mortals can do is have a decent first aid kit at our disposal. Whether you have boy children, girl children or a nice mix of both, when it comes to injuries, bumps and bruises, the first aid kit does not differentiate.
A plaster is a plaster but as generations of mothers have discovered, little ones believe there must be either princesses or Skylander Giants printed on them to work properly.
First aid essentials
The following are some fantastic items to have in your first aid kit.
- Teething remedies are a must for small babies. There are countless options available starting with homeopathic remedies to over the counter bottles of pain relief.
- Steri-strips also known as butterfly stitches have saved the day many a time in our house. At this stage I wouldn’t be without them. Adhesive strips that can be cut to size, they are excellent for closing small wounds. In our case, they have held a finger-tip in place until it was fully healed and also prevented the need for stitches in a small forehead.
- Wasp-eze is a staple for summer months. It literally does exactly as it says on the tin; eases wasp (and bee!) stings. A little spray goes a long way. There is a similar product called Burn-eze which is just as effective for arguments with the oven!
- Revisiting plasters. Novelty ones may have magical powers but Elastoplast is always handy for taping down loose ends and holding a bandage in place.
- Witch hazel is a fantastic natural antiseptic and I am also a big fan of Tea Tree Oil. A few drops of either on a piece of cotton wool and taped to the wounded area is fantastic for treating the start of an infection.
- A support bandage for those pesky sprains. The key to using a support bandage is to secure it tightly but not so that circulation is impaired.
- Antifungal creams are a must in a house full of boys.
- Sudocrem. I grew up with this product and it was one of the first baby items I bought back in the day. It is great for treating spots, nettle stings, small burns and of course the intended nappy rash.
- People don’t like to talk or think about threadworms but they are a reality and I always make sure I have a couple of bottles of Vermox to hand as well.
- A bottle of disinfectant is great for cleaning cuts and grazes.
- Other miscellaneous must haves would include a tweezers and good nail scissors for cutting bandages. A Mr. Bump gel pack for the fridge. Arnica pilules can help to heal bruising. And last but definitely not least, some cotton wool.
- Antihistamines. Whether treating the dreaded seasonal affliction that is hay fever, a skin reaction or a mild food allergy, a bottle of liquid antihistamine is another standard in the first aid kit. If your child has an allergic reaction that in any way causes breathing problems, call your doctor or head to A&E immediately.
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