first aid kit tips
Health and safety

Essential first aid kit tips

Every home should have a well-stocked first aid kit, so you’re always prepared for minor accidents. So what should you stock up on? has you covered with these essential first aid kit tips. 

Emergency contacts

One of the most important things you need in your first aid kit is contact numbers in case of an emergency. This is especially important for any babysitters or whoever is minding your children. The list of numbers needs to be clearly visible and in the same place, so it is a good idea to stick or sew the list inside the first aid kit.

Numbers that are essential to your list include: 
  • 112/999 
  • Your own mobile numbers for the child minder (you should also leave them with the contact details of where you are going/who you are with) 
  • Emergency contact number(s) 
  • Phone numbers for the two closest neighbours 
  • Family doctor 
  • Local hospital

First aid course

If you can, it’s a good idea to do a simple paediatric First Aid course. It will give you the basics, and the confidence to know that you can deal with any number of dangerous and stressful situations.

Go to:

for more information.

First aid kit essentials

It is essential that your first aid kit contains the relevant supplies to deal with the following various illnesses and injuries:

  • Fever
  • Mild pain relief. Make sure that it is suitable for infants and preferably in a liquid form so they can swallow it easily.
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Allergies
  • GI (gastrointestinal) problems
  • Cuts
  • Burns
  • Stings
  • Sprains
  • Strains

Stock take your kit

The first aid kit needs to be checked on a regular basis to make sure it is fully stocked and that all the medicines and equipment are within their expiry dates. The first aid kit should be a plastic box that is easily identifiable and should have clasps that work correctly, so adults will not struggle to open the box, but also strong enough that no infants or toddlers would be able to get in to it. Ensure that all adults who may be minding your child at any stage know the exact location of the first aid kit.

first aid kit tips

Accident prevention tips:

Children fall down and hurt themselves; this is unavoidable. But here are some tips on how to minimise the risk of accidents in the home:

Any dangerous items, including small items like coins and hazardous cleaning detergents, should all be kept totally out of the way of children. Children should not be able to come into contact with these kinds of materials.

When boiling pots or kettles, ensure that they are out of reach of your child and that the handles are always facing inwards, so that your child cannot grab a handle and pull it. It is also important that all stairways, doorways and walk ways are kept clear of obstructions that your child could fall over.

Under no circumstances, should your child be left alone in the bath or near any pools of water. It only takes a few seconds and one inch of water for a child to drown. If you need to leave the bathroom or wherever your child is bathing, pick them up and take them with you.

Other first aid necessities:

  • Infant thermometer
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antiseptic healing cream
  • Sterile bandages
  • Tweezers
  • Sunscreen and lip protection (babies six months and older)
  • Insect repellent
  • Cold pack
  • Electrolyte replacement solution

More like this:

Paediatric first aid
First aid essentials
How to keep your children safe

Ask Sarah

Q I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and as I am very interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and grain based meals my family eats, we are considering following this diet. From what I read it seems to be a back-to-basics type of eating. Is a Paleo diet safe for children? My kids are aged seven and nine.

A The Paleo diet is one of the most fashionable diets around at the moment. It is also known as the ‘caveman diet’ and is based on cutting out processed foods, starchy foods like bread and potatoes and eating more meat, vegetables and fruit.
As fad diets go, it is not the worst but there are some good and bad sides to it. Reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is always a good idea and by doing that you will usually reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, which is a good thing! The problem with the Paleo diet is that it also cuts out dairy (on the basis that cavemen didn’t drink milk) and this means that the diet is very low in calcium. For this reason it is really not suitable for children who do need a lot of calcium for growing bones. How did cavemen manage without dairy? They ate a lot more food than we do (up to 10,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 most of us eat). By eating that amount of food they were able to pick up just enough calcium from green vegetables and seeds. To put it in perspective, you would need to eat 16 servings of broccoli a day to get all the calcium you need. This is easier to do if you eat 10,000 calories per day rather than 2,000.
The other problem with the paleo diet is that it is not entirely based in science. Many of the Paleo diets out there say you should not eat wheat, even though we know that cavemen did in fact eat wheat and other grains. These diets also don’t recommend that you eat blubber and the big lumps of fat that were also a large part of the caveman diet!
A final problem is that many Paleo diets encourage people to cut out beans and lentils and to get their protein from meat and fish instead. Many studies over the last few years are clear that eating too much animal protein is linked with more cancer and heart disease. Eating some vegetarian meals based on beans and lentils is a great way to get your protein without always going for meat.
Is this a diet we should follow? I think there is a lot we can learn from the Paleo diets. We could all do with eating less salt, sugar and processed foods and adding in more nuts and seeds as well as more vegetables. However, I think following a strict Paleo diet could lead to low levels of calcium and vitamin D and so it is not suitable for children or teens and adults would need to think about a calcium supplement.



Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….