As a medical professional, I cannot state enough just how important it is to have a home first aid kit.
Having a first aid kit in your home is important to handle all those bumps, bruises and scrapes that come with having active kiddos.
Additionally, a properly stocked first aid kit can help manage those pesky illnesses that come into a home.
What to Include in a Home First Aid Kit
I recommend having bandages of various sizes on hand. Especially with children in the house, you won’t ever really have too many bandages.
I personally recommend all fabric bandages as they have always lasted the longest and produced the least amount of irritation for wearers.
As an athletic trainer, I am a prude about gauze and I prefer non-woven sheets of gauze BUT truly having any gauze on hand is useful.
I prefer non-woven as it is less likely to stick to a wound as it heals compared to woven gauze but use what works for you.
Gauze is great to have on hand for cleaning and covering wounds. I personally like to have 2″x2″ sheets.
Cleaning cuts and scraps is an inevitable part of motherhood. As former children ourselves, we all know how badly peroxide and alcohol can burn in an open wound. Because of this, I like to keep saline as well as peroxide and alcohol in our home first aid kit.
All three of these antiseptics are great ways to clean a wound and bonus, they are usually quite affordable.
4. First Aid Ointment
Once a wound is cleaned I like to put a small amount of first aid ointment on the bandage to keep it clean. I keep a small tube of triple antibiotic ointment on hand at all times.
4. Protective Gear
Kids (and sometimes husbands) are not the best at keeping things protected when out and about. In an effort to help our kit includes water-proof finger covers and tape.
As I mentioned above I have a water-proof tape I keep on hand to help keep things covered. As an athletic trainer, I also keep various sizes of other rolls of linen and stretchy tapes on hand to cover wounds. Most of my tape has to be purchased from a medical supplier but sporting good stores also sell smaller packs as well.
Having tape on hand is really up to you and what your kiddos are likely to need.
There are times when a wound needs more than a simple bandage. I like to keep sterile steri-strips in our home first aid kit for wounds that need help closing.
Important note: I am trained in the management of particular medical conditions, emergency care, and wound care. Please do not attempt to self-treat if you are not educated to do so. Always seek the care of a trained medical professional for serious conditions.
1. Nasal Saline
I like having children’s nasal saline on hand for those nights when they get all snotty. The saline is helpful when they are having trouble sleeping due to congestion.
Medicine is not used often in our home, but I do like having a bottle of adult, regular strength acetaminophen as well as children’s on hand just in case.
As with acetaminophen, I like to have an adult as well as children’s strength of Ibuprofen on hand.
4. Hot pack
Hot packs can help ease so many aches and pains and are relatively easy to make. We have a simple one made using fabric and rice that can be warmed in the microwave.
A physician friend once told me to always have a bottle of children’s anti-histamine on hand in case of a sudden allergic reaction. He advised that, while it is rare, children get into so much stuff and without warning can present with an allergic reaction. Oral anti-histamine is often recommended as a first step, at home, line of defense.
We have never used ours but having that peace of mind is worth the few dollars.
6. Nasal strips
Nasal strips are used by the adults in the house when severe nasal congestion hits.
8. Menthol Chest Rub
When our kiddos get a persistent cough a bit of this on their feet and a pair of socks works wonders.
9.Cool Mist Humidifier
We use this one but any cool-mist humidifier will be useful.
10. Cough Drops
Whatever flavor is enjoyed will work. Hard candy peppermints are also useful to help with sore throats.
I prefer one that uses the ear to assess the temperature quickly because wiggly kids are hard to contain for getting a good reading. Here is the one we use.
Related: Preparing For COVID-19
Keeping Your Home First Aid Kit Organized
A home first aid kit isn’t very helpful if you can’t find what you are looking for. Keeping things organized and easy to find is the key to making these supplies useful.
Always remember to keep these sorts of supplies up and out of reach of little hands, especially when it comes to medication.
For our home first aid kit, I keep everything in our upstairs linen closet.
I love this simple three drawer system for storing supplies.
To keep things from spilling and making a sticky mess, all of the liquid medications are stored upright in an open clear bin.
As I mentioned early, I am a certified and licensed athletic trainer so I have a medical kit that surpasses most home first aid kits due to the nature of my job. Some of the other items I have include a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, nose plugs, gloves, splinting materials, and other medical supplies that aren’t essential for a simple home first aid kit.
When packing your own home first aid kit, make sure you understand how to use each item you pack.
A good guideline for a home first aid kit should be to include supplies that will allow you to handle mild illness and injury at home as well as help you to handle a situation until trained emergency medical professionals arrive who can take over care.
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