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Our Favourite Family First Aid Kit Checklist

Deciphering the must haves and need not's in a First Aid Kit can be confusing. Our resident Tinies First Aider takes on the challenge and helps parents answer the basic questions

 

We've all noticed in a moment of panic, when someone falls and scrapes their knee for example, that there are no plasters left in the First Aid Kit. As adults we don't always keep things in stock, but when there are small accident prone bodies around, it's important to keep a closer eye on things.

First Aid Kits can be confusing, and you might be wondering how many of each item do I need? What should I put in it and how often should I check it?

We've asked Sue Phillips, our resident First Aider, to explain the basics of First Aid Kits and help take away some of the confusion!

The basics of First Aid Kits

Where should I store my First Aid Kit?

We recommend that you store your First Aid Kit in a sealed container or bag that is waterproof and airtight! This will minimise the potential for damage, and will help keep your kit intact as long as possible.

Because there will be some creams and antiseptics in your First Aid Kit, you need to keep it in a dry place that isn't too hot or cold. Condensation inside your First Aid Kit can ruin bandages before you get a chance to use them and varying temperatures can be detrimental to your liquids and ointments.

First Aid Kit ChecklistHow many First Aid Kits do I need?

The number of First Aid Kits you need will depend on their portability as well as your actions as a family!

We recommend that with children, you have one at home and one that's portable (i.e. kept in the car or can be taken with you on day trips and holidays).

Having one is fine but it means you need to remember where you've used it last and can sometimes mean it's in the back the car at someone's work, while you really need it at home with the kids.

When you go on holiday it's important to add a few extras such as inspect bite spray and any medications you or a member of your family may take or require whilst away. If you're going abroad their Analgesic (Pain Killers) medication may differ from what you are used to.

How often should I stock my First Aid Kit?

As with a lot of things today, the items in a First Aid Kit can expire, some of the items are sterile therefore they have a limited shelf life and lose their sterility after a period of time.

Decide on a date once a year that you're going to check what's in the box (or bag!), this is the time when you need to check expiry dates and see how much antiseptic is actually left in the tube. Make a list of everything that's missing and replace it.

In between, you'll need to keep an eye on what you are using, and make sure you keep to the minimum content requirements and never get to a point where you are using the LAST plaster!

What should I put in my First Aid Kit?

First Aid Kits have a standard requirement and the bare minimum is listed below. You will find as your little ones grow up that various plasters, creams etc will work well for them and for you.

Although Sue can't say you should have this particular cream or that ointment, she can suggest a few items that you may find helpful.

The list of items you could put into your First Aid kit is endless and expensive, therefore careful consideration should be undertaken to collate what your family needs.

First Aid Kit checklist

These are what you should have as a minimum in your First Aid Kit:

  • 20 Plasters
  • 2 Sterile eye pads
  • 4 Triangular bandages
  • 6 Safety pins
  • 6 Medium & 2 large dressings
  • 6 Individually wrapped wipes
  • 1 Disposable gloves
  • 1 General guidance leaflet

Suggestions to improve your kit

Portable First Aid Kits

Hypoallergenic plasters for your little ones. As their skin is very delicate it would be wise to include these in your kit as they are gentler on the skin.

The wipes should be Aqueous based as they are kinder to the skin and won't sting any grazes that may occur.

Gloves, if possible, should be "Nitrile" (Blue or Purple in colour) these do not contain the properties that Latex and Vinyl do, that may trigger allergies.

Micropore tape will come in handy to tape down the ends of bandages thereby negating safety pins and any accidental pin pricks.

Scissors should be specific to the cause, "Tuf Cut" scissors are preferable as they are designed for First Aid, they have a blunt end to prevent any accidental stabbings when cutting near the skin.

Eye wash can be beneficial in your kit. One of the most common causes of eye irritation in children is from sand when they are playing.

A tip that I have found very beneficial, when irrigating your little ones' eyes is to wrap them in a blanket/towel to allow you to treat them efficiently and quickly. They will not like it but the trauma will be over a lot quicker than if you were dealing with thrashing arms and kicking legs! Always when irrigating the eyes have the affected eye down most to stop the debris going into the unaffected eye.

Gauze is better than cotton wool as it doesn't have strands that can become adhered to the wound particularly when dealing with the eyes and burns.

Burn dressings, although expensive, they are invaluable in doing the job they are intended for. Applied correctly as per instructions a burn dressing can prevent serious scarring, they both cool and have a natural antiseptic property in the gel.

 
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