Your Home First Aid Kit: 17 Must-Haves

Because children usually get sick or hurt at the least opportune moments, it is helpful to be prepared. The items listed below should be included in your personal first-aid kit. Be sure to keep the box locked since some of these items are dangerous to children.

Acetaminophen or ibuprofen
These medications are not only for fever but also are good for pain control. Pack a dosing chart with these so that the appropriate amount can be given. In addition, check out the handy conversion table for medication dosages. Aspirin should be avoided in children.

An accurate measuring device
A syringe is usually the most accurate and easy to use. There are a number of different types of measuring spoons, droppers, and cups. Just be sure to have one of these that you think will work for your child.

Ice packs
One of the more convenient forms is the chemical ice pack. This is a plastic bag with two compartments containing chemicals. When the inner barrier is broken and the two chemicals mix, there is a chemical reaction that makes the bag get cold. The bag may be stored at room temperature. However, it is also a good idea to keep a couple of conventional ice packs in the freezer for those accidents that occur close to home.

Elastic and adhesive bandages
The elastic bandages (like the ACE wraps) are good for wrapping sprained joints or making a sling in the case of a broken arm. As for adhesive bandages, have several sizes on hand to take care of a variety of cuts.


Gauze and adhesive tape
For larger cuts and scrapes, gauze pads or rolls certainly come in handy. You will need adhesive tape to keep the gauze in place.

Small sharp scissors
These will be needed to cut the tape, gauze, or whatever.

Alcohol pads
A bottle of rubbing alcohol along with cotton balls will work just as well to clean tweezers, scissors, thermometer, etc. Never use rubbing alcohol in a bath to help control fever.

If your baby is under one year of age, a rectal thermometer is a must. Otherwise, there are a number of different thermometers, each with its own pros and cons. For additional information, read How to interpret oral, rectal, and underarm temperature and Accuracy of tympanic (ear) thermometers.

Page Two: Find out what other items to include in your first aid kit

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