Basic first aid is important to properly heal any wound and having the proper supplies, readily at hand, is crucial. Making sure your first-aid kit at home or on the road is properly stocked cannot be overstated since the ability to control the conditions any wound is exposed to is critical to minimizing any infection and expediting healing. Wound care at home or on the road can head off any serious problem down the road just by following some basic guidelines and common sense.
Every home probably has some type of first-aid supplies lying around in a medicine chest, but there may not be a formal first aid kit that has everything they need. I’m sure if you look in your home there are plenty of Band-Aids or adhesive bandages for boo-boos and cuts, but what if you need to deal with a different type of injury your child comes in with. The most important thing to healing your child’s cuts is making sure to minimize the risk of infection. The simplest, easiest way to do that is washing the cut thoroughly and then applying an antibiotic ointment before covering it with a sterile adhesive bandage. You should always have in your first-aid kit adhesive tape to make sure any wound cover stays in place (especially if they’re going back in the game). Cuts and scrapes are not the only common household injury; burns can be a painful reminder for our little ones to not touch hot stoves or fireplaces. Keeping burn cream in the medicine chest can help burnt skin recover. Obviously, icing any burn is the first step in the healing process. Nonstick sterile gauze is a must-have for every home first-aid kit. This can help cover any wound and keep out any foreign particles and germs. If your child plays contact sports you may want to include ice packs to your first-aid kit that you can take to his/her games. Icing an injured joint reduces swelling and can minimize pain.
Besides having some of the common standards of first-aid in your home or first-aid kit, to be prepared for any contingency you may need to think a little further. Yes, antibiotic ointments are great but you could try a skin and wound hydrogel spray. They can be a little less irritating and pH neutral. A common injury our children may experience is a sprain. The most common probably is a sprained wrist since our first reflex is to put our hands down when we fall and our wrists bear the brunt of it. Keeping a wrist brace in your first-aid kit can help shore up the injury quickly. The use of elastic bandages can also help with compression therapy on an injured joint. After icing any burn and applying burn cream, you should apply a sterile Dry Burn Dressing instead of a Band-Aid. You can even try keeping burn gel and spray in your first-aid kit for temporary relief from minor burns. The spray may be a welcome alternative to a child that has been traumatized and may not want their burn touched. To head off an allergic reaction, keeping an antihistamine on hand can be extremely important. It may buy some time until trained medical professionals arrive. The mayoclinic.org lists several over-the-counter medications to keep in your kit. They include:
Of course, if an epinephrine pen is prescribed by your doctor it should always be in the kit to prevent anaphylaxis shock. Make sure you cover all your bases since you don’t want to be caught off guard by an unexpected injury. If you are trucking multiple children to different sporting events keeping a first-aid kit in their bag might be a good idea just to be safe. Like the Boy Scout motto states “Be Prepared,” since it’s much easier to have stuff you don’t need then to need stuff you don’t have. Be safe!!
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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