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Five Things Every Parent Should Keep in Their First Aid Kit

Brought to you by Vive Health 

Whether they’re toddlers or teenagers, there’s no denying that kids are accident prone. While there are, of course, times when accidents require a doctor’s care, the majority of accidents that kids get into can be treated at home with a well-stocked first aid kit.

Read on to learn about five pieces of equipment that every parent should have in their first aid kit.

1. Over-the-Counter Medications

From food poisoning to the flu, over-the-counter medications can help cure all kinds of common ailments. 
Some good over-the-counter drugs and products to keep on hand include:
  • Antacid tablets and Pepto-Bismol for upset stomachs
  • Antihistamines for allergic reactions
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen to relieve pain and reduce fevers
  • Pseudoephedrine for cold symptoms and congestion
  • Cortisone for bug bites or rashes from plants like poison ivy
  • Hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment for safe wound care
Whether your child has fallen ill or gotten into something they shouldn’t have, these medications can help them get back to normal in no time.

2. Splints and Bandages

Be sure to keep a variety of bandages on hand so that you’re prepared to deal with all the different cuts, burns, and scrapes that kids tend to come home with.

Invest in a large box of assorted adhesive bandages, and be sure to have some gauze on hand to for larger cuts.

An elastic bandage and an aluminum splint are also good tools to keep on hand to make sure sprained limbs are supported and stabilized. You can also use the elastic bandage to hold ice packs in place and prevent swelling.

3. Thermometer

Every parent should have a thermometer on hand to know when their child is running a fever.

There are a few different types of thermometers to choose from, including:

  • Digital oral thermometer: This is an affordable and fairly accurate option that will work fine for taking most kids’ temperatures.
  • Digital in-the-ear thermometer: These thermometers are a little more accurate and they measure temperature faster, but they’re also more expensive. They might be worth the cost, though, if you have young, squirmy children who have a hard time holding a thermometer under their tongue.
  • Forehead thermometer: These are placed on the temporal artery and are a good option for young kids. They’re not as accurate as oral or in-the-ear thermometers, though. 

4. Otoscope

An otoscope is a tool that doctors use to look inside the ear. Parents should have them on hand to check for fluid buildup and other common signs of ear infections before taking their kids to the doctor.

Otoscopes are very inexpensive and can be picked up at a local pharmacy for just a few dollars.

5. Stethoscope

Initially, a stethoscope might seem like an unnecessary tool to have at home. But, they can actually come in handy, especially if you have a child who struggles with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues.

You can use a stethoscope to listen to your child’s lungs and see if they’re experiencing any breathing problems. This is especially helpful when you have young children who might not be able to communicate the fact that they’re having trouble breathing.

When to See a Doctor

If you have a first aid kit stocked with these five tools, you’ll be prepared and capable of handling a lot of common illnesses and injuries at home. However, there are still some times when you need to call in a professional.
If your child starts presenting any of the following symptoms, it’s best to take them to a doctor:
  • Breathing or swallowing difficulties
  • Lethargy
  • Persistent pain
  • Vomiting or diarrhea that is accompanied by blood or lasts longer than a day
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Swelling of a limb after a fall that does not go down after one day
  • Lacerations greater than 1 cm long and 1 mm deep
  • Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit for kids under 3 months, over 102 degrees Fahrenheit for kids 3-6 months, and over 103 degrees Fahrenheit for kids older than six months 
These symptoms can all be signs of a more serious illness or injury and should be looked at by a qualified medical professional.