Learn What an American Red Cross Expert Recommends
To be prepared for common accidents and injuries, every parent needs a well-stocked first aid kit and other essential emergency items at home and while on the go, says David Markenson, M.D., chair of the American Red Cross Advisory Council on First Aid, Aquatics, Safety, and Preparedness.
Kits for the house and car should compact yet be big enough to hold a wide range of supplies. Stroller kits can be pared down by keeping just a few of each of the essential items.
Here are the basic recommended items your first aid kit should always include:
- Breathing barrier (if you need to administer CPR to a stranger)
- Tweezers (to remove splinters or ticks)
- Bite and sting relief packets
- Alcohol wipes (to clean scissors, tweezers and wounds)
- Hand wipes (for when water is not available)
- Antibiotic cream or burn cream (to prevent infection)
- Non-latex gloves (use when treating a wound)
- Thermometer (non-mercury, non-glass)
- Emergency blanket (to prevent heat loss after large burns and to treat for shock)
- Instant cold pack (to control swelling)
- Adhesive bandages..small, medium and large sizes
Additional suggested items for increased first aid preparedness:
- Gauze pads…several sizes
- Non-adherent gauze wound pads..for burns
- Gauze rolls to wrap cuts, injuries and sprains
- Elastic bandage to wrap sprains
- First aid adhesive tape to secure gauze
- Triangular bandage for a sling to immobilize and protect injured arms and shoulders
- Eye patches
- Tourniquet to stop uncontrollable bleeding
- Face masks to prevent infection and filter smoke and debris from air
- Safety pins
- Cotton buds
- Tongue depressors
First Aid Kits do not typically include over the counter pain medication, antihistamines, or other medicines you or your child may require, for safety and liability reasons. Customize your first aid kit by adding personalized items that are crucial to your family’s health and wellbeing.
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