health

First aid kit essentials for parents.

Terry White Chemists
Thanks to our brand partner, Terry White Chemists

Kids are curious by nature, they have wild imaginations, boundless energy and a seemingly insatiable attraction to forbidden activities like tobogganing down the stairs, parachuting off the kitchen bench and smothering the family pet with unwelcome affection.

These things can often lead to accidents so it’s important to keep a stocked (and locked) first aid kit on hand full of the goodies you need to treat a variety of cuts, bumps, burns and bruises.

Tweezers

With kids, you never know what you are going to have to fish out of an orifice. When I was younger I hated eating peas but my super strict father insisted on putting them on my plate. So I did what any ingenious toddler would do, I shoved them up my nose.

It appears the apple does not fall far from the nostril-stuffing tree as I have had to retrieve numerous objects out of my kids ears and noses over recent years. I keep a pair of tweezers in my first aid kit because I’d rather not use my eyebrow shaping pair to retrieve a fermenting snot-covered corn kernel out of a blocked nose.

Splinters be gone. Image: iStock.

Chuck bags

There is no greater FML hell than dealing with a violent bout of gastro, it’s worse still when that bout belongs to your child. There is the incessant changing of vomit-crusted sheets, the explosive stench of obliterated nappies and the often unavoidable car trip to the doctor or hospital.

Most parents are familiar with the stench of spilled milk soaked into car upholstery. Well vomit is fifty times worse. I highly recommend always keeping some chuck bags in your first aid kit to save your car from the unsalvageable stench of spew. Your child will get better, but your car may never recover from the chunder pong.

Burn gel

It only takes a second or two for a kid to get too close to the stove, the barbecue or your hair straightener and in my sleep deprived haze I have frequently sizzled my hand on a just-out-of-oven pot or pan.

Despite Grandma telling you to put toothpaste or butter on a burn, those things can actually make the burn worse so it’s a good idea to have some burn gel in your first aid kit. After running the burn under cool water for 20 minutes, applying a hydrogel and a bandage (see point 1) will help relieve the pain and reduce the spurting of profanities.

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What is it with kids and wanting to touch the oven? Image: iStock.

Ice pack

Both my kids were part of the 20 per cent of babies and toddlers that bang their heads when they are frustrated. Lucky me. Their love of head-banging along with their talent for cord-free bungee-jumping off the roof of the cubby house means they have spent a large portion of their short lives sporting purple eggs on their foreheads.

An instant ice pack or a bag of frozen peas (what other use could there be for them) are great to help reduce the inevitable swelling.

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"An instant ice pack or a bag of frozen peas are great to help reduce the inevitable swelling." Image: iStock.

Bandaids and bandages

My three-year-old is currently going through a phase of hysterical hypochondria (thanks for that Doc McStuffins). The most minor scratch has him collapsing in a dramatic heap and demanding medical attention.

Luckily bandaging his barely visible scratches keeps his tears at bay and gives him a great “show and tell” story for kinder. Unfortunately, his hypochondria extends to his toys so I always keep a variety of different sized band aids and bandages in my first aid kit as I never know when I will have to tend to a fluffy cat’s ear or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles foot.

Digital thermometer

I’ve spent many a harrowing night with my phone in one hand and a digital thermometer in the other. When my kids are listless and sweaty at 11.30pm, I ring a 24-hour advice hotline and their first question is always, “What is his temperature?”

Digital thermometers are far easier to use and the beep they make distracts my kids from the fact that something other than a corn kernel is entering their ear.

Digital thermometers are far easier to use. Image: iStock.

In addition to the above, it’s also wise to keep some saline solution in your kit along with swabs, scissors, hypoallergenic tape, safety pins, antiseptic cream, disposable gloves and a first aid manual, all of which are available at your local pharmacy.

Raising kids can sometimes feel like navigating an obstacle course of injury-inducing hazards. A first aid kit can make it a little easier to cope with the tumbles, tears and rogue veggies.

What are some helpful supplies you always have in case of emergencies?