When you're getting ready for a new baby's arrival it can seem overwhelming sometimes all the things that we need! Even more overwhelming is the selection of things when we go to shops specializing in baby gear. I remember when I was expecting my first child going to large baby stores with my mom in the Boston area. The selections and choices were overwhelming! Even your local baby gear store can have more strollers or crib bedding to choose from than you could have previously thought!
One item that there can be a lot of choices on are First Aid kits. Baby gear stores sell them, your local department stores also sell them. There are number of brands and choices - so what is the right kit for a home with a new baby? I'm not able to recommend or endorse any one kit at this time, but I can share with you what to look for and what to be cautious of.
Most kits have most of these basic staples:
*Adhesive bandage (aka band-aids)
*Bandage compresses in different sizes
*CPR barrier sheet
*Roll bandage in different sizes
You would want to have a majority of these items in your First Aid Kit. You may also want to add really small bandages as the bandages in the kit are probably too big for a baby. You may also want to add a package of disposable wipes to clean with as the antiseptic cleaners will sting on an open cut or scrape. If you child has any special medical conditions or allergies you should include any special supplies that you would need in an emergency.
What to avoid or be cautious of:
Medications: Most infant medications have not been tested on infants and studies have not conclusively shown that OTC medications have much effect on infants. You run a greater risk of illness by overmedicating your child. Just because it is in the kit does not mean that you need to use it. Also, medications do expire! Check the expiration dates on the packaging.
Burn Cream: If your baby or child has a burn one of the first things your physician or the emergency room staff might need to do to treat it would be to remove anything you put on the burn. So any burn ointment or other goop (my generic term for creams, salves, etc.) you may have put on the burn would need to be scraped off. This can be very painful. If your baby or child has a burn that appears like a bad sunburn or worse, blisters or causes immediately peeling of the skin do not put any goop on the burn and contact your physician right away. Again, just because it is in the kit does not mean that you need to use it.
Do you need to have an official First Aid kit in your home? No, you don't. You can have any of the basic First Aid materials in your home, car, diaper bag, etc. As long as the materials are easy to find and reach. Make sure any other care givers in your home know where you store your First Aid kit or supplies.
Want to know more about how to use some of the First Aid supplies? Take a First Aid class! Check with your local doctors office or hospital to find out where classes are held locally in your area.