With summer approaching and kids spending more times outdoors, bumps, scrapes, bruises and even allergic reactions are inevitable. As routine as these minor issues are, it's easy to get caught unprepared and have to scramble to treat the result of your child's mishaps. Head off emergency trips to the pharmacy by building a kit with useful first-aid items. Better yet, make two: one for home, and one for the car. Here are some of the essentials your kit might contain:
1. Assortment of bandages
Purchase an assortment to cover everything from fingers and toes to knees and elbows, as well as gauze pads, tape and elastic bandages for sprains. Don't skimp on these--generics cost a lot less, but they're worthless if they don't adhere well.
2. Antiseptic spray
Antiseptic spray is better than packaged wipes because wipes dry out. Gauze pairs better with the spray than cotton balls do because cotton fibers can stick to wounds.
3. Cold compress
You can buy instant cold packs you activate by squeezing. The packs are meant to be disposed of after one use, so keep several on hand for sprains and burns.
4. Burn ointment
See a physician for large burns, deep burns or burns that leave the skin white, black or brown, recommends Mayo Clinic, but your kit should have an antibacterial ointment for minor burns that don't break the skin.
5. Probiotic spray
Probiotic spray for children restores good bacteria that naturally live on the skin. Use it for mild inflammation and irritation, such as from dermatitis and eczema.
Include a bottle of children's-strength acetaminophen to treat fever, headache and pain from burns and other injuries.
If your child has severe allergies, follow your physician's recommendations for treating reactions. Otherwise, keep an oral child-safe antihistamine on hand in case of routine allergic reactions or exposure to poison ivy, or even bee stings if you're not sure whether your child is allergic.
8. Emergency blanket
In the event of a more serious injury, keeping your child warm can help ward off shock while you wait for help.
9. Tooth-preserving kit
There's a good chance a knocked-out tooth can be saved with prompt treatment, but only if it's properly preserved. A tooth-preserving kit can keep it viable until you can see a dentist.
10. Comfort item
A doll or stuffed animal that lives exclusively in the first-aid kid can help comfort and distract your child.
No matter how well you supervise your child, accidents happen. Being ready for them can keep minor mishaps from turning into emergencies, and in case of an emergency, buy you time until help arrives.