Family First Aid

Following a recent playground accident involving a heavy chain and my son’s head, I decided it was high time we got a proper first aid kit in the house. So I ordered a kit from Premier Healthcare & Hygiene Ltd; it’s a handy kids first aid kit which is small enough to carry in your bag or keep in the car, or in your bathroom cupboard. It’s got some of the essentials we’ll need to tend to the bumps and bashes that small people get, neatly packaged and would be great for camping trips and days out.

First aid kit

I was lucky enough to interview first aid expert Jason Conn who gave me some idea of how to deal with some common paediatric first aid issues.

Is there anything that can be done to reduce bruising to knees etc when kids fall over?
The first priority is to reduce the bruising and swelling. Apply a cold compress as soon as possible and if possible elevate and rest the affected area.

After the bruise has developed (which may take a day or so) a heat compress will stimulate blood flow to the area and speed the healing process.

The ideal product to use in these situations is a reusable hot/cold pack. The pack can be kept in the freezer or warmed in the microwave to suit the specific situation.

What’s the best way to clean grit and dirt out of a graze?
It would of course depend on the nature and type of wound. Small cuts and scrapes should be cleaned thoroughly using an alcohol free wipe and covered with a plaster to keep the wound clean.

Larger wounds should be judged on a case by case basis. Always seek professional medical attention if unsure.

How should you treat minor head bumps?
As long as the injury is minor and superficial the same processes as above apply. Cold compress, clean and cover wound if required. You can take medication to relieve symptoms but please take professional advice first.

If symptoms persist or get worse it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention

What’s the best thing to do with a nosebleed?
Nosebleeds are common in small children but most can be treated at home. Pinch the nose just above the nostrils and tilt the head slightly forward. Applying an icepack or cold pack to the nose will constrict the blood vessels and help stop the bleeding. Most nosebleeds will stop after 10 minutes or so. If you are having frequent or heavy nosebleeds it’s best to seek medical advice.

What are the essential first aid items every family should have?
It’s important to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your home, so you can deal with minor accidents and injuries. Your first aid kit should be locked and kept in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children. Many people also keep a small first aid kit in their car for emergencies.

Your basic first aid kit may contain:

  • plasters, in a variety of different sizes and shapes
  • small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
  • at least two sterile eye dressings
  • triangular bandages
  • crêpe rolled bandages
  • safety pins
  • disposable sterile gloves
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • alcohol-free cleansing wipes
  • sticky tape
  • thermometer, preferably digital
  • skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or calendula
  • cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
  • antiseptic cream
  • painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), aspirin (not to be given to children under 16), or ibuprofen
  • cough medicine
  • antihistamine tablets
  • distilled water, for cleaning wounds
  • eye wash and eye bath

It may also be useful to keep a basic first aid manual or instruction booklet with your first aid kit. Medicines should be checked regularly to make sure they are within their use-by dates.

Thank you to Jason Conn for giving his time to answer my questions. I think it’s so important to have some kit on hand to deal with everyday issues, but if in doubt always consult a pharmacist or a Doctor.

Note: I was sent the kids first aid kit free of charge for review purposes.

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