Published: Wednesday 07 March 2018

Whether you’ve been on a baby and child first aid course or not, it always pays to have a well-equipped first aid kit with items specifically with babies and young children in mind. Here we look at those essential items you should be stocking up on.

It’s a good idea to keep your first aid kit in a box that’s easy to carry, so that you can move it to wherever you might need to go. If it has a child-proof lock, so much the better! Either way, do keep it out of reach of young hands, but in a convenient place for adults to access.

If you’ve been on one of our courses, you’ll already have one of our handy first aid manuals. If you’re coming on a course soon, you’ll get yours to take away with you.

So what else do you need in your first aid kit?

Sticking plasters - get a selection of sizes and shapes as you never know what you’ll need them for!

Adhesive tape - this is useful if you need to hold a dressing in place.

Bandages - there are different types, so you may want to have a crepe bandage, which is useful for support or holding a dressing in place, a tubular bandage, which is good for strains and providing support, and a triangular bandage, which can be used for creating a sling.

Sterile gauze dressings - if you need to cover larger areas that are injured, cut or sore, these are useful.

Thermometer - there are different types of thermometers to choose. A digital thermometer can be used in the armpit, which it always should be with children under five, and is quick to use and accurate. Alternatively you could use a ear thermometer which, as the name suggests, are put in the child’s ear. Again, they are quick to use but can be expensive. They have a tendency to give low readings if not placed in the ear correctly so do read and follow the instructions properly. Strip-type thermometers are held onto the forehead. They are not an accurate way of taking someone’s temperature as they take the temperature of the skin, rather than the body. If you have a glass thermometer with mercury you may wish to dispose of it and replace it with a newer thermometer. Mercury is poisonous and the glass, if broken, can break into small shards.

Pair of scissors - these can be used for cutting clothes if you need to access an injury, or for cutting plasters and tape to the correct size.

Tweezers - perfect for removing thorns and splinters.

Antiseptic wipes - you may have these in your every-day bag anyway, as these are an easy and convenient way to keep things clean and hygienic.

You may also want to keep ice or gel packs in the fridge. These can be put on bumps and bruises to relieve any swelling. Regular items such as a bag of frozen peas can be used in the same way but do remember to wrap them in a tea towel or similar as direct contact with ice can cause a "cold burn".

Always make sure your first aid kit is replenished and any out of date items replaced.

If you've not yet been on a Baby and Child First Aid course, or you're a childcare professional who'd like to get their Paediatric First Aid qualification, do take a look at the dates for our forthcoming courses.

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