I remember being about six months pregnant and seeing a local news piece about a girl who saved her baby brother from choking. It’s was a typical adorable interview with a seven year old in pink and pigtails explaining what she did whilst the mother held the baby glowing with pride. Then it hit me that I was gonna have one of those in 3 months time and I had no clue what to do if it choked. I didn’t know CPR or what to do if my child scalded themselves. So I booked myself and Alex onto a Child First Aid course. The course was invaluable and I recommend attending one. There are a number available from full on courses with qualifications at the end, to something more along the lines of what we opted for, which was a 2 hour course covering the essentials by Mini First Aid on a Sunday morning which cost a very affordable £20 per person.
Being prepared for an accident or illness striking whilst you are away from home is just as important as having a well stocked baby medicine cabinet at home. No matter how careful you are, accidents happen. A hot drink can get spilled, your child can trip, or fall off a chair and once they’re mobile they run into everything (My nephew is a toddler and his ability to not see a pole or a fence in the park and run directly into it is incredible).
So what exactly should be in your mobile first aid kit?
- Baby Paracetamol – Colds seem to come out of nowhere with babies. You can leave the house with a perfectly healthy baby and 2 hours later have a screaming inconsolable bundle of snot. Baby Paracetamol can be given to babies over 2 months and helps reduce temperatures and relieves symptoms of a cold. A dose will help your little one feel better long enough to get them home for a cuddle. Most people know baby paracetamol as Calpol, but most pharmacies and supermarkets do own brand versions that are often cheaper. However, I would always recommend buying one with a syringe. You do not want to be messing about trying to get a plastic spoon full of medicine into a screaming baby’s mouth in a busy Costa Coffee. (Always read the instructions)
- Snot Sucker: Babies can’t blow their own noses. So here is another joyus job you have to do for them…suck out their snot. Not having a blocked nose will make Ivor less cranky almost immediately so It’s an absolute essential for our first aid kit. We found the bulb suckers pretty useless. They weren’t powerful enough and often hardly got any snot out at all. Our snot sucker of choice is the NoseFrida, which is NHS approved. You use your breath the suck out the snot (don’t worry there is a filter to make sure nothing is accidentally inhaled!)
- Saline Solution: Saline solution goes hand in hand with the snot sucker. A quick burst up a blocked nose will loosen the stubborn snot and make it really easy to suck out!
- Scissors: Go for blunt ended scissors, with a serated edge that can easily cut through fabric like bandages or clothing.
- Thermometer: You might prefer one of the larger forehead thermometers at home, but for out and about they’re a bit bulky. Get a small thermometer suitable for using under the armpit (ones that have to be put under the tongue aren’t suitable for babies).
- Conforming Bandage: choose an appropriate size for your child. An infant typically needs one around 5cmx4.5cm. Older children may need larger.
- Microporous Tape: Your bandage will be pretty useless without it.
- Plasters: Some small adhesive plasters for small cuts and grazes as your baby starts crawling and walking will come in handy. As they get older plasters with cartoon characters can make the process a little less horrible.
- Sterile Wound Cleaning Wipes: For cleaning a cut or graze.
- Burn Gel: Helps to heal burns and soothes the affected skin. (Always run a burn under cool water for 10 minutes as soon as it’s possible to prevent deeper burning of the skin)
- Double Sided Low Adherent Dressing: For larger cuts and scrapes, These can be placed under a bandage to soak up blood.
- Safety pins: Useful for bandages or making a makeshift sling out of your child’s t-shirt. You may find that a child with a broken or sprained wrist won’t cooperate whilst you make a sling from 2 muslin squares. And unless you’re a proficient first aider, it’ll probably be a disaster. You really want to secure the arm as quickly as possible to prevent more damage and an easy way to do this is to fold up their t-shirt across their body, over their injured arm and safety pin it at the shoulder.
- Tweezers: For removing thorns and splinters. (please don’t go trying to forage something from their ears or noses – see a medical practitioner)