What's in Your Home First Aid Kit?
Dr. Venuka Wick is a primary care doctor - and a mother of two.
She knows it's important to keep a readily available supply of general medical for all the sniffles, bumps, bruises and growing pains that come with raising children.
Dr. Wick recommends using a caddy to keep all the infant first-aid items you may need organized and in one place.
Here's what she keeps in her caddy:
- Thermometers: Rectal temperatures are the standard for detecting fever in infants less than three months of age. I always have two thermometers on hand, in case one malfunctions or if I suspect it’s not accurate, the other can be used. A temperature of 100.4 F or higher is considered a fever. Knowing if your infant has fever or not, and if they do, how high the temperature is very important in medical decision making.
FYI: Underarm thermometers generally show a lower reading than a rectal temperature, so if you’re using an underarm thermometer, a reading close to 100.4 can be considered a fever. Infrared contact and non-contact forehead thermometers should not be used for young infants.
- Bulb syringe: As important as having a bulb syringe (for stuffy noses!) is knowing how to use it. There are reliable resources online with clear instructions and videos on how to use a bulb syringe. Watch the video >
- Q-tips (cotton swabs): Very useful in many aspects of life, but especially useful to help keep babies clean, like during the umbilical cord shedding process. Please note, cotton swabs should not be used for certain things, like cleaning your baby's ear canal, which can damage your baby's ear. Be sure to research and consult your baby's provider for the best hygiene methods to keep your baby clean and safe.
- Diaper cream
- Saline nasal mist
- Gauze and cotton pads
- Band Aids
- Bottle of sterile water
- Hand sanitizer
- Tweezers, nail clipper
- Pair of gloves
- Tylenol: For children less than six months old, this is the preferred medicine for fever or pain. Be sure to get the infant formula and use a syringe to administer the correct dose.
- Benadryl: For allergic reactions. Again, dosing is important and if you notice any signs of severe allergic reactions, like difficulty breathing, call 911.
- 1% hydrocortisone cream: Can be used for itchy rashes.
- Vaseline: For dryness, dry rashes and small scrapes.
- Over the counter antibiotic cream: Vaseline can be used for almost all non-infected skin breaks. However, if mild redness occurs, an over-the-counter antibiotic cream can be used until your child can be seen by a health care provider.
- Make sure your kit is easily accessible.
- Let others who care for your baby know where to find it.
- Check your kit regularly to replace anything that’s missing and make note of what is running low.
- Keep the number for poison control in the kit and in your phone.
- Contact your baby’s care provider if your baby has a fever, or any other issues that concern you.
- Know your baby’s current weight, as all infant medications are dosed according to weight.
- Consider taking a first aid and CPR class to be better equipped when your family needs you.