Tuesday, 20 October 2015

What to Include in a Family First Aid Kit

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Nurofen.

Once upon a time our first aid kit consisted of a box of Bandaids and an antiseptic cream only. It seems laughable now but pre-children, caring for our own little incidents and ailments was quick, simple and generally fuss-free and just the barest of essentials were all that was required to see us through. 

Since the arrival of children on the scene however, we've watched our family first aid kit grow accordingly and it has now expanded to become the mammoth tub of bits and bobs it is, ready to deal with every imaginable thing our kids can throw at us. Plus some.

To say we're prepared is a bit of an understatement!

Kids are such experts when it comes to accidents and illness. Not a day goes by in our home when someone doesn't require a plaster or two in the very least. Today I have two kids home sick from school and that's a fairly typical week around here. There's always a bug going around or a child with a bump, scrape, splinter or mishap in some shape or form and our first aid kit plays a busy role in this household.

There are definitely specific things I wouldn't be without for helping to soothe, heal and mend my family.

Chances are, if your child becomes sick or injured, it will occur at the most inconvenient of times too. There's nothing worse than being caught-out without your basics where kids are concerned. My own children have a knack for developing things after hours when doctors are scarce, shops are closed and we're without something urgent and essential. It's incredibly frustrating and something all parents need to be prepared for at all times.

So, keeping all that in mind, we're generally well protected and provided-for with my handy tub of first aid essentials. I have my supplies packed within a water-tight, two-layer Sistema tub which I picked up at Woolworths for around $6. It's an ideal makeshift first aid kit which gives me plenty of scope to customise.

A Sistema plastic tub is an excellent choice for storing your family's first aid requirements.

If you're wondering just what essentials you should stock up on for your own family's ailments, I have compiled this handy guide to help you out, based on my own family's medicine chest.
Bandaids: Various shapes and sizes for little bodies and big. Add some picture Bandaids too which are invaluable for settling hyperventilating smaller kids!

Butterfly adhesive tapes for holding gaping wounds together. (We wouldn't be without these!)

Bandages: Different shapes and sizes plus safety pins. Great for reducing swelling and stabilising injuries.

Non-Stick Wound Pads: Families with younger children shouldn't be without these. Perfect for protecting larger wound sites and the messy kind of injuries kids can manage.

Adhesive tape for sticking bandages and wound pads in place.

Antiseptic creams: We keep a few different brands at all times. For major skin breakages you can't go past hospital-strength Betadine. For smaller ailments, tea tree cream or oil is brilliant for soothing and disinfecting skin inflammations like insect bites and abrasions.

Antiseptic wash.

Cotton wool balls and pads for wound cleaning and applying ointments.

A hot / cold pack: Keep one in the freezer for bumps and bruises and another smaller one inside your first aid kit for heating.

A small pair of scissors for cutting tapes and bandages to size.

Tweezers for splinters.

Disposable gloves.

A thermometer: We have both a digital smaller thermometer which is great for travel and a larger ear thermometer for home use. These are essential where younger kids are concerned, who are unable to tell you how sick they are.

Pain and fever medicines: Make sure you've the right medicines to cover all of the age groups in your family. Medicines such as Nurofen* for treating high temperature in children need to be age and body-weight appropriate.

Rehydration salts in long-lasting sachets for dehydration relief.

An assortment of measuring cups and spoons or a syringe for accurate dosage of medicines.

Stingose and calamine lotion in summer for insect bites and sunburn relief.

Rapid healing creams: Essential for the rapid repair of skin conditions. Calendula lotion or ointment and Ungvita cream are must-haves in our kit. Also Egyptian Magic (works on eczema like a dream!)

Prescription medicines for the whole family that are essential. (Your kit is also a great place to store repeat prescription forms so that you always know where they are.)

Cold and flu medications for the whole family: Antihistamines and hay fever relief meds.

Topical pain relief creams for muscular aches and pains.

An eye bath and eye pads for eye injuries.

A current first aid manual.

Finally, for settling upset kids, make sure you've an ample supply of tissues and some lollipops stocked inside your kit to smooth things over after their ordeal! Keep your kit in a handy location but out of reach of the younger family members.

Have I missed something?
What would you add to this list?
What other essentials do you have stored in your own first aid kit?

*Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional. Do not give to babies under three months of age. Seek medical advice for children under 12 months of age. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health related matters, please contact your doctor.

 Linking up for IBOT


  1. A comprehensive list Jody. When my five kids were all under eleven we went overseas on a month trip to Europe and I packed pretty much what you've listed. That was back in 2000 though before all the regulations.

    1. Those were the good old days! That must have cost you a packet to travel with so many!
      You've got to have so many official permissions to travel with meds now so thanks for the great point.

  2. Oh, I definitely need one of these thank you. We used Isocol on my little girl's grazed knee the other day and she screamed out. Eek. I have a feeling that was the wrong thing to do. Does betadine sting? I'll get to the pharmacy and find out :)

    1. Betadine is iodine based and really effective. It stings only sometimes and only a tiny amount (barely). My kids don't really complain too much when I use it. It works wonders though and I figure if it's what the hospitals prefer, it must be fabulous. (It is.)

  3. Oh wow, my first aid kit consists of a packet of princess Bandaids and some kids panadol! Definitely on my list to sort out!

  4. Your kit is so organised. My kit is such a mess I have everything thrown in to a big box.

  5. You are so organised, but of course, when it comes to first aid we need to be! We have a first aid "shelf" and I can't honestly tell you what's in there. Must follow your list and get things back in order. x

  6. I am just in the process of making my own Calendula lotion, from flowers from the garden. It is good stuff. I have been meaning to get a first aid kit for the holiday house, have to make a note. This is an awesome list x

  7. Thank you for taking some time to write this post. Getting the best first aid kit may be ideal if you are preparing an emergency kit, outdoor survival kit and any other purposes you may have. As you know, one of the best skills we always mention here is that everyone may want to learn of survival skills in order to deal with any emergency. See more here http://survival-mastery.com/med/best-first-aid-kit.html


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