What should I include in a travel first aid kit for a toddler?
A first aid kit doesn’t have to be elaborate or bulky. If you like, you can tuck your supplies into a zip-up plastic bag that you can easily transfer from purse to suitcase to, well, wherever. Or you can simply tuck your supplies in a corner of your go-everywhere diaper bag. However you choose to keep track of your supplies, make sure you include:
[ ] A pain- and fever-relieving medication. Children’s Motrin and Children’s Tylenol are both good choices. Make sure you know your child’s weight, since doses are based on weight, and include the syringe dispenser or cup that came with it and the dosage instructions (here are charts for ibuprofen and one for acetaminophen).
[ ] Adhesive bandages. Bandages can “cure” all kinds of problems, from barely-there bumps and bruises to serious scrapes. Cartoon character bandages increase your cache among the toddler set, and seem to provide increased healing power. (At least, that’s what a toddler would tell you!)
[ ] Saline spray and bulb suction device. Most kids hate the “snot sucker” but it’s a good idea to carry one along, at least until your child is old enough to know how to blow her nose. Saline-and-suction can be a lifesaver when your child can’t sleep due to a stuffy nose.
[ ] Calamine lotion. Calamine soothes itches and rashes, and can be used on everything from poison ivy to bug bites. If you don’t like the pink, chalky appearance of traditional calamine lotion, look for the clear version.
[ ] Thermometer. We know -- you can probably tell if your child has a fever just by kissing her forehead. But doctors like concrete information, so throw a thermometer (ear or oral, your choice) in your first aid kit. If you have to take your kid to the doctor, he’ll appreciate knowing exactly how high her temperature was.
[ ] Benadryl. Diphenhydramine, better known as Benadryl, can be used to minimize allergic reactions. It’s essential if your kid has environmental, seasonal or suspected insect allergies. Again, dosing is based on weight, so know your child’s weight and the recommended dosage before you head out. Don’t forget a measuring device with this, either. Toss a graduated oral syringe in with the medication (Don’t have one? Ask your local pharmacy.)
[ ] Antibacterial cream. The standard triple antibiotic ointment that you can buy over-the-counter is fine for simple cuts and scrapes. But if you want something stronger, ask your doctor for a prescription for Bactroban. The over-the-counter antibiotic cream doesn’t work against antibiotic-resistant staph germs; Bactroban does.
Review and restock your first aid kit at least once a year or more. (You do not want to run out of bandages!) And remember that medications, including creams and lotions, have expiration dates so toss and replace them as necessary.
Plus, more from The Bump:
Top 12 Babyproofing Products
Preventing a Medical Emergency
Emergency Info Checklist