Parents, here’s your back-to-school first-aid kit

August 9, 2017 Providence Health Team

All of the essentials you need in case of emergency

A well-stocked first-aid kit is a necessity that every parent should have. It could make all the difference when an accident happens at home, but can also keep an emergency from escalating when on-the-go. Now that it’s back to school season, it’s the perfect opportunity to take inventory of the medical supplies you have on hand and put together a first-aid kit for both you and your child. If the school permits, have your child store the kit in his/her locker or backpack. Remember, you can never be too prepared when it comes to assembling a first-aid kit!

The essentials of a back-to-school first-aid kit

The basics.

  • Sharp scissors (while these are fine for your family’s first-aid kit, you might want to double-check your child’s school policy if adding these to their kits)
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Small flashlight with extra batteries
  • Safety pins
  • Adhesive tape
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Cotton balls and cotton swabs
  • Latex or non-latex gloves (helpful for preventing infection risk from cuts)
  • Personal medication information, medical consent forms or allergy history information
  • A list of emergency phone numbers

Supplies for cuts and scrapes.

  • Assorted sizes of adhesive bandages
  • Sterile gauze pads or rolls (one or two-inch wide)
  • Hydrogen peroxide or antiseptic wipes
  • Anti-bacterial cream or ointment

Relief from sprains, twists or pulls.

  • Elastic bandages
  • Pain relief medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Finger splint

Other medications and helpful items.

  • Calamine lotion for insect bites and rashes
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antihistamines for allergic reactions
  • Activated charcoal in case of accidental poisoning (check with your local poison-control center first)
  • Rehydration fluids lsuch as Pedialyte to treat dehydration
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellant

Besides the items listed above, it’s also important to pack a first aid manual so you and your child know how to use the materials in your kit. Be sure to review each first aid item together carefully and if needed, practice using some of the more complicated items.

If you’re wondering what to put your items in, plastic art supply containers and tackle boxes work great and can be found at your local crafts store. Make sure that whatever container you choose is waterproof, lightweight and translucent so you and your child can see what’s needed even before opening the case. Look for containers with handles to make it easy to transport the kit from one place to another. Store your new kit where it’s easily accessible – in your kitchen cupboard, under the bathroom sink, in your car’s glove box or under your passenger seat.

If your child isn’t old enough to carry their own kit or the school requires pre-authorization for medications, check with the school to see if it’s something they will store for them, especially if the kit has first aid items that are specifically unique to your child’s needs. Lastly, be sure to check your materials and supplies often. Medications and ointments are likely to expire, and sometimes items can go missing. It’s recommended to review kits every year to make sure they are up-to-date.

What’s in your first-aid kit? We’d love to hear how you are preparing for back to school! Share in the comments below. 

If a first-aid kit won’t solve the problem, be sure to check out Providence’s Express Care options to see a physician from the comfort of your home. We’re revolutionizing health care convenience. 

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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