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Whether it’s a rash, hives, bee sting or mosquito bite, or whether you’re a parent of one or a parent of multiples, having a well-stocked, family-friendly first aid kit or medicine cabinet is a must.

Gathering essentials and being prepared is a necessity – plus, organizing a first aid kit is an easy-to-assemble, thoughtful project and loving gesture that will be greatly appreciated when it’s needed. Assembling the contents in a fresh, clean, easy-to-find yet out-of-reach place doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive – it just takes a bit of planning.

Good news! No need to spend a fortune!

The “kit” can be a recycled backpack or tote bag, a plastic dishpan or a wooden wine crate. It doesn’t have to be a brand new box designed especially for this purpose. Look around your home and chances are you will have a container that can be “repurposed”. One key element is that the container you select should be easy to spot and open.

More good news!

All “ingredients” can be purchased in one shopping trip from any drugstore and can be budget-friendly if generic brands are purchased.

NOTE: If anyone in your home is allergic to bee stings, peanuts, or shellfish, make sure an epinephrine pen (“epi-pen”) is easily accessible in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit. This pen is in addition to the one your child may carry with him or her at all times. Mark the expiration date in your calendar and replace as necessary.

You should check the expiration dates of all of the medications and supplies on an easy-to-remember date, such as daylight savings time changes.

In addition to the items below, include an index card with the following information typed in a large, bold font:

  • Both parents’ mobile phone numbers and your home address (in the event the sitter can’t recall your home address)
  • Children’s full names and birthdates
  • Your pediatrician’s name and phone number
  • Your pharmacy’s phone number and address
  • Pocket First Aid Guide by American College of Emergency Physicians

List of essentials you can print and take with you to the drugstore.

  • An oral syringe, or calibrated cup and spoon for administering liquid medicines
  • Children’s strength liquid acetaminophen or ibuprofen (must be non-aspirin)
  • Pediatrician-approved children’s strength liquid decongestant
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Activated charcoal (use only if advised by the Poison Control Center)
  • Digital thermometer (oral)
  • Rectal thermometer and personal lubricant
  • Tweezers and a pair of sharp scissors
  • Latex gloves
  • Safety pins
  • Needle
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Hydrocortisone cream (0.5% for children)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Nasal aspirator bulb syringe (another type of aspirator bulb syringe is available for the ears; the nasal aspirator is more round and less pointy than the bulb syringe used for ears)
  • Variety of adhesive bandage strips
  • Gauze rolls, sterile
  • Gauze pads, sterile
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton pads and cotton swabs
  • Heating pad
  • Hot-water bottle
  • Ice pack
  • Pedialyte ® Oral Electrolyte Solution

Prepare your family with a well-stocked first-aid kit or medicine cabinet and enjoy a little extra peace of mind.

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