Summertime often comes with its fair share of bumps, cuts and bruises. Make sure your family is prepared by stocking a first aid kit. Le Bonheur Pediatrician Kristen Bettin, MD, MEd, shares which items she thinks are essential for a kit.

Basic first aid supplies are helpful to have on hand for minor cuts and scrapes and even more serious injuries.firstaidbandaid

Your first aid kit should include:

  • Band-Aids
  • antibiotic ointment
  • latex-free gloves
  • gauze (pads, roll or both)
  • tape
  • scissors
  • instant ice pack
  • tweezers
  • saline spray or bottle of normal saline (to wash cuts or rinse eyes from chemicals/debris)
  • alcohol wipes

You may also want to tape a card with information like your pediatrician’s or PCP’s name and phone number and parents’ names and phone numbers in case of emergency.

Anything that maybe isn’t necessary but good to have on hand?

Numbing spray definitely isn’t necessary but your child might appreciate it for certain things, like removing that splinter!

Where should you keep a first aid kit? Do you need more than one?

Your medicine cabinet or kitchen are probably good places to keep a first aid kit. It should be easy to locate but not accessible to young children. Do make sure that kits containing medicines or sharp objects (i.e. scissors) are kept up away from children. Having a second first aid kit in your car is helpful for injuries that occur on trips or with sports/outdoor activities.

Any other tips?

If you are at home or near a sink, then simple soap and water is the best way to clean cuts and scrapes. If you aren’t around a sink, then use the normal saline spray or bottle to wash cuts. There is no need for hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol as those will sting and don’t have much benefit. Use the alcohol wipes to clean off instruments (scissors, tweezers) before and after use. First aid kits should be used for minor injuries. For anything more serious, be sure to call your physician or 911 if it’s an emergency.