- Location. Your family should have a first aid kit in a specific location in the house, such as the bathroom, kitchen or garage, as well as the car. Make sure your preteen knows where the first aid kit is at all times, and remind him or her to put it back in the same place after use.
- Contents. A well-stocked first aid kit will contain bandages, antibiotic ointment, gauze, tweezers, scissors, cotton balls, cold and allergy medication (Benadryl®/diphenhydramine), and acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Talk with your child about when and how these items should be used. If over-the-counter medication is needed, have him or her ask an adult first before taking it. Make sure your kit includes a list of important phone numbers and medical information for each family member.
When a Bandage Won’t Cover It
Sometimes emergencies might arise that can’t be fixed with the contents of a first aid kit. In these situations, it’s imperative you teach your preteen what the next step is—including calling 911. Conditions that warrant calling 911 include:
- Broken bones (if they are sticking through the skin or obviously deformed)
- Chest pain
- Constant vomiting or diarrhea
- Deep cuts or uncontrollable bleeding
- Sudden confusion (seizures, head injury with loss of consciousness, passing out)
Remind your child about how important it is to be calm during these situations and answer any questions the responders may ask as clearly as possible.
This article was reviewed by David Zipes, M.D., pediatric hospitalist, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent.