Family First Aid Kits - What are the must have items?

Grace Larson

Having children can be a messy business! The cuts and grazes, the bumps, bites and stings. Snotty noses and having a first aid kit on hand to deal with any of the little illnesses or accidents children can have can be really handy.

There are many prepared first aid kits on the market, from small to large and ranging in cost from $20 up to $200. So there is certainly enough choice to meet most peoples budget. But what should you look for in a first aid kit when you are making your purchase?

As paediatric nurses and mums to 7 children between us, we have seen our fair share of what childhood has to throw at parents, so read on to hear our view on first aid kit must haves.
Between the ages of 0-12 months your child goes through a developmental explosion, they may learn to crawl, walk and run in what seems like no time at all. But these stages make them more prone to head knocks and bumps and grazes, so having a first aid kit with an ice pack, some decent bandaids and gauze is a good starting point.

After 12 months as children head into toddlerhood, they may sustain more decent gashes as their heads are table height and climbing everything seems like a good idea! So gauze again is your friend, along with saline ampules to help clean out the wounds if they are minor. Remember to hold pressure on any bleeding wound for at least 5 minutes to give it a good chance to stop bleeding.

Saline ampules are also handy to have in your kit for eye injuries as they make washing out the eye a little easier.

As children reach preschool and school years, snakes may start to come onto your radar as thier zone of exploration expands. Having a snake bite bandage is really useful as these aid to provide just the right amount of pressure on a limb following a snake bite. Some crepe bandages and triangular bandages are also handy to help treat more serious bleeding and breaks and sprains. Scissors and antiseptic spray may be needed for this age group also.

Some people also like to add a few medical items to their first aid kit, such as a thermometer, medication syringes, baby paracetamol and a nasal aspirator. Remember to keep any kit containing medication up high and out of reach of young hands and always read the pack of medication to ensure you understand the right dose and frequency for administration.
We recommend the old faithful axilla thermometer as its the most reliable and accurate. The snotty boss nasal aspirator is a useful addition to a first aid kit but does come with a higher price tag.

So what are you looking for?

Okay so in short, here's your list of must have items...

- Ice pack
- Bandaids
- Gauze (lots)
- Saline ampules
- Snake bite bandage
- Crepe bandages
- Triangular bandage
- Antiseptic spray
- Scissors

Medical items that may be added...
- Thermometer (axilla)
- Medication syringes
- Baby paracetamol
- Nasal aspirator

We hope you found this list helpful, would you add anything else? Let us know!
Created with