First Aid in the Home

We can all be prone to injuries at home, but especially children. Those most at risk from a home accident are the 0-4 years age group, boys are more likely to have accidents than girls and most accidents in the home occur in the summer, during school holidays and at weekends.

Most accidents aren’t too serious, but it is advisable to keep a First Aid Kit in a convenient location at home, easy to access when dealing with minor injuries. Your first aid box should be easy to carry and stored out of the reach of young children.

Here’s a list of the recommended first aid supplies that you should have in your first aid kit:

Plasters – variety of sizes for minor cuts, blisters and sore spots.

Adhesive Tape – to hold dressings in place.

Bandages – crepe bandages are useful for support or holding a dressing in place. Tubular bandages are helpful when a child has strained a joint and needs extra support. You can also buy triangular bandages that you can use for making a sling.

Sterile Gauze Dressings – for covering larger sore areas and cuts.

Antiseptic Cream – can be applied to cuts or grazes after cleaning. This will help prevent infection and some numb the pain.

Burn Gels –  should only be used if you are not near cool running water. The best first aid treatment for burns is placing it under cool running water for 20 minutes.

Antiseptic Wipes – handy way to clean cuts and grazes and help prevent infection. To use them, take a fresh wipe and clean the wound. Work gently away from the centre to remove dirt and germs.

Absorbent Pads – lightly apply pressure to a wound that is bleeding. Do this until the bleeding stops. Make sure there is no object stuck in the wound first.

Thermometer – digital or electronic thermometer. These are quick and accurate. You can also use them under the armpit. Always place the thermometer under the armpit for children under 5.

Saline Solution – washing dust or loose particles out of sore eyes.

Small Scissors – for cutting clothes and also plasters & tape to size.

Safety Pins – these are used to secure an arm sling in place around the elbow area.

Tweezers – use tweezers to remove stones, thorns, splinters and ticks. Never use tweezers to remove objects from nose, mouth or ears – seek medical attention.

Hand Sanitiser – wash your hands before and after you give first aid, but if you do not have access to water, hand sanitiser is a good option.

Disposable Gloves – protect you from infection when giving first aid.

The above list provides a general guide on the recommended contents for first aid kits in the home. All supplies or similar are available in your local Haven Pharmacy, so please ask one of our expert staff for advice on what you need.

Useful Tips:
1. It’s a good idea to keep the supplies sorted in separate zip-close bags to save time rummaging for what you need in an emergency.
2. Never store medication in your first aid kit because a young child might take medication from it, this could easily happen while you are attending to another child who is injured.
3. Put a list of emergency phone numbers into the kit: 112 and 999, your home’s Eircode, your nearest hospital emergency department, your GP & your local GP ‘Out of Hours’ service and your local Haven Pharmacy number.
4. Keep your first aid kit up to date, check use-by dates and always replace used items.
5. Remember, if someone else is caring for your children, let them know where you keep the kit.

To find out more on how to deal with some of the most common accidents and emergencies check out this information from the HSE.