TUESDAY, April 4, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- You just had a baby and you want to be ready for any infant emergency that might arise.
Wondering what items should be in your baby’s first aid kit? Here are 15 essentials that you should have on hand once you bring your baby home, recommended by the experts at Children’s Hospital Colorado and KidsHealth.org:
- First aid manual
- Bulb syringe/nasal aspirator
- Saline nose drops
- Rectal thermometer
- Infant acetaminophen
- Medicine dropper
- Sterile cotton balls and gauze
- Antibiotic cream
- Alcohol wipes
- Adhesive bandages
- Gas drops
- Petroleum jelly
- Baby manicure kit
- Emergency contact numbers.
Let’s take a look at why neonatal experts, board-certified pediatricians and child safety specialists suggest each of the items on our baby first aid kit checklist.
First aid manual
A first aid manual provides step-by-step instructions on how to use all the items in your baby’s first aid kit. You can also try free first aid apps such as those offered by the American Red Cross.
Bulb syringe/nasal aspirator
When your baby is young, they need assistance clearing out their nasal cavity if it becomes congested. A suction device like a plastic bulb syringe or a nasal aspirator can be used to suck out the mucus until they can blow their own nose.
“Some 2-year-olds can blow their nose, but some kids are much older before they can do it,” Cleveland Clinic pediatrician Dr. Amy Sniderman explained in an article. “It’s a coordination thing -- they have to be able to close their mouth and blow out their nose.”
Saline nose drops
“For babies and young children, suction used along with nasal saline drops can help clear mucus," pediatrician Dr. Lauren Beene, of University Hospitals Suburban Pediatrics in Ohio, said in an article.
You can put a few drops of saline drops into your baby’s nostrils to help moisten and loosen the mucus before using the bulb syringe or nasal aspirator to suck it out.
A rectal thermometer is considered the most accurate type of at-home temperature gauge to help you figure out if your baby is running a fever.
If your baby does have a fever, you can help treat it with over-the-counter medication that contains acetaminophen after the age of 2 months.
Beene advised that giving the correct dosage of infant acetaminophen is vital. “If you are unsure of a safe and adequate dose, you can always call your pediatrician for help,” she said.
A dropper has dose markings on it for medicines such as infant acetaminophen so that you can be sure you’re giving your baby the right amount.
Sterile cotton balls and gauze
Minor scrapes are normal when your baby starts crawling and then walking. Sterile cotton balls can be used to apply ointments to the injured area after you clean it with soap and water. Sterile gauze helps protect your baby’s delicate skin from infections.
For more minor cuts and scrapes, use a bandage (such as a Band-Aid) to cover the wound instead of gauze.
Before applying gauze or a bandage to a cut or scrape, put a small amount of antibiotic cream on it to help reduce bacterial growth. This is especially important for deeper cuts and scrapes.
When you’re finished using your thermometer, medicine dropper, bulb syringe and other baby first aid kit items, you can quickly clean them with alcohol wipes, so they’re sterilized and ready to go for the next time.
Sometimes you need to cut gauze or containers that contain your kit supplies with a small pair of scissors. Blunt scissors can also be used to help trim your baby’s hangnails.
After your baby eats, gas may develop in their intestinal tract. Gassiness can also be an underlying cause of colic, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. You can use gas drops to help ease any discomfort in your baby’s stomach.
Petroleum jelly is a useful product to have on hand whether you’re dealing with diaper rash, dry and chapped skin, or need a lubricant for your rectal thermometer.
Baby manicure kit
A good baby manicure kit will have nail clippers and a file to use when your baby develops uncomfortable hangnails. Tweezers should also be included for those times when your baby gets a tiny pointy object stuck under their skin.
Emergency contact numbers
Have your pediatrician’s number on hand in case you have questions. Include the local poison control center and any area emergency response numbers on your list as well.
Remember to keep all your baby’s first aid items in a container that locks and store it in a secure location. Also, check regularly to see if any of the items are expired, and replace them with new supplies. Finally, you can save yourself time by creating duplicate kits for both home and on the go, according to Children's Hospital Colorado.