First Aid Kit Essentials

Having a well stocked, in date first aid kit, box or cupboard is vitally important when you have little ones, so you can deal with any unexpected minor injuries that come your way, like cuts and bruises.

First aid kits are easy to buy, you tend to find as time goes on your medicine cupboard grows. It is also important to have a first aid kit in your car or bag, that you take with you to the park, days out and holidays, as you never know when a little accident might happen.

Most parents think of plasters being the main first aid supply to have at home (most children love a plaster).

Here is Marie from Daisy First Aid’s Top 5 items for your first aid kit and supplies, whatever age your child or if you are expecting your first baby.

1. Liquid infant paracetamol

A staple in every parent’s cupboard. From immunisations to colds and high temperatures, liquid paracetamol really is a magic medicine.

  • Always keep this well stocked in your cupboard and take it with you on overnight stays away and holidays (especially holidays abroad where you can only buy medicine from a pharmacy or holidays in quiet villages away from shops)

  • You can even get one dose sachets to keep in your bag - you never know when you might need it.

Always follow the instructions on the back of the box for dosage and age requirements.

You can also give your child liquid infant ibuprofen but never give ibuprofen to anyone with chicken pox or a head injury.

2. A good quality digital thermometer

Worth their weight in gold when you have a poorly child as you can get the reading in an instant.

  • You may be able to tell if a child has a high temperature by the way they feel, act and look but if you are unsure, it is good to know the temperature and to see if the fever is getting higher.

  • There are lots of different types on the market, under arm, infra-red forehead and in ear.

Lots of parents report they don’t trust their thermometer, some handy troubleshooting tips:

  • Check your own temperature to compare

  • Re-check the child’s temperature or in the other ear

  • Switch off and on, change the batteries or recalibrate thermometer

  • If it is an ear thermometer ensure the probe is placed fully into the ear canal so there is a snug fit – if they have little ears you may need to gentle pull open the ear canal

​If in doubt, and child feels hot to touch on body and you are worried phone 111 or GP.

3. Bruise Soother

Available from chemists and supermarkets and online, bruise soothers are a quick and easy way to soothe bumps and bruises and reduce swelling. You keep them in the fridge or freezer and they are reusable time and time again. Of course, a pack of peas from the freezer will do the same job but these soothers are child size, available in lots of character designs and are child friendly.

Instant ice packs are great for your portable first aid kit for when you are out and about.

Bruise soothers and instant ice packs are good for bruises, bumps to the head, headaches and stings. Children often find it more comforting to have their favourite character soothing their injury than a large packet of peas and will hold the soother to the bruise for longer.

4. Liquid Antihistamine

​This one is a must have! Liquid antihistamine is not something you might need very often but is very handy to have in the cupboard ‘just in case’.

  • ​Used for things you may need in a hurry like allergic reactions, insect bites, nettle rash and chickenpox, you will really thank yourself for keeping this in your cupboard

  • This is also a handy medicine to take with you on holidays and day trips out.

  • Creams or sprays to relieve stings and bites are also handy to have too

​Always check the box for instructions, dosage and age limitation. If in doubt, phone 111 who will be able to advise.

5. Water

Never underestimate the power of water! Used for cleaning cuts, cooling burns, rinsing dirt from eyes, washing hands and more, when you are near a tap, clean running water is the best to use. It is useful to have a bottle of water in the car when you are out and about.

Check your first aid kit and make sure the wipes you have do not contain alcohol as these can cause redness, allergic reactions and sting.

​Daisy First Aid provides essential paediatric first aid training for parents and childcare professionals. Parents can take a 2 hour awareness course in their own homes or local venues covering everything from CPR, choking, allergic reactions, head injuries, fevers, febrile convulsions and more. Classes available nationwide. Daisy First Aid also have children’s first aid kits available at classes or online. See for more details.

Marie Gale is a paediatric first aid trainer, mum of 2 with over 12 years of nursing experience. Contact

Always follow the age limitations and dosage instructions on medicines and seek medical advice as soon as possible.