Remember that trip your whole family took to Williamsburg—when your youngest child suddenly got the worst cold of her life? The fact is that young kids tend to experience sudden illnesses more often than their older siblings or their parents. Further, young kids need different doses of medication and treatment. They can take the same medications and ointments as their older counterparts, but NOT AS MUCH. In short, read the labels of your pain relievers, your cough syrups, and your creams before you use them for your children. Even better, check out your drugstore shelf and put a supply of baby aspirin and other specific children's medications in your first aid kit. And don't forget to pack that baby aspirin, Tylenol, or Pediaprofen for those “on-the-road” emergencies! Maybe—just maybe—you'll get to enjoy your vacation after all!
Before You Put the Band-Aid On
Small kids like to put things in their mouths. The trouble starts when they swallow something like a coin or a twig. If that happens, first look in the child's mouth; it's possible that the object is not wedged too far down and you can pull it out with sterile tweezers. If the child is definitely choking, begin the Heimlich Maneuver.
Special items for kids that you need to pack in your first aid kit include:
- Baby aspirin but only for aches, pains, and strains. Kids under 18 years old with fevers should only take Tylenol for Children or Pediaprofen (a child's version of Advil) to avoid the risk of Reye's Syndrome, a dangerous ailment that affects the nervous system.
- Warm blankets.
- A small stuffed animal.
- Towels to use as makeshift pillows, immobilizing equipment for head and back injuries, or simply to wipe up dirt, sweat, and vomit.
- Baby powder to add a soothing touch.
- Children's cough syrup.
- A music box or favorite cassette and walkman for distraction.
- Adhesive tape with “fun” designs and shapes.
- Cloth tape (it's easier to remove).
- A bright bandanna for use as a sling or splint (anything to help distract the child).