When you're traveling with kids, it's always important to be prepared for the kinds of minor injuries that are almost unavoidable. Lets face it, kids are accident prone, and when you're abroad it isn't always easy to get access to the kinds of first aid materials you may need and that you are familiar and comfortable with using.
When we were getting ready to leave the US, I looked at a variety of first aid kits at places like REI, Target, CVS, etc. Although they were all very fancy, they were slightly pricey in some cases, they were a bit bulky, and they were mostly geared towards camping trips. Most importantly, none of them really had the items I knew I would need for traveling with kids.
I decided to put together my own kit with individual items I knew would come in useful based on my few years of experience of being a mom and many years of experience of being a klutz! I also skipped out on the fancy bags they sell (you know the nice empty ones labeled "First Aid" usually with some sort of medical logo?), and instead used a large zip lock bag :)
In total, this first aid bag contains 7 items. 6 of the items I purchased and brought from the US. We ended up adding the Baby Apaisyl in France. Some people say 7 is a lucky number, maybe the luck was missing from my first aid kit until I added that last cream :)
7 Items & Their Usage:
In no particular order (here are my lucky 7 items in my first aid "kit":
- Neosporin Antibiotic and Pain Relief Ointment: I have used this a few times so far on larger cuts and scrapes on hands and knees when the little ones fall too hard. Just a little bit usually does the trick. We have also used this cream a few times on ourselves on some cuts to make sure they don't get infected (nothing overly serious).
- Purell Hand Sanitizer: Really just to clean hands before eating if there is no where to wash them. We don't use it often, so that tiny bottle has lasted us quite a while, but I like to have it with me just in case.
- Children's Benadryl: No, I do not use this to get my kids sleepy before flying. I have it with me for two reasons: 1) In case one of the kids has an allergic reaction to food or a bug bite, 2) When the kids have a stuffy nose or a cough just 1 dose at night makes them feel better, and with a clear nose they can sleep better. I know the dosage for their ages and weights (Please make sure you talk to your doctor giving your kids Benadryl. I did :)). Thankfully, we have not needed to use it more than a few times, and a couple of those were for Hannah when she had awful itchy mosquito bites in France.
- Desitin: Oh this is much more than a diaper rash cream. Did you know you can use Desitin on burns and they feel better almost instantaneously? I learned this a few years back after I ended up in the ER with a burnt hand (I have yet to learn how to use an oven without burning myself)! We have actually needed to use it a few times on burnt fingers while cooking =P and I am so glad we have brought it along. Also, although neither of the kids are in diapers or pull ups, rashes sometimes happen and it has been great to have Desitin on hand.
- Neosporin Wound Cleanser for Kids: I love this! It is a foamy cleanser that is completely sting free. My kids both love it, and even after some nasty knee cuts, they generally feel loads better after we clean their "boo-boo" with this magical cleanser. Once it's dry, a bandaid will do the trick.
- Bandaids: I actually had some kid bandaids with me initially, like the Disney Princess and Sesame Street ones, but they are awful. They always fall off so quickly, so both kids have opted for "grown-up" or as Hannah says "gromup" bandaids. I do like the boxes that offer different sizes, but if not available the standard size almost always has met our needs.
- Baby Apaisyl: Our lucky number 7 item! I call this the magical cream. I cannot believe how quickly it vanished Hannah's awful and scary mosquito bites. I have used it one or two other times on bug bites that the kids have complained about, and once we used it at the beach when my husband complained about a sting on his arm after swimming in the water (no idea what was in the water) and in all cases in has been effective.
Remember that this is just my first aid kit. The zip lock bag containing these 7 items goes with us everywhere. I did bring a few other "medicines" with us, but those stay home unless we need them. Perhaps a post for another time.
Are you a traveler? Or a traveling mama with kids in tow? What items do you make sure you bring along? Maybe 7 isn't the lucky number and I need to add a thing or two.