7 Medical Supplies Every Parent Should Have At Home And In The Car
When you think of medical supplies for your children, items like colorful band aids and peroxide usually leap to mind. However, in the event of a real emergency, there are seven lifesaving medical supplies that every parent should keep at home and in the car.
- CPR Kit
A CPR kit is essential and could be lifesaving in an emergency. While you don't have to have a CPR kit to administer CPR, the items included such as a mask can make breathing for another person more effective. Be sure to buy a CPR kit that has a mask appropriately sized for children or is flexible enough to prevent air from escaping. CPR classes are available in most communities free of charge each year.
- Epinephrine Pen
Even if you think your child isn't allergic to anything, odds are good that they haven't been exposed to all possible foods and insects that could cause a severe allergic reaction. An epinephrine pen can prevent airways from closing long enough to get to a hospital for proper treatment in the event of a severe allergic reaction.
While no parent wants to consider the possibilities associated with defibrillator use, emergencies do happen, and it's much better to be prepared. Waiting for an ambulance to arrive takes minutes at best, and those minutes are vital in many medical situations. All defibrillators come with easy-to-follow instructions which should be followed exactly.
- Large Gauze Padding
Large gauze padding can be used to stop or slow bleeding by applying pressure. In situations where blood is being lost rapidly, gauze padding provides sterility and absorbency. The average amount of blood in the body represents approximately 7 percent of body mass. Therefore, children can lose an exceptional amount of blood quickly.
While there are only certain situations that require a tourniquet, such as the loss of a limb or severing of an artery, a tourniquet can be lifesaving. There are cases of tourniquet use resulting in nerve damage to limbs, however in the medical field, the general rule of thumb is, "Life over limb." In other words, saving someone's life takes precedence over saving an arm or leg. Proper tourniquet use should not result in limb damage.
- Burn Ointment
For many burns, an antibacterial ointment may be used, but burn ointment with silvadene is often needed. Either have your doctor write a prescription for emergencies or make your own by mixing various creams. Serious burns are not only painful but can become infected. Be sure to treat burns according to type and severity.
- Nausea Control and Rehydration Solution
Anything from an upset stomach to a more serious viral or bacterial infection can cause severe vomiting. In an emergency such as a power outage due to severe weather, controlling nausea and vomiting is a must. Severe dehydration can lead to serious medical consequences, even coma and death. Keeping medication for children and rehydration packets, along with bottled water in your supply kit is a must.
Building a well stocked emergency medical supply kit for your home and car gives you piece of mind. Knowing that you are prepared for medical emergencies leaves you in a position to act rather than react to the situation. Take the time to go through your medical supplies and add items you need to your shopping list.