Traveling with kids is fun for parents, who get to experience the trip through the eyes of their children. Kids are curious and authentic, and they see things in a very different way than their parents. Packing for children is different, too. It involves food, drinks, a change of clothes, toys, and other things to occupy the time between “When will we get there?” and “Are we there yet?”
Of all the items that parents pack for a trip with the kids, a first aid kit is one of the most important. Whether a trip involves a playground, picnic, flight, or road trip, first aid supplies are always good to have around. Parents can purchase a first aid travel kit online or at a drugstore, or they can create their own. While the contents of most first aid kits are basically the same, parents should give special attention to supplies for children. Kids get into scrapes more often than adults, and the travel kit should address that.
Here are five first aid items to take when traveling with kids. Most kits will contain more supplies than those listed here. But these five are essential items to have on hand on a road trip or outing with children. For security reasons, many of these items are banned on airplanes. Parents should check with airport security if they have any questions about an item in their travel bag.
Soap and water are best for cleaning scrapes and cuts, but a good antiseptic is a definite staple in a kids first aid kit. Travelers are not always near a water source, so antiseptic is essential to have around. Available in sprays, creams, liquids, and wipes, antiseptics have a mild numbing effect that is soothing to “owies.” Wipes are effective for cleaning wounds, and sprays and liquids flush dirt away. Antiseptic is best stored in a dark place with a controlled temperature, out of the reach of children.
Bandages are necessary first aid items. They require no special care, other than keeping them clean and sterile, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Adhesive bandages, available in fun designs for kids, help distract children from the pain of “boo-boos.” Gauze bandages are good for cleaning and covering wounds. Bandages meant for sprains are also a good idea. Some bandages contain antibiotics to prevent infection and help wounds heal. Parents should include antibiotic cream or lotion with the bandages, just in case.
Scissors are a very handy item to have in a first aid kit, even if no immediate use comes to mind. Scissors can cut through bandages, adhesive tape, clothing, shoe laces, and just about anything else. Curved medical scissors are best, as sewing scissors and other pointed scissors can be dangerous to use in an emergency situation. Parents should take extreme care when storing scissors, hiding them away from curious little hands.
4. Instant Cold Packs
Instant cold packs are also essential first aid items when traveling with kids. Cold packs ease the pain and swelling of bumps and bruises. They work well for everything from a sprained ankle to a knot on the head. Instant cold packs are typically single-squeeze items meant for one use only. Parents should have several on hand when traveling with children. If a pack gets used, or squeezed on mistake by curious hands, the first aid kit can provide another one.
5. Bite and Sting Treatment
Insect bites and stings can be a serious issue, especially on camping trips, family outings, picnics, and playgrounds. A good first aid kit includes a bites and stings kit with bandages, extractors, and after-bite gel. Parents should include an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen), especially if their children have known allergies. All of these items should be kept together in their own kit, and out of the reach of children