Is your diaper bag overflowing with things you’ll never use or need? Kids are unpredictable and boo boos happen at the most inconvenient time. When your children start walking, it’s time to trade in the binkies and bottles in your diaper bag for bandages and Neosporin. Chicago CPR has teamed up with Cindy McCarthy, founder of On the Go Chicago, to get her take on the most used, essential first aid diaper bag items. Cindy and I both share our ‘dislike’ of many prepackaged first aid kits. Many are too bulky, not made especially for young children and/or infants, exclude essential items, or include products that should not be used, like burn cream.
Cindy’s diaper bag first aid picks (Chicago CPR ‘approved’, of course):
1. Emergency Information – On a piece of paper or index card write down:
- Children’s names and dates of birth
- Your mobile phone number
- Spouse’s mobile phone number
- Pediatrician’s name and number
- Poison Control (The national emergency hotline: 800.222.1222). Check out the IL poison control center page for more tips.
- Any allergies
- The proper doses for the medications included in your kit
2. Minor injury First Aid items:
- (5) 3/4”x3” self-adhesive bandages (standard self-stick bandages)
- (2) 3” knee & elbow bandages
- Sting/pain relief spray or pads (Benadryl makes one, and there is a CVS brand that is much less expensive). The CVS brand relieves the itching and pain from minor cuts, burns, scrapes, rashes (e.g. poison ivy) and insect bites.
- (4) 2”x2” gauze pads
- (4) Antiseptic wipes
- Antibiotic ointment – Neosporin makes a convenient spray-on version (Neo To Go). I have also found a CVS generic version. Target’s regular price on the Neo To Go was less expensive than the CVS brand.
- Tweezers for splinters
3. Over the Counter Medicines – Keep in separate zip-close bags to avoid messes caused by spills. Always check proper dosages based on your child’s age and weight. When in doubt, consult your child’s physician or pharmacist.
- Fever reducer – Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Upset stomach medication – Kids Tums, Little Tummies, Queasy Pops Kids, or natural ginger hard candy (I put 5 in a small baggie to save space).
- Anti-allergy – Benadryl for allergic reactions. Make sure you buy one made for kids and review the proper dosage
4. Distraction items
- Stickers and organic Lollipops – Add a few stickers and a lollipop to your kit. Your little patient may need a distraction after getting a skinned knee.
We love Cindy’s final idea – set a reminder in your calendar or iPhone to check all of your first aid kits once a year to make sure none of the contents have expired. And lastly, don’t forget to take a CPR class. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all parents learn CPR, and so does Chicago CPR! Our American Heart Association certified CPR instructors have experience working with more than 20,000 new families. We are skilled in the safety challenges that new parents face. Our Chicago and Illinois classes include additional safety information specific to new families: SIDS prevention, poison control & car seat safety. We also offer first aid and CPR certification classes. Our CPR classes are concise and fun – no pain medication needed.
In addition to raising her two daughters in Chicago, Cindy McCarthy is an urban explorer of kid-sized Chicago and founder of onthegoChicago.com, Chicago’s most comprehensive and searchable site. Get the inside scoop where to go eat, shop, play and learn in Chicago. Plus, hundreds of dollars in member exclusive discounts. See for yourself why Parents Magazine named on the go the BEST Local Site in the Nation. Join on the go today and save $10 off an annual membership with coupon code SAVE2