Ask the Nurse: Children's Hospital RN provides how-to for building spring-ready home first aid kits

CINCINNATI - WCPO is introducing a new feature called, "Ask the Nurse." For the first item, we're checking in with a Cincinnati Children's RN for tips about getting your home first aid kit spring-ready.

We invite readers to submit their questions, so read on to find out how. 

  • Margot Daugherty, MSN, MEd, RN, CEN
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Specialty: Education Specialist II, Trauma Services
  • Nursing School Attended: Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing and Xavier University

Experience: Daugherty has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years, concentrating in the field of emergency and trauma care. She also worked as a paramedic on a community life squad. Currently her efforts are directed at supporting a multi-disciplinary trauma team with their resuscitation efforts as well as many outreach and collaborative activities at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Ask a Nurse: How can I put together a family first aid kit?

Daugherty: "With warmer weather approaching and outdoor activities on the rise, the risk for injury is greater. Injury prevention through the use of helmets, protective gear, proper car seat/seatbelt use, etc. will help minimize injury, but will not eliminate it. Assembling a first-aid kit will allow you to effectively manage common injuries." 

Most common injury types:

  • Lacerations / abrasions
  • Fractures
  • Burns
  • Stings
  • Splinters
  • Sprains and strains

Daugherty advises that families keep their first aid kits simple and organized: Include multi-use items, check regularly and replace items immediately after using, and check expiration dates. She says you should consider having a kit at home and in your car.

Basic list of contents for first aid kits:

  • Poison Control phone numbers: Local and national
  • Contact numbers for your personal family physician
  • First-aid instruction manual
  • Flashlight
  • Disposable gloves (preferably non-latex); hand sanitizer; soap and water
  • Antiseptic solution or towelettes (to clean simple wounds)
  • Bandages (assorted sizes)
  • Gauze pads; non-adhesive gauze pads to cover small burns; gauze wrap (to hold bandages in place)
  • Moleskin (blister care)
  • Elastic bandages various sizes for sprains or to hold gauze in place 
  • Antibiotic ointment and hydrocortisone cream
  • Cotton tipped swab (to apply ointments or creams)
  • Heavy duty zipper storage bags for ice or pre-packaged instant cold packs
  • Saline solution (to rinse eyes)
  • Contact lens case
  • One-way valve breathing barrier for CPR
  • Triangle bandages (for use as a sling, towel, tourniquet)
  • Safety pins; tweezers; scissors
  • Digital thermometer
  • Small plastic garbage bag to dispose garbage

For the car kit, add the following:

  1. List of all personal medications including dosage
  2. Matches & candles for use as a backup light source
  3. Over-the-counter medications (packets) for car/travel kit: Aspirin (not for children); Acetaminophen for children; NSAIDS (ibuprofen); Antihistamine; Anti-diarrhea medication; Calamine lotion;
  4. Spoon or medicine cup
  5. Blanket

Daugherty: "First aid kits should be stored in an accessible location, yet out of the reach of younger children. You may also want to consider taking a first aid class."


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